Christmas was good for me this year book-wise, and the first gift I picked up to read during the first days of January was Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I LOVE these books. Immediately upon reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I passed it on to all my reader friends. Laini Taylor's writing is gorgeous and evocative. She has created a unique mythology, layered characters, and a story that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
I won't say too much about Days of Blood and Starlight so as not to spoil it, but it's a seamless sequel. I'm not going to lie: there's not a lot of happiness or "good" in this second book -- but my husband is of the firm opinion that the job of the middle part of a trilogy is to present the case that all hope is lost (his classic example - Empire Strikes Back). The characters and plot continued to move forward, and we got to delve more into the world of the Seraphim and Chimaera. Karou, especially, went through a difficult transition in this book. At the end of the first book, she's faced with an epic betrayal by someone she loved fiercely and passionately. She has to come to grips with a whole bunch of conflicting emotions: grief and anger and the rememberance of love and hope all wrapped up in a package of guilt. I particularly enjoyed the character development of more of the secondary characters: Akiva's brother and sister, as well as some of the Chimaera. This book really explores the ideas of redemption, vengeance, atonement, consequences and how life isn't always black and white, especially in war. Like , Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight is a slow build to a pretty climactic ending and I can't wait to see how book 3 plays out.
Bottom line: why haven't you read these books?