Friday, 28 March 2014

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.



Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Published 2012 by Little, Brown Books
Source: a gift from Maggie
Rating: 5 stars

From the blurb: Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what 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?

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?

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor is the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and what a sequel it is. It doesn’t suffer from typical middle book syndrome as there is so much progression both in the story and the characters.

The story picks up right after the events of the previous book. Karou has travelled to Eretz but is now based in Morocco with the chimaera, including Thiago. I forgot to mention in my review of DoSAB that I was thrilled there was no love triangle and that continues in this book. It would have been so easy for Taylor to allow one to develop, but it didn’t and that is so impressive to me.

Karou’s growth throughout this book is so painful yet realistic. She feels so much guilt over what has occurred and her pain was understandable. But, with the help of her friends she is able to start seeing things in a different light.

Speaking of her friends, Zuzana is an amazing character. In this story she and Mik take on main character status, first as they continue to live in Prague and wonder what has become of Karou, and secondly when they find their way to her. Their relationship is so, so sweet, and Zuzana in particular flies off the page, her personality is so strong and I find her hilarious. It’s great to see a story where the friends of a paranormal creature aren’t relegated to the side lines with no knowledge of what their friend is dealing with.

Again the story is clever and so detailed, how Taylor came up with this world I do not know, I only know that it feels absolutely real. There is death, heartbreak, and brutality, but there is also love, friendship, and most of all, hope.

If you loved DoSaB but have not read this, please do! If you are yet to start this series, now is the perfect time – part of me regrets not reading these books sooner, but with book three due out soon, I’m happy I waited until now to experience this series.


Normally with a series I tend to prefer one set of covers over the other, but I like both sets when it comes to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, though so far mine do not match. I own the UK paperback of the first book but I was lucky to receive a gorgeous signed hardback of DoBaS.


I started with a coat of China Glaze White Out. On every nail excluding my middle nail, I painted Orly Liquid Vinyl onto the lower half. 


I sponged grey acrylic paint onto the white areas of each nail. Once dry I sponged on SpaRitual Hunk of Burnin' Love.

Once dry I used a fine brush and acrylic paint to do the scalloped lines and the eye.


I wanted to give up on this manicure at every stage, first it took me a while to come up with a design, then I didn't like how it was looking, but I really hate to waste time so I just kept going. I don't love the finished result, it doesn't really look like the cover, but it's growing on me!


42 comments:

  1. These are so edgy and dark!

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  2. I haven't read the first book yet, but those nails are freaking awesome. You are so talented!

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    1. Thanks, Nat! And I hope you read this series soon!

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  3. I'm doing a binge of this series when the third releases - so excited!
    And WOW - your nails are gorgeous. You are seriously so talented. I wish you could do my nails for the UK basketball game tomorrow. =)

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    1. Thanks, Danielle! Do you have a blog or a link to follow back?

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  4. Gosh, this was just PERFECT wasn't it? It was full of so much raw emotion and those PLOT TWISTS! Aaah, never saw those coming! I also LOVE your nails, Mandee - I have no idea how you managed to squeeze so much detail in, but they're gorgeous! Wonderful review and beautiful nails, dearest! :)

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    1. It really, really was perfect! And thank you so much!

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  5. I waaaant to read these. I THOUGHT I borrowed Daughter of Smoke and Bone from the library, but I actually got Shadow & Bone (my brain isn't confused at all). Which was awkward. I still loved it, but I'm super keen to try some Laini Taylor. I've heard her world building is all kinds of awesome. And a sequel that lives up to the first? That's always incredibly awesome. Gah, though, all that detail in your nails! How long do you leave them on for before you do it for a new book??

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    1. I usually leave a mani on for a day or two but once it starts to chip (which is usually quite soon), I remove it!

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  6. You'll have to forgive me - I won't read your review now because I plan to start this series really soon and I am so freaking excited.
    But your manicure - perfect! I'll have to try something like that.

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    1. Thank you! And, I hope you LOVE these books!

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  7. This is my first time visiting your blog I think and I LOVE your manicures inspired by the book covers! That is just fantastic! I will admit I skimmed your review of this book though because I haven't read it and I don't want to be spoiled! I LOVED the first book SO MUCH that I am actually sad I haven't gotten my hands on this one yet! It seems like you liked it and I am so glad that this series isn't going to go down hill after book one because I hate when that happens! Love your blog!

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    1. Thank you so much, Shannon! Now you can get book 2 & 3 and read them one after the other :)

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  8. fabulous as always ! love your work , dear !

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  9. Eeeek, absolutely thrilled you enjoyed this one as much as I did :D You're right: it steers clear of the dreaded sequel slump by not simply living up to it's predecessor but surpassing it! The world building is exquisite and the characters leap off the page! If you love Zuzana, I hope you'll check out the novella Night of Cake & Puppets since she's front and center so there's more of her to love LOL Lovely review and gorgeous mani as always ♥

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  10. Gosh another spectacular nail job! I adore this series and I am on pins and needles waiting for the third book. You are right about Zusanna and MIk, I love their romance and I thought it added a bright spot to all the dark in this one. Laini lives right here in Portland, and I plan on going to see her again and getting my book signed :)

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    1. Yay for getting to see Laini and have your book signed!

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  11. I think your nails are great!! It looks a lot like the cover to me. Very cool. I didn't read all of your review because I haven't read the first book yet, but I do want too.

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  12. I can't read the review because I have yet to start this series. But I wanted to comment on the nails - they are amazing!!!!

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    1. Thanks! And I hope you get to reading this series v.soon!

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  13. I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, but I'm definitely the odd ball because everyone else seems to love this series! The manicure looks beautiful and matches perfectly, Mandee! Wonderful review and manicure! :)

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    1. Haha, you're not alone and unforch we can't all like every book!

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  14. First off, madly in love with your nails! <3

    I 5-starred this one, too. I really liked how Taylor weaved the story about Karou and the angels, of Akiva. It was devastating when something happened to her figure, but I am very much hopeful for book 3! Brilliant review :)

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  15. I love your manicure!! Sadly, this isn't really my kind of book. I had a copy of the first in the series but I gave it away after trying to read it twice without much success.

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    1. That's ok, Alex, it's a shame but not every book will be your cup of tea!

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  16. Everytime I visit your blog, Mands I'm torn between reading your review and staring starry-eyed at your manicures!

    I ADORED DoSaB so I'm very excited to read but so many series to read and so lil time so :((
    I'm glad to hear that Days of Blood and Starlight doesn't suffer the 2nd book syndrome.

    Love the detail on the eye, thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Aw, you're so sweet, Nuzaifa! Thank you :)

      Enjoy reading books 2 & 3!

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  17. THOSE NAILS. I'm glad you didn't give up!! They're gorgeous!

    I've still yet to read this one! I really enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but for whatever reason haven't picked this up. I imagine I'll do so soon, though, with the third coming out. I'm especially excited to hear about Zuzana! I remember really liking her in the first book. :) Great review!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Rach!

      Well now you get the pleasure of reading books 2 & 3 back-to-back!

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  18. I agree, about Zuzana and Mik, I liked that they took center stage, they're such interesting characters, ya know? Total scene stealers too!

    Also, your nails look fabulous!

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  19. I love detailed and realistic story's!
    This book sounds soo exiting, the manicure looks also beautiful :)

    Xx julia

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  20. I'm so pleased to see you enjoyed this one Mandee! I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I still need to grab a copy of this. It's nice to hear that it doesn't suffer from middle book syndrome & there is no love triangle {phew}.

    A fabulous review & I love your nails! they are so wonderfully detailed.

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  21. OMG how amazing are your nails! Love silver black and red together and the hamsa is so cool. I'm going to follow your lead and read book two and three back to back. Glad to hear you loved this one as much as the first book. Excited!

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Hi, hi, hi!
Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.
My priority is to return comments on YOUR blogs because I know how much a comment can make someone's day!
If I have time I will also try to comment back on my blog.
Mands xox