Days of Blood and Starlight was a perfect second book, middle story in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It was a war book. It was a tale of sadness, longing, deceit and hope. Days of Blood and Starlight was also about Eretz. Karou's home is given life (and death). We learn about what happened while she was living her human life. We learn more about the Angels and the Chimera. We see brutality, loss, love, innocence and the results of war. There was so much violence and hatred throughout Days of Blood and Starlight, much different than Karou's quiet life and romance with Akiva in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. In this fantasy novel, there was a lot of reality seeping through.
Karou grows throughout the story, she learns about herself and those around her. She learns about trust, of others and of herself. She finds a connection to her old life, that helps her move forward in this one. Everything about Karou's journey was exactly what it needed to be. That goes for Akiva too. He learns more about himself, and his brother and sister. Akiva learns the lengths they will all go for what is right. Even Hazael and Liraz are more than what they appear, as are the Sphinxes. Though, Issa, Niri and Thiago are exactly who I thought they were. Laini Taylor created such wonderfully constructed characters, it doesn't matter what they look like, or if you can even see that, you can tell who they are by feel.
The ending though, a powerful, amazing ending. Such a setup for the final installment in the series. While not a total cliffhanger (which I appreciate), there are so many questions. What will the invasion bring? Will there be civil war? Will chaos break out? Will both worlds survive? Will Karou and Akiva be together in the end? Ziri? I need my feelings to settle down. After The Raven King and now this, I might needs something a little less tense next, just so I stop ignoring my Hubby (he knows I can't hear him when I'm reading). I'm excited to see where Laini Taylor takes Karou, Akiva and all the rest in this fantastical tale.