The Scruffy Rube’s #CBR5 Review #23: Days of Blood and Starlight

It’s time for some turbo-charged book reviews, complete with recommendations for those who care for them. They’ll be up here day by day, or if you want to gorge yourself check out my separate blog

For those who love being into things before they’re mainstream: Days of Blood and Starlight

Granted, at least four other writers at the Cannonball Read program (which has been pushing me through more and more reading each of the last three years) have already suggested this, and I’m guessing that many readers have read it. But, while this on-line community of hard core readers has heard about it, other social groups I love to talk about reading with (Goodreads/Chapter and Verse/my students) seem to be utterly in the dark about this series.

I have a feeling that will change soon. And not just because Universal is at work preparing it for a movie, and not just because the cavernous hole of transferring the author’s work into a film version, but simply because in literature, as in all things, quality will out. And the second book of Laini Taylor’s series more than affirms her commitment to quality.

Last year I gushed over how a supernatural novel (with a healthy dollop of romance) managed to perfectly capture the tone of a jet-setting espionage thriller. Now, I’m even more impressed at how Taylor’s invented world of angels and demons serves to guide us through the serious moral ambiguities and serious badassery of a war novel. Conflicted soldiers, renegade assassins, mastermind stratagems, incomprehensible cruelty and a virtuous core all make for a great read. This is what great writing (not great fantasy writing, not great young adult writing…great writing) is all about.


I’m glad I found Laini Taylor’s work, and so help me, I’ll restrain my most hipster impulses…or at least…try to.