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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)

All previous characters minus Brimstone and Isis (sorry to bring up old wounds guys)
Thiago- leader of the chimaera army and the Warlord's son
Ten- Karou's appointed revenant helper
Mik- Zuzana's boyfriend
Sveva and Sarazal- two deer like chimaera from the Dama chimaera tribe who have escaped slavery
Rath- a saber-toothed tiger chimaera who rescues the 2 Dama and take them to his village (the Caprine)
Ziri- another chimaera of Madrigal's species (the Kirin)who loved Madrigal when they were younger and is the last of their species
Jael- captain of the Dominion (the seraphim army) and Akiva's uncle
Joram- Jael's brother and the emperor of the angel/seraphim lands (Akiva's father)
Festival- Akiva's Stelian mother who Jael killed
Haxaya- one of Madrigal's old friends, and now Karou's

Stelian's- another race of Seraphim who want nothing to do with the war between chimaera and Seraphim. They live in the "Far Isles", although this place is never described in detail
Misbegotten- children of Joram, called misbegotten due to the fact they don't know who their mother is
Silverswords or Breakblades- huge seraphim chosen to guard the castle where Joram lives
Stelians- another race of seraphim who live in the "far isles". Joram and Jael want them to join the war but they won't. We find out Akiva's mother was Stelian

*take note:  when the battle happens where Akiva kills Joram, Jael admits that Festival is the one who gave him the scar on his face which disfigured him.  Akiva was taken from her when he was only 5 (bastard children of Joram are called the Misbegotten and are expected to go into training to be a soldier at that age since that is all they are bred for.  Joram never has anything to do with them; he even recycles their names once they die)

