Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor is, quite simply, brilliant.
I was a little worried at the beginning as my expectations were massive after Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and the writing seemed a little stilted, but that soon wore off, leaving me in the midst of a story that was majestic, harrowing and entrancing.
Daughter of Blood and Starlight is the middle book in a trilogy, so comes with all the problems that entails - it is neither introducing characters nor wrapping things up, and yet it races elegantly through a sweeping story that has elements of greek tragedy, romanesque-war-drama, romance and of course fantasy.
The premise: an angel and a demon fall in love, which rends the world (although not our world, at least in the first two books) apart, but has the hope of leading two warring peoples to peace, seems simple, but the plot is intricate and wondrous.
While Daughter of Smoke and Bone swept us from Prague to Morocco and back in time and worlds to the war torn world of the angels and demons, (which brought vividly to mind Matthew Arnold's poem, Dover Beach - O love let us be true, to one another, for the world which seems to lie before us... etc.. but I digress) Days of Blood and Starlight took place mostly in Morocco and the world of Demons and Angels. It was quite dark (possibly not for those with weak stomachs) and both lovers - the blue haired, human-formed demon Karou and the angel, Akiva, suffered grievious loses and battled impossible odds, but hope and unquenchable love sang through.
I read Days of Blood and Starlight on my ipad in the small hours of the morning and great was the gnashing of teeth when my ipad ran out of charge three chapters from the end. (The pain, the pain!) I have seen it written the book is over 500 pages - the fact I gulped it down pretty much in one sitting - I would have read till the end if not for the bleeping bleep lack of charge and it seemed short, speaks volumes for how gripping it was.
I read it first for the story - I intend to reread it for the language and to pick up all the detail I missed as I raced to see what happened. And because I want to spend more time with the characters. I miss them already. The wait till the final novel of the trilogy seems too long. Of course, it would seem too long if it were to be released tomorrow - I need it now.
I am fairly sure Daughter of Smoke and Bone is soon to be made into a movie, in which case it will definitely be my cinema-movie of the year. Unless it comes out next year in which case I will watch two movies at the cinema next year - as I think The Hobbit might also deserve the big screen. (I know, it shocks me too! Two movies at the cinema in one year. Let me sit so it doesn't go to my head!)
I can already see the events of the story so clearly in my head - the writing is so rich and vivid and alive, that it will be strange seeing someone else's imaginings of it... but I am so looking forward to spending more time in that world with those characters.
In conclusion, think of all the positive adjectives you can think of - stupendous, engrossing, beautiful, lyrical, romantic, thrilling, action-packed, fantabulous, and fling them at Days of Blood and Starlight and basically, that's pretty much my review.
I know this is a ramble, but I loved it that much.