Days of Blood & Starlight
by Laini Taylor
From my review:
As dark and epic as Days of Blood & Starlight was, I found it surprisingly funny. I especially loved the Monty Python references. While Daughter of Smoke & Bone was more of a love story, this sequel was more a story about war. The author does an excellent job of showing how pointless war is.
I thought I would lose interest in this book since the romance wasn’t as prominent, but I care so much about the unique and interesting characters that I couldn’t put this one down. This is one of those books where I did nothing all day but read and my house was a complete mess by the time I was done… Read more
There are lots of great new places in Days of Blood & Starlight, but if you want to see more character fan art then check out my Google Diary post for Daughter of Smoke & Bone.
Old Town Prague
They managed to find a wedge of unclaimed space on the Old Town end of the bridge, where they parked the marionette.
– Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight pp. 96-97
The kasbah was a castle built of earth, one of the hundreds that studded these southern reaches of Morocco, where they had baked in the sun for centuries. Once, they had been home to warrior clans and all their retinue. They were primeval fortresses, proud and red and tall, with crenellations like the hooked teeth of vipers, and arcane Berber patterns etched on the high, smooth walls.
– Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight pp. 98-99
Aït Benhaddou was the most famous kasbah in Morocco … It had been restored by World Heritage funds and movie money— Russell Crowe had “gladiated” here—
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight pp. 493-494
A lot of other movies were filmed here, too.
Above and behind it, slopes scraped north, where the teeth of the Atlas Mountains bit off the sky.
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 100
“Here” was Ouarzazate, the biggest city in southern Morocco. It looked like a film set for The Mummy or something, which it probably was…
– Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight pp. 453-454
Not dead yet. (“ Don’t want to go on the cart!”)
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 41
I laughed out loud at the Monty Python reference. I watched that movie waaay too much as a kid. And I can’t lie – I was a little proud of myself for figuring it out about 50 pages before it’s explained in the book. :)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail: She and Karou had gone through a phase when they were fifteen, they must have watched it twenty times. And there it was, at the end of the “Bring out your dead” scene.
– Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 97
Japheth – The Whiny Prince
He was no paragon; he was a soft skulkling, afraid to leave the Tower of Conquest even under full escort. He was a coward…
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 359
Since I had Monty Python on my mind, the description of Japheth totally reminded me of the whiny prince from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
“Rock the Casbah”
This had to be right. She got that dorky song “Rock the Casbah” stuck in her head …
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 138
And now thanks to YouTube and bad 80’s music videos, it can get stuck in your head too. You’re welcome :)
The sphinxes stretched out delicate cat feet to land, small tufts of dust eddying around them.
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 175
The sphinxes aren’t really described in much detail in the book, but since they are referred to as assassins (another name for them is “Shadows That Live”), I imagined them to look something like the picture above – dark and intimidating.
His legs were human tapering to antelope, View Spoiler »as her own had once been, « Hide Spoiler and, coupled with his vast bat wings, gave him the same buoyant gait all the Kirin had possessed— a lightness as if the earth underfoot were incidental and he might at any instant go airborne and rise leagues above it all.
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight pp. 117-118
The quote above describes one of the last Kirin, which was a race of the chimera. This scene is actually from the first book but I love the portrayal of the Kirin race in this fan art.
Karou is Human
“What a queer plain thing you are,” Ten had observed today, with an up-and-down look that took in Karou’s tailless, clawless, hoofless, and otherwise less self.
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 140
It’s mentioned a few times in the book how strange it is that Karou is completely human. And I agree. Since I love making up theories, I wanted to talk about why Brimstone made that distinct and intriguing choice for her.
I think Brimstone made Karou human on purpose. But why did her want a human CHILD? He could have easily made her a human adult. Do you think that Brimstone wanted to leave her in the human world where she could live in peace and not get tied up in the epic war any more? Or did he have another reason in mind? I wonder if he wanted her to learn something from humans that might help them end the war. The human world is full of battles too, but humans, for the most part, live in relative peace after large wars break out. What do you think?
They looked over at him, surprised. He had been doing a kata, seeking sirithar, trying to find a place of calm wherein an answer might come to him.
-Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight p. 359
The way magic is set up in the book says that magic is not free and pain is the price. But the idea of sirithar is brought up in this book and I think it implies that there is a stronger magic than pain that the ancients used to know but has been lost because of the countless and constant war. Sirithar sounds like a Jedi-like state of peace and defense. Does better magic come from protecting those you love? I think it does and I can’t wait to find out if I’m right in the next book!