Hi everyone, I'm a 23 year old fangirl from le Canada. I'm just transferring from GR and I blog reviews on incompletetales.tumblr.com. I enjoy vast genres and am indeed a Hufflepuff, so don't be afraid to say hello :)
Before I get started, I just want to say that this series isn’t just for supernatural genre lovers. I feel like this can be a great read for people who don’t read much fantasy as it’s fast paced and just enough of an in-depth world to not confuse readers. I’d definitely recommend giving the first book a read, and not judge the love aspect from the get go. Trust me, it gets better.
To begin, I think Laini Taylor is automatically considered a phenomenal writer in my opinion, up there with Maggie Stiefvater. I was hoping Daughter of Smoke and Bone wasn’t a one time miracle writing debut, but her amazing and imaginative word plays carry over into this second book as well!
As you read this book, you’ll see all the special powers given to our main characters and while they arrive only a mili-second too late, the characters deal with their newfound abilities very maturely. I still think the greatest power has been given to Karou, and it becomes even better and stronger in this sequel.
There is something the reader needs to know before you start off with this book, it's so much better than the first! The only problem I HAD with the first book was that the love was more lust-y than real, and the author addresses that, fantastically. There is NO abandoning of your people or sacrificing your powers to get true love, thank goodness *ahem shadow and bone series*! My love for Zuzanna and Mik grew and I squealed more over them than any other characters. Mik also grew into his own and their loyalty and total honesty with Karou was refreshing from secondary characters.
“You have only to begin, Lir. Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.”
Oh if only someone had told Thiago that, but I doubt he’d believe any of that anyway. The Thiago vs Madrigal clash got worse in this book, and by worse, I mean it got more terrifying. You can really feel the wolf-beast inside Thiago, the way he acts so malicious but in such a quick and painful way. Unfortunately, Karou ignored all the signs against Thiago and paid a pretty dear price near the end.
I really liked how this book didn’t push at the ‘forbidden romance’ and I felt that Akiva had a pretty great development in this book. In the beginning I very much disliked him for doing what he did to Karou’s world. But by the end, you can no doubt see that he very much deserves a second chance, not to just make amends with Karou but the whole chimera civilization. Their meeting is very chilling and Laini Taylor makes it as raw as can be between a world on the brink of war.
I also enjoyed how the story focuses on Akiva’s own abilities, and not just his redemption for Karou. You can see his leadership qualities and why he’s considered Beast’s Bane among the Misbegotten. The assassination plot within the angel world was drenched in political drama and you can see the corrupt ruling on both sides of the battle. So many good sub-plots to talk about!
Nevertheless, the book does contain its fair share of supernatural aspects, but it’s something you start to understand easily as you finish the book. The book did feel very hopeless, but then that’s the whole point of the story and there IS hope, and you really feel that at every pinnacle climaxes of the story.
Overall, beautiful writing and a very creative storyline gives, I believe, the first and only 5/5 star of the year.