The second book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, Days of Blood & Starlight picks up about six months from where the previous volume left off. If you wonder what happened in those six months, the story does nice job of providing that information without going into explicit detail.
This volume is a bit darker than its predecessor. The war between chimera and angels, which took a bit of a lull in DSB, is starting to pick up again. Each side is strategically attempting to weaken the other with raids and ambushes. Neither side really gets the upper hand throughout the story, but there are close moments. We get introduced to more characters of both species in this volume.
The book takes on three different perspectives throughout the narration. There’s Karou’s perspective, of course. We find that she is still in our world, but not before making a brief trip and back to reunite and collect some chimera comrades. (I hesitate to use allies since most of the chimera in the group are not exactly friendly with her.) We also find that Karou has become the new Resurrectionist, though only her comrades are aware of her identity.
The second perspective is Akiva’s. He has reunited with his siblings, Liraz and Hazael, as well as his Misbegotten brethren. The three of them are sent on missions against the chimera, but after the events of DSB, Akiva’s heart isn’t in it. Instead, he makes a vow to protect chimera, which his siblings – albeit reluctantly – assist him in (or at the very least prevent him from being caught).
The third perspective is Zuzana and Mik’s as they navigate Prague and the desert in an attempt to find Karou. They eventually find her and finally encounter chimera, which both fascinates and terrifies them. I find their perspective to be a nice break from the “doom and gloom” of the ongoing chimera vs angel conflict. Zuzana’s spirit even wins over some of the chimera – along with Mik’s violin.
I really enjoyed this volume of DSB, more so than the first. I feel this is partially due to the characters being familiar whereas in DSB the reader is often wondering who a character is. My favorite character in this volume is Ziri, the last natural flesh Kirin. I find that as I read his parts, I feel as if I am Karou, waiting to make sure he survives and returns. His fate at the end of the novel is heartbreaking and yet necessary for the final installment.
I will hopefully get to read the last volume this year, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, so I can know how the series ends. We’ll see how quickly I get through the rest of the books I have to read first.
My rating: 5/5