I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favorite books of all time. Karou and Akiva and separated after the he murdered the chimera who raised her. She takes on Brimstone’s role as resurrectionist for the chimera army since his death. She is hiding away in a Kasbah where she spends her days and nights stringing teeth and building new and terrifying bodies to battle the seraphs as they hunt down the tribes in Eretz. She chooses this location because the Kasbah is near a portal that takes the chimera between worlds. Karou constantly second guesses herself for bringing the chimera to hide in the human world. She relives memories of her chimera life as Madrigal, the part gazelle part human creature. Things become more complicated when her well meaning friends from Prague track her down after a cryptic email. We learn a lot more about the seraphs and their terrifying empire. Akiva has special powers that could help him win the war. Akiva and his siblings are the bastard children of the frightening emperor, Jerom. Their lives are worth little for the angels they are fighting for.
The language and descriptive writing is just a beautiful as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. My favorite moment is when she resurrects one of the chimera who raised her. That was a particularly beautiful moment. There is a power shift after this happens. I love the way she deals with the white wolf in the end. The struggle between Karou’s feelings for Akiva and her hatred for what he has done is an interesting struggle. My only criticism is that I wish Taylor would remind us of some of the events that took place in the first book. It has been a while since I read it and felt lost a few times. This has been an issue with several YA series I’ve read recently. The end is very interesting and I can’t wait for the third book!
Some ideas for discussion with teens:
Talk about Karou taking on her new role.
Discuss Karou’s decision to bring chimera into the human world.
Discuss the terrifying new bodies she is building for the army.
Talk about her relationship with the white wolf.
If you were a chimera what would you want to look like?
Discuss the part where Karou brings back a loved one from the past.
Discuss who you would bring back if you could.
Talk about how her relationship changed with Akiva near the end. What do you think will happen next for them?