Content Warnings: Depression, Attempted Sexual Assualt, Violence, War, Blood, Manipulation, Trauma, Death
In this installment, that dreamy romance we witnessed in Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been ripped away and replaced with the true reality of war. It is a bit slower than the first, but the first was more set up for this book here. This is the meat of the overarching plot.
- A map!
- Strong character development and world-building
- Heart-wrenching plot
- Multiple POVs
- Starts much later than book 1 ended
- A bit slower in plot/stationary location
- Hard to imagine some of the chimera concoctions
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The plot. THE PLOT! Where do I begin? It was so thought out and meticulously planned. The twists and turns this book takes will make you choke (in a good way) on emotions. Your heartstrings will be played and your mind will be blown, but it’s a beautiful ride.
We also got different POVs in this book! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where I enjoyed every POV, until now. They were expertly placed throughout the novel that you were able to make connections between the story and characters.
Taylor really shows you an unbiased point-of-view about war. There are morally gray areas on both sides and both sides are negatively affected, so you kind of feel for everyone.
The whole plot twist was Ziri was *chef’s kiss* Absolutely cunning and brilliant. I felt so bad for Ziri the whole time, but he made a sacrifice to save his people. One he should be admired and acknowledged for in the books.
The emotions and strained relationships at happened in this book were so well developed and executed. For example, with Karou and Thiago, you can clearly see they hate each other and that Thiago is manipulating Karou. However, there’s a mutual understanding that they need each other to bring back the chimera, so they’re forced to work together.
And let’s face it. Thiago is a toxic ex we all had and cheered when he was killed and got what was coming for him.
Zuzanna is a breath of fresh air, but not in an annoying way. She’s funny and witty when it calls for it, and a total badass of a friend/girlfriend the rest of the time. And Mik, dear gods he’s precious and such an amazing guy for sticking through all of this craziness. A real trooper that needs a standing ovation.
Liraz and Hazael were not the villains I thought they would be. They were supportive friends of Akiva and wanted what was best for him. They have easily become some of my favorite characters in this book. And my heart was utterly destroyed when Hazael was killed. But the impact it had on Akiva and Liraz throughout the rest of the book (and into the third) was masterfully done.
And my poor Ziri! He got the raw end of the deal. He deserves so much more than facading as Thiago. But he killed it. He took that role on like a champ and didn’t back down.
Even though this book was slower, it was still as powerful as the first, if not, more so. This book took it to a whole new level of world-building, character development and relationships, and a more urgent and painful plot. Be prepared to cry, cheer, laugh, and experience everything in between, because Laini Taylor does NOT hold back; and I love her all the more for it.
What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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