Every so often, a book comes along that is so imaginative, so beautiful, so absolutely brilliant that it absolutely breaks my heart that I didn’t write it.
This past year, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone was that book for me. And with this one, not only did I wish I’d written this book, I genuinely wanted to be the main character.
Karou goes to art school in Prague. She can learn a new language just by wishing it. She knows martial arts and has a sarcastic-hilarious best friend named Zuzana and has blue hair. She carries a knife in her boot. And she collects teeth.
Simply put, this girl is weird and fascinating and uniquely herself--the kind of person I would write myself into being if I could. And I just wanted to walk through the pages of the story and be her. Naturally, I devoured Daughter of Smoke and Bone in a few days—I have zero self-control when it comes to books I love; kind of like mint-chocolate-chip ice cream in the fridge—and when the sequel came out, I just about SQUEEEE’d with delight.
In Days of Blood and Starlight, Karou is, of course, more than herself. She’s also remembered a past life—and her loyalties and duties from that life come forward to imprison her, in a sense, in the present. I’ve read reviews that say Karou is darker, more depressed, and has less of a spark in this book, and that’s a downfall—but I say it has to be this way.
Laini Taylor’s lyrical, lovely writing style is completely present in this book—every word was deliciously haunting. As for what I’m drinking when I read this: cider. Not Applejack or Strongbow or anything else mass-produced, but cider from a local press somewhere in Normandy, where they take their cider as seriously as they take their wine. It’s light, it’s effervescent, but sometimes it has hidden depths. And it always surprises you.