The time has come to finish of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor with my review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor.
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?
I thought that the sequel to this book was very anticlimactic and not very dramatic. Given that this series is set to the background of war, there seems to be very little fighting when the battles actually start. A lot of the time, we seem to be following characters who are conveniently away from the battlefield or are in some other way occupied. I felt as if I wasn’t sure if the characters were as skilled as they claimed to be, or if it was all talk, to make the characters feel more dangerous.
It will come to pass if we bring it to pass.
Not only were there few battle scenes, the one time we did see the two sides come together minimal (or possibly no) blood was shed. While I do understand the importance of highlighting the power of peace talks and negotiations, I did want something more to happen. After spend the previous book, watching as Karou painstakingly built up the Chimera army, to see that all of that pain was for nothing in the end, as the Seraphim Empire was dissolved without them even being present in the room.
People with destinies shouldn’t make plans.
I also felt that the character of Eliza Jones was a little wasted and contributed little to the story. While it was interesting to see the human take on the adventures of the world, she didn’t seem to contribute much. While she was able to share with the others what had happened centuries past, and the entire multiverse thing, Razgut could also have done that. While I understood her presence a lot more after reading the Strange the Dreamer series (reviews coming soon), I feel that I shouldn’t have needed to do that to make this character make sense. If this is to be a stand alone series, all of the characters should have a clear reason for their presence, and I feel like she did not.
A bad beginning may still be a beginning.
The other characters in this series continued to be excellent. I liked how new relationships were explored and the connections between the Chimera and Seraphim well well documented, with variates of success. The development of the Stelians made sense in this book, in a way that Eliza did not, as they had been mentioned previously. I feel like they added to the multiverse plot in a way that left Taylor free to explore other avenues further, as well as giving clearer answers to the mysteries and half-guesses in this series.
We will fight for our world to the last echoes of our souls.
Overall, I gave this book four stars.