    This book begins almost exactly where we left off in the first one.  Karou has gone back to Eretz and has found the remaining chimaera which are still alive, including Thiago.  They come back through the portal into the human world and hole up in a kasbah far away from civilization and the seraphim who are still hunting for any other chimaera. She has begun working on resurrecting the fallen soldiers while the seraphim/chimaera battle rages on.  Thiago instructs her to make all new revenants faster, stronger, and with wings (their new hideout is in the human world; they need wings to get there) so that they can defeat the seraphim and protect the remaining chimaera, along with gaining revenge on the Seraphim and winning the war.  By doing so, they finally begin to not exactly defeat, but even the playing field with the seraphim.  It should also be noted that during the resurrection process, a blood tithe is required for resurrection, and Karou begins to grow weak as she does most of the tithing, even though others offer to pitch in, Thiago himself included.
      Meanwhile, Akiva has been looking for Karou after she took off, and eventually finds the cave she lived in as Madrigal when Madrigal was a young girl.  She is nowhere to be found, but he finds a thurible with her name on it (the lamp type thing containing souls) and assumes her dead.  Forlornly, he returns to his fellow seraphim.
     Karou has been going on missions in the human world to collect teeth for the resurrection process, and Thiago assigns a wolf chimaera named Ten to go with her and become her apprentice. Karou realizes it's to babysit her for fear she will take off instead of helping make revenants.  Thiago is trying to get on Karou's good side and makes advances on her but she doesn't want anything to do with him (she still remembers what happened to Madrigal), and so he treats her as a hostage even though she only wants to help the chimaera.
     Zuzana begins hearing about teeth going missing from museums, and she knows it must be Karou.  She's frantic with worry since Karou has disappeared until she receives an email from her.  It doesn't make any sense at first (Karou says she's not dead but the princess of a castle), but Zuzana knows it has to mean something so she begins researching castles and such to try to find Karou.  To be honest, I don't remember exactly how they figure it out, but they do, and they find Karou, who is upset they are there but also extremely happy to see her friends.
     Zuzana and Mik, although a bit wary, soon begin to get along with all the other chimaera and the chimaera love little Zuzana as well.
      Meanwhile, the war continues.  Akiva is a leader in the seraphim army along with Hazael and Liraz, but since he feels now that this war is pointless and should be stopped (due to his experience with Karou and her family), he slyly goes ahead of the rest of his army and scares chimaera off before the army arrives to kill them.
     It is a brutal war.  The seraphim take chimaera as slaves and also kill innocent chimaera who are not even soldiers, including women and children, and the chimaera and revenants return the favor by killing seraphim and leaving them where the other angels will see, with smiles cut into their faces.  The whole time Karou keeps making more and more revenants because Thiago tells her he is sending them to the Hintermost (another chimaera hideout in Eretz) to help protect the chimaera who have escaped the seraphim, when in reality he is sending them to attack innocent angel civilians.  So really, both sides are evil when it comes to the captains of the armies: Thiago on one side and Jael on the other.
       During these ruthless attacks, two chimaera slaves escape from the angels while their revenant brothers are fighting them.  These are Sveva and Sarazal (the fawns).  Sarazal is close to death due to an infection, and while they are resting another chimaera (Rath) comes along and saves their lives.  When Sarazal wakes up and sees the Dashnag she screams.  Akiva's army is in the area, but he pretends it's just a bird and leads them away. His brother Hazael is with him and agrees that yes, it was a bird, even though they can plainly see the chimaera from their place in the woods. (I don't know if this part is important, but I feel like it may come into play somewhere in the 3rd book since new characters were introduced at this time.)
     One of the leaders in the chimaera army is Ziri, who is the last of the Kirin (what Madrigal was).  He is a good hearted chimaera, and when the chimaera battalions are ordered to go attack helpless seraphim, his group disobeys Thiago and goes to the Hintermost to help protect the chimaera there since they know the Dominion are coming.  A bloody battle with a seraphim army ensues and everyone except Ziri dies since the chimaera soldiers are outnumbered by a long shot.  Akiva is there, and calls down birds to distract the seraphim while Ziri gets away (Jael is there and was about to torture Ziri to find out who the new resurrectionist was).
     Ziri returns to Karou, who begins his healing process as he is very badly injured, and he tells her of Akiva saving him. Akiva has followed Ziri back to the hideout and is shocked to see Karou still alive. Fearing for his safety from the chimaera, he waits until she is alone to go to her.  She is still viciously angry at him for what happend to Brimstone and the rest of the chimaera and demands he go away.  He does, but first gives her the thurible he found, which she hopes contains Brimstone's soul, but it turns out to be Issa.  She tells Karou she was saved when the attacks first happend to give Karou a message: that thousands of chimaera went underground at Loramendi to the cathedral when the attacks happened and the cathedral was sealed in what would hopefully be a giant thurible so their souls could be retrieved.
      Karou tells Thiago she no longer needs Ten's help since Issa is back, and although Thiago doesn't like it (he wanted Ten to learn everything Karou knows so that he could kill Karou), he allows Issa to help Karou with the resurrections. Thiago gets in one last jab however, by telling Karou if she doesn't do what he wants he will kill Zuzana and Mik.  Karou won't allow this so she helps them escape even though they want to stay with Karou and their new chimaera friends.  Karou also tells Thiago (in front of a lot of the other chimaera) of the underground thuribles and tells him instead of building up his army for his own revenge purposes, they need to go get their fellow chimaera and begin resurrecting them.  Thiago brushes her off, telling her he will think about it.
     Thiago, with his pride hurt for being confronted in front of his people, attacks Karou later on and attempts to rape her.  She kills him with a knife she has hidden, but knows that the other chimaera will only make her resurrect him so they have a leader.  Ziri finds Karou and offers to use his soul to inhabit Thiago's body so no one suspects anything.  Issa kills Ten when Ten attacks Karou (Haxaya takes over Ten's body so no one suspects anything).
      Meanwhile, Akiva has a meeting with Joram, the emporer, who has called him to his castle due to "heroic service to the realm".  Akiva is considered a great leader in the army, and although he has stopped several attacks on innocent chimaera, no one suspects anything.  Akiva has used a kind of glamour to hide his sword when entering the castle, and kills Joram after listening to what Joram wants, which is for Akiva to go to the Stelians and convince them to join the war since every other seraphim sent to the Far Isles has never returned. Hazael and Liraz are there with Akiva at this time. Jael knew Akiva would eventually attack his father though, and after Akiva kills Joram he shows up and declares himself the new emperor. Jael attacks Akiva, Hazael and Liraz, and kills Hazael, telling Akiva he is the one who killed Akiva's mother (Festival) and that the seraphim are going to Earth to kill the chimaera once and for all, since Razgut has told him this is where they are hiding and where the portal to go back to Earth is located. Razgut also tells Jael of the weapons humans have in their possession. Akiva screams, and although he doesn't understand how it happens (he just knows it's some type of magic since he has studied magic since he was small) the whole place collapses but Akiva and Liraz escape.
      Akiva tells Liraz to take Hazaels body to Karou to see if she can bring him back to life.  Karou sadly tells them that she can't do anything since the seraphim's soul wasn't put into a thurible.  Akiva tells her he is going to try to close the portal so Jael can't attack, but it's already too late, and Zuzana returns to tell Karou that the seraphim are coming.
      Akiva tells Thiago (now Ziri, as we know) that they can beat the Dominion if the chimaera and rebel angels band together (by now, there are enough rebel angels who were tired of killing innocent's that they have sided with Akiva and told him they stand by him if needed). Thiago, much to all the other chimaera's surprise, agrees.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou- main character
Zuzana- Karou's best friend
Kaz- Karou's ex boyfriend
Akiva- a seraphim/Karou's love interest
Madrigal- Karou's former self
Brimstone- Karou's mentor and father figure
Issa- a chimaera/ Karou's mother figure
Izil- a human with a fallen angel attached to his back (Razgut)
Liraz and Hazael- Akiva's brother and sister in angelhood
Chiro- Madrigal's sister

