"Life is your master, or death is."
You know, it's not fair to constantly have Laini Taylor blow my mind like that. Ever since I read the first book in this series, I fell under the charm of her words. She's made it to one of my favorite authors in less than a month, and now I'm an avid
I knew from the very beggining that I would love this book more than it's predecessor. Every review I read mentioned that this was more focused on war between the chimaera and seraphim than on the romance element. Luckily, that is right up my ally. I'd say liking the second book in this series depends on your personal taste, but here is one thing I know, it won't disappoint you. If it was Laini's writing that had you fangirling in the first book, it's still as beautiful and eloquent in this one. If it was the world building, then dare I say, this book is a step up from the last one when it comes to world building. You get to know more about the history of the seraphim empire, which was partially left out in the first one, since Karou was the main focus.
Let me just say that this book was more ... everything.
More Hazael and Liraz, whom I honestly could not tell apart in the first book, but they now have become two of my favourite secondary characters. (Escpecially Liraz)
More war, blood shed, and general ass kicking from both sides of the war. This book leaves you in confusion about whose side are you on.
More Thiago... unfortunately.
More characters introduced in this book.
More plot twists that make your brain go mush.
....and less Karou/Akiva
It's no big surprise here that this is a dark, dark book. The romance element takes a back seat this time around, but it's made up for with the ongoing war. Both sides are miserable, and there's so much death, and blood in this book that by comparison, Smoke and Bone is a ray of sunshine and fluffiness. Karou has lost everything she held dear, and in top of that finds herself in the middle of a gruesome war; my heart just went out for her.
While I loved this book, I must admit that the beginning was slow and somewhat stretched out. For the first two hundred pages, the book continuously slows and and then picks right up. Granted, this is a big book, and so the pacing might fall off somewhere in there.
You remember that quote at the beginning of my review? It exactly sums up this book. If someone burns your family, slaughters your children, reduces your entire city to ashes, does it mean you're entitled to do the same? Is more war the answer? You know how they say an eye for an eye will leave the world blind? Well what do you do if your people would gladly give up their lives to see the enemy blind? How do you convince them other wise? How do you convince them that peace is the only answer?
Another thing, I have a soft spot for authors who do their research. A significant part of this book is set in Marrakesh, and there are little details of the middle eastern culture thrown here and there that draw a smile on my face while reading them. It might not be significant for people who don't necessarily understand the references but for me, it matters. You can tell Laini knows what she's talking about. This isn't a foreigner writing about a country they've never been to (or maybe she has been. Idk) this is a native, who knows all the little tiny details of the culture.
- Seven Devils by Florence and the Machine.
- Blinding by Florence and the Machine.
- Glass by Bat For Lashes
- The Rains of Castamere (Instrumental)
- Breath of Life by Florence and the Machine.