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Day 04: Review - Daughter of Smoke & Bone (#1-3)

★ 4/5 


Hey guys!! Welcome back to Day 04 of my blog! This is going to be a review on a series that is easily one of my favourites this year. I read this series so fast, I don't even remember setting the book down. I was hooked from the very beginning, and although there are some things I don't particularly like, I still fell deeply in love with it. I have a lot to say about this series, so sit tight and let's get to it! Are you ready? Let us begin.
*WARNING! REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!*


★ 4/5 
Around the world, black hand prints 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 otherworldly 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
When I first saw this book on Goodreads, I remember getting super exciting just by looking at the cover. After reading the summary, I remember thinking that this might be the one. I was totally right. I blew through the first book in two days and I was left gasping when I was brought back to reality. The story was that good. 

The basic run down of the story is about a mysterious blue haired teenage girl named Karou, who lives a totally dangerous but epic life, traveling to different places, running errands for Brimstone collecting teeth.The story is set in Czech Republic, Prague, where Karou is studying art. She is well known in her art class for her magnificent artwork of monstrous creations. Little does everyone know that they aren't a figment of Karou's imagination. But aside from her epic adventures, she still has to deal with everyday normal problems such as dealing with her ex-boyfriend Kazimir. She lives her everyday life, juggling school, running errands for Brimstone, and hiding her secret from everyone. Meanwhile, black hands are being branded and scorched on doorways all over the world.


The storyline follows the fact that Karou has no recollection of how she was brought the world, and everything changes when she meets the handsome, swoon-worthy angel Akiva. Lies are discovered, truths unfold, wishes are made, and teeth are collected. What more can I ask for? One word, Bravo.




★ 4.5/5 

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—andwhat 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
I love, love, LOVED the sequel to the series and I was of course rewarded with a nail-biting cliffhanger. We find out from the last book, the dangerous work that Brimstone does. We also find out the big reveal of Karou's past.

The sequel picks up from where the first book ended, and that resulted in one word. Catastrophe. After unfolding the truth about herself, she is shoved back into the world filled with hatred and bloodbath. While she copes with the deaths of her loved ones, she is struggling to fit in with the new world she is introduced to. While she tries to redeem herself from her past treasons to her people, war is nearing and her people are dying. She takes the responsibility of rebuilding the Chimaera's lost army and continues Brimstones work.

On the other side of the war, Akiva is heartbroken and lost. After revealing the devastating truth to the love of his life, Karou leaves him and Akiva finds himself alone and immersed in a war he never wanted to be in. While his brothers and sisters are celebrating their enemies loss, he is struggling to figure out which side he is on.

I found it interesting to see both sides with the battle, especially the Chimaera's side where they were re-arming. We also got a delightful surprise visit from Zuzanna and Mik, and can I just they are the cutest couple ever! This story gave us more insight on the Angels and Chimaera's history, gave us more details of the world that Taylor created. And I have to say, I was impressed.

The sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone is full of heartbreaking decisions, broken promises, but despite all that it's also about finding hope. To my disappointment, there wasn't many Karou and Akiva scenes, but it's completely understandable given the situation they're in. Beautifully written, and kept the reader hooked. I loved it! 



Me After Reading Days of Blood & Starlight:



When Akiva & Karou Are Fighting:


Me: NOW KISS!




3/5 
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, Chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?



MY THOUGHTS
Ok, so we have finally made it to the end of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and I think it's safe to say I was wholeheartedly impressed with the series. I think you can tell by my praises for this story, that I really enjoyed it.

A lot has happened in the last book, Thiago is dead, Ziri is trapped inside Thiago's body, Karou is leading an army with both Seraphs and Chimaera's, Hazael is dead, and a psycho seraph is threatening to take over Earth...

Me:



It's the last book and the last battle between Jael and Karou's army. The story starts off with an epic battle, and it immediately grabs your attention. Taylor gives you no time to catch your breath, as one event leaps to another. When all doesn't go as planned, Karou, Mik and Zuzanna, and Akiva all end up on the other side of the battle on Earth while their comrades fight for their lives. Karou is brought back to Earth where Jael is leaving a trail of disaster in his wake.

A lot had happened since the first book, and to my disappoint the last book is where I ran into some problems. I found while reading this series that Taylor writes very colourfully. She is very extravagant with her words, and I honestly I fell in love with it. However, writing in that kind style does have it's drawbacks. I noticed in the last two books she uses lots of beautiful words to create beautiful sentences, but sometimes those beautiful words make the sentence rather confusing. When I first picked the book up I was looking for an interesting fantasy world, and this book gave me that with the mythology and creatures. Being able to describe such a world is also important, but understanding is crucial when writing fantasy, crucial for all stories. I found myself pausing multiple of times, trying to re-read the last sentence and trying to put two and two together.
“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.” 
I had to a pause in the middle of this passage to try to figure out what she was trying to explain. It was just too much to comtemplate in a middle of a story.  

Another issue I ran into while reading this book, was that huge information dump. In the last two books, we were introduced to many things including the history, characters conflict etc. In this book, we are given even more information, and honestly it was too much for me to fully comprehend. I mean with the whole Eliza, Queen Scarab, Nightingale I can go on. Also in the last book, we find out that Issa is in fact not dead, and she explains what happened to Yasri and the others. They make plans to go find them and everyone after the battle. After finishing the book I was left thinking, "What happened to Yasri?" Another thing that was not quite clear was Akiva's magic. We are introduced to it in the first book, and it makes it's appearance several times throughout the series but I don't understand the fundamentals of his magic. On top of new characters, we are given this whole other thing about Akiva, and I just think it was too much for the last book in a series.

Despite a few issues, I did thoroughly enjoy the series. There are many good things to say about this series. This book is as brilliant as the ones before it, and honestly, the way Taylor writes is so enticing and intriguing. The ending was alright, I wish it were better but the ending is still good nonetheless. I did catch a hint of unsatisfaction towards the end but I think I can look past it. A job well done!




FINAL THOUGHTS ★ 4/5 
I really enjoyed the supernatural aspect to the story, with the angels and Chimaeras. I think I found the magic with the wishes the most interesting. I really like her flow in her writing it's very fluid and poetic almost. It's very easy to get lost in the world that Taylor created. The world Taylor creates as well as the history and mythology, it's very intriguing to dwell in. Not only was I gifted with lovable characters, but also an amazingly good storyline. The series might not be for everyone, for example, if you're not a fan of colourful writing this is not the book for you. Another thing, if you're also not a fan of the classic Romeo & Juliet feud kind of romance, then this is also not the book for you. Taylor, with her epic imagination, creates a story worth reading!! I definitely would recommend!!  



That's all for Day 04!! I hope you like my review! Comment below your opinions! Did you like the series? What was your rating? I'll see everyone on Day 05!!

xx

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