An angel fell in love with a devil.
Tragedy, war, and – O! Godstars – what a match they were.
Note: All books are reviewed in this blog post, so this is NOT spoiler-free.
Book 1: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
One of the reasons I fell in love from the beginning: the writing style. Taylor is beautifully enchanting as she wordsmiths. The author strings along syllables and letters with fervor that capture the power and emotion of a scene.
Sample quote: “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
As for the content of the scenes, the plot was slow-moving, predictable at times, but this was highly off-set by the unique type of characters and world-building, as I’ve never read a story about chimera. I slowly warmed to the relationship (not a fan of insta!love), so I’m curious to see how Karou and Akiva’s story turns out. Karou’s character was mysterious and interesting, and her backstory as Madrigal was surprising, captivating in its splendor of unknown worlds and romance, but horrifying in its resolution. A reader truly gets swept into the new fantasy setting and host of characters, like little Ziri and cruel Thiago. It’s because of the shocking ending that I moved onto the next book, and I felt like a lamb to the slaughter…
Book 2: Days of Blood and Starlight
Can we talk about depressing?
The author, Laini Taylor, did everything possible – every evil thing possible – to make Karou suffer in this story. Following the first book in the series (which was a mix of fun, disaster, action, and mystery), this book is a complete downer. Read with a box of tissues and don’t be afraid to stop and scream into a pillow. This was a frustrating and terribly sad read for me.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved this book! The next installment picks up where the first book left off (that terribly awesome cliffhanger). Your questions are answered. The author slowly brings the readers back into the world of humans, chimera, and angels. The intense battle continues as Karou is supporting the chimera and finding out where she belongs in this war. Akiva exists on the other side of the war and is tormented by the thought of lost love and lingering hope. While I wanted more interaction between the two, I was interested in seeing the kinship between Ziri and Karou unfold. This is one of the highlights, if you’re interested in character development.
Taylor is a brilliant story-teller with her poetic prose, beautiful imagery, and pained plot. I’m very excited to read the next installment, as I yearn for a conclusion that can ease Karou’s torment. At least she is given some hope. I’m holding on.
Sample quote: “Daughter of my heart,’ was the message Brimstone sent just for Karou. She wanted to cry again right here in the court, thinking of it. ‘Twice-daughter, my joy. Your dream is my dream, and your name is true. You are all of our hope.”
Book 3: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Taylor gave me a satisfying and electric conclusion to this amazing trilogy. While I wanted more Karou and Akiva together (as sexual tension was killing me as I read this), the plot came together in a brilliant way. Pieces of the mystery, resolution to character problems, and a beautiful set-up for another series created a satisfying ending for me. And of course, the ending was perfect. After the disasters from book two, I needed my heartache to be soothed and heartbreak to be repaired.
Sample quote: “It was a new idea for him, that happiness wasn’t a mystical place to be reached or won—some bright terrain beyond the boundary of misery, a paradise waiting for them to find it—but something to carry doggedly with you through everything, as humble and ordinary as your gear and supplies. Food, weapons, happiness.”
While I think the book was brilliant, I did find some of the fantasy confusing. Terminology was thrown at me left-and-right-and-up-and-down – terms that were not evident in the first two books, and it took away from my experience a bit. New characters were added, which I liked, but I found it strange that they just suddenly appeared during the conclusion of the trilogy. Honestly, this book concludes the story of the first two books and sets-up for new adventures – adventures I would like to continue reading.
This story had it all for me – lovely narrative, compelling characters, intense romance and action, thrilling fantasy, touches of comedy, and a satisfying ending.
Recommended for older teens who enjoy fantasy, angels, chimera, dramatic plot, and love enchantment.
Amazing fanart on deviantart.com: