Remember those days of traipsing through the wild streets of Prague, of chucking infuriating ex-boyfriends through glass doors? When the worst thing that could happen was a fallen angel getting a taste of you? When you hung your coats on the fingertips of Marcus Aurelius and enjoyed a bowl of goulash with masked emperors and horses, talking about nothing more remarkable than the pending Apocalypse and contemplating on your chemistry teacher’s nose hair? When the most interesting part of your day was sneaking illegal ivory teeth onto a subway and delivering it to the Shop of Teeth in Elsewhere, and occasionally fending off hot killer seraphim? All day seeking to fill the emptiness in ourselves and wanting some plain E= mc2 answers. Oh, how I miss those days!
Well, those days are gone. And gone for good. Now what we do is bruise and bust ourselves to do a little magic, wander in the ashes of Loramendi, resurrect chimaera who would like nothing better than to gut you, provide for a people that knife you the second you turn your back, atone for your sins by saving the few lives that you can which would never surmount to your sins, travel across the worlds in pursuit of a glimpse of a sliver of a broken fragment of hope. And the best one yet: Reflecting on one fundamental question of our lives
What makes an enemy?
Days of Blood and Starlight is a physical manifestation of Elpis itself. Oh, oh which isn’t to say this book doesn’t have its share of death and filth and war and blood. Actually, it has more than its fair share. It is a brutal and bleak novel with hope only at the periphery, like a dream escaping from the claws of our minds when we wake up in the morning. The only reprieve comes in the form of Zuzana and Mik and all their frivolities. It is brimming with devastation. But then Laini Taylor drops these tiny, little bombs of hope like this BOOM! Ziri, BOOM! Issa, BOOM! Liraz and Hazael, BOOM! the Stelians( well not exactly, but I have a feeling they’ll be there to help us out in the next volume), and of course BOOM! Zuzana and Mik. Not necessarily in that order.
Moving on, this book delves deep into the world of Eretz, and beyond. We are introduced to so many new characters and stories and so many new tiny details that make up a world. We are taken on a journey through the world of the Joram’s harem and his bastrads. We are introduced once again to an even more vicious Thiago. We see the world through the words of a tribal child slave/refugee. We live and then die vicariously through a guard of the Emperor, without ever knowing our mistake. It deals with the repercussions when a never-ending war is finally won and the impact on both the sides.
When both sides start butchering children, it’s safe to say that life has lost.
We’ve come so far from the fairy-topia Prague to the decrepit ruins of Eretz, but Laini Taylor‘s writing is beautiful as ever. She spins her words like a weaver spins silk to create the best of the bestest books.
There are so many developments in this book, regarding both the characters and the plot. All these characters: Liraz, Ziri, Akiva, Zuzana, Karou. I could read a whole series of the misadventures of Zuzana and Mik. I could devour a whole book of only Liraz. And Akiva: he ain’t just the love interest, mi amigos; he is a man looking for redemption, searching for hope, and living in a nightmare of his own creation. And boy am in love with this man! And let’s not forget the author herself. I’ve a crazy girl-crush on her. I’ve still got a horrible case of Papilio Stomachus.
Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next installment seeing how this one leaves us on the eve of a war to kill all the other wars the human world has witnessed.