Reading Rewind: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight

Reading_Rewind-01I decided to end the year on an epic reading note and picked up a series I have heard rave reviews about from so many friends. I started the series as an audio book (which for this particular series was absolutely perfect!) and then devoured the rest of book 1 and all of book 2 in hardback. Now I’m onto book 3 and am so in love and so inspired to write from the perfection that is the Smoke and Bone trilogy.

DaughterGoodreads Summary:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Thoughts:

I cannot believe it took me so long to read this book. It is gorgeous and fanciful and sarcastic and all sorts of brilliant. I loved the mix of real world and “monsters” and how Karou fit with both. And Akiva. Who could resist that kind of undying love and attraction? Such a tortured love story wrapped up in a whole heap of feels from the rest of the characters. Absolutely amazing.

StarlightGoodreads Summary:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

My Thoughts:

Days of Blood and Starlight is such an epic sequel. The writing is just as gorgeous as in Daughter, and the characters are even more complex and heartbreaking and so very flawed, but you can’t help to hope right along with them as they try desperately to save their world. And seriously, can I just say how much I LOVE Zuzana and Mik? They are so adorable and loveable and just bring a lightness to this story that would’ve been missing otherwise. Karou needed her friends and they did not disappoint. The tension between Karou and Akiva was painful and gut-wrenching at times, but felt so exactly right for these characters. Things will never be the way they once were for those two, but there is no doubt that they will overcome everything between them and find a way to save themselves right along with both worlds.


Favorite Books of 2014

According to Goodreads I read 71 of my wanted 75 books in 2014. But what Goodreads doesn’t know is that I also read 6 full manuscripts for friends (not to mention the number of times I read my own books, but M said mine don’t count!). So, I’m considering my reading challenge a total win.

There were books that I enjoyed, there were books I honestly didn’t care if I finished, and then there were books that blew my mind with their sheer brilliance. Books that I will push on friends and strangers just because everyone needs to read them. Books that inspired me, tortured me, made me laugh, made me cry and, most definitely made me grateful for so many different kinds of characters and stories. Below are the ones that I still can’t get out of my head.


A Corner of White and Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (I’m not finished with Dreams of God and Monsters yet, otherwise it would be on here too!)

Landline by Rainbow Rowell