Wishes in order from smallest to largest: scuppy, shing, lucknow, gavriel, bruxis
Chimaera- picture them as a type of un-evil demon who is part human, part animal.  They are fighting a war with the angels
Revenant- a chimaera who has been resurrected
Hamsas- tattoos on the hands of chimaera who are revenants
Loramendi- one of the lands home to millions of chimaera
Eretz- home to the seraphim (angels) and chimaera

*take note:  nowhere really to put in the summary, but the reason Akiva gives Karou for the war between the seraphim/chimaera is that long ago the chimaera were used as slaves to the seraphim and the chimaera rose up under the leadership of the Warlord and Brimstone and took over the seraphim stronghold.  Since that time the war between the two has raged.

     Karou is a girl with bright blue hair (yes, it grows that way, she used a shing to get it, which is a wish implanted in a small bead: the bead disappears once you make a wish) who is trying very hard to be normal by living in Prague and hanging out with her best friend Zuzana, but we find out she lives with a chimaera named Brimstone who is her mentor and father figure.  He has Karou go through "portals" which come out all over the world to collect teeth from miscellaneous shady acquaintances.
     Karou doesn't know why Brimstone really wants these teeth, but he has jars and jars of different types; everything from animal to human.  We find out that these teeth are used to make Revenants from chimaera who have fallen on the battlefield during the war with the Seraphim.  The type of Revenant made depends on the teeth used (i.e, human and lion teeth would make either a human with lion features or a more animal-like lion with a few human aspects).
    During one of these runs for teeth, Karou encounters Izil and Razgut. Izil mentions during their conversation that Brimstone once bought baby teeth from him, which Karou thinks odd as he usually only uses teeth from grown beings. Razgut, being a former angel, sees Akiva stalking Karou and cries out to him as his "brother". Akiva then attacks Karou, thinking her a chimaera since he saw the hamsas (eye tattoos)on her hands.  Karou escapes and makes it back to the portal home.
     Brimstone and Issa leave the room where Karou is while they think she is sleeping, and Karou sees that the unknown door inside Brimstone's house has been left unlocked.  She enters and discovers another world.  This place has two moons, and while looking around Karou discovers bodies on tables which have the same hamsas on their hands but they look dead.  She soon realizes they aren't when one wakes up and tries to attack her.  Brimstone happens by and rescues her, but for coming into this forbidden world he banishes her from the portal to his home.
     Zuzanah keeps bugging Karou because, being her best friend, she knows something is wrong.  Karou needs someone to talk to about losing her family so she tells Zuzana everything. Zuzana is skeptical and is about to leave when Kishmish (a type of bird/bat/owl chimaera) flies into the room on fire and dies in Karou's arms.  Nothing is left except Brimstone's wishbone necklace.
    Karou tries to find out more information on how to get back to the chimaera's world and Brimstone since she knows something horrible has happened, so she tracks down Izil.  It turns out Izil leapt from a building to his death to escape Akiva (and his horrible life) but Razgut is still alive, and he tells Karou he will show her the portal he has been to which is in the sky and will lead her back to Eretz, but that she must take him with her.  She then uses her gavriel which she took from one of Brimstone's shady teeth trades so that she will now have the abillity of flight, and gives the second gavriel to Razgut so he may fly again and show her the portal.
     Akiva has been burning black handprints into any doors throughout the world that are believed to lead to chimaera portals.  When he goes back to Brimstone's former home he discovers Karou's sketchbook which has her human home address in it.  He decides to track her down. He is attracted to Karou for reasons unknown to him and wants to find out more about her, but is also debating killing her since he associates her with the enemy.
     Karou can tell she's being watched, so she leads Akiva down an alleyway and then confronts him and starts fighting.  Instead of fighting, he only tries to defend himself and tells her he just wants to talk. Karou decides not to kill him so that she can get information about herself since Brimstone would never talk about how she came to be with himself and Isis.
     Akiva sees Brimstone's wishbone hanging around Karou's neck and cries out that he knows who she is, and if she will break the wishbone she will find out.  About this time, Akiva's fellow Seraphim show up and are about to kill Karou, but Akiva tells her to run and battles his fellow angels.
     Karou and Akiva break the wishbone together and Karou is transported into a world of memories.  She sees Akiva on a battlefield and a chimaera with high-human characteristics; a human torso and head, fawn legs, and bat wings and horns.  This chimaera is carrying a type of lamp that collects the souls of the fallen chimaera to be returned to Brimstone to make Revenants out of.  The chimaera spots Akiva, and rather than killing him she takes pity and dresses his wounds as best she can.
     Akiva becomes obsessed with finding this chimaera, whose name is Madrigal.  He finds her and they fall in love and meet up periodically in a hidden place in the mountains where no one will see them, as love between Seraphim and chimaera are forbidden.  Madrigal's sister, who has always been jealous of her, follows Madrigal one day and when she sees her with Akiva she goes back to Thiago (the head of the army and a jealous chimaera who wants to wed Madrigal) and tells him of the tryst.
     He captures Madrigal when she comes back to the chimaera village and sentences her to death.  Brimstone is very fond of Madrigal though, and has taught her the way of making revenants.  He tells her to force her soul to enter Chiro upon her death while Chiro is blessing her body and he will rescue her.  She does, and then rescues Akiva while in Chiro's body from his prison cell.  Not realizing it is Madrigal, he knocks Chiro unconscious and escapes.
     There are no more memories from Madrigal, but upon coming back to the present, Karou realizes that she is Madrigal reincarnate and that's why she has the hamsas. Although Brimstone restored Madrigal's soul into this human body (hence the baby teeth), he kept her memories stored in the wishbone so that she would be innocent and seem like a human with no ties to Madrigal in case anyone ever found her.
     Karou is extremely happy to realize who she is, but she notices that Akiva looks devastated.  He now tells her that his efforts to end the seraphim/chimaera war were successful (marking all the doors for burning so that no more teeth could be collected to make revenants), and that Brimstone and the rest of her chimaera family in Loramendi have been killed by the Seraphim,
      Karou is very upset, but also loves Akiva at the same time, so instead of killing him she takes off to get Razgut and go through the portal back into her true home, the chimaera lands, and Loramendi.
                                                            END OF  BOOK ONE

New Summaries Up Today!

In honor of one of my favorite series releasing the finale of this amazing trilogy, I've decided to post the summaries to "Daughter of Smoke and Bone", and also "Days of Blood and Starlight" by Laini Taylor.  If you love anything relating to paranormal/demons/angels/love story/action/otherworldly/scifi-ish and you haven't read these books yet, GO GET THEM NOW!  I honestly had no idea I would enjoy them as much as I did, but they are so good that I put the release date for "Dreams of Gods and Monsters" (3rd and final book) in my calendar so I could get it the day it came out, which was (cue big WOO-HOO here) today!