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Adult, Review, Young Adult / March 27, 2015
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini TaylorDreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: April 2014
613 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
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By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

It was always going to be hard to end a series like this, whose first two instalments Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight, were so incredible I struggled to find words to describe how much. Worry not, as Laini Taylor did an exceptional job with Dreams of Gods and Monsters which has more incredibly written prose and a beautiful ending (although I’m still sad it had to end—I could read this series forever). read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / November 8, 2012
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: November 2012
517 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

SPOILER ALERT

One day, I descended into the tube station and heard a beautiful, clear whistling. It came from a busker—a tall blind man, who held his head high, and stood tall even with his walking stick. The sound was a sombre melancholy, but also full of hope. The emotion I felt when I heard it has stayed with me since, and describes exactly how I felt when reading this book. Through all its beautiful writing, Days of Blood and Starlight broke my heart into a million pieces, put it all together, and then broke it again. And I loved it. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / October 30, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: September 2011
418 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Fantasy
Buy the BookGoodreads

“Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.”

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

Once upon a time a blogger mysteriously received a book in the post. It ended really well.

That is a blanket thank you to the person at Hodder & Stroughton who sent me a copy of this book. I had bought it last autumn to read but in between moving houses it got stuck in a box, so this mysterious second copy gave me the motivation to start reading what I heard was the best YA book of last year. They weren’t wrong. read more

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By: Daphne