Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Published by Little Brown Books For Young Readers on April 8th, 2014
Genres: fantasy, young adult
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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 can’t believe this era is at an end.
For such a rough beginning (I wasn’t a huge fan of Daughter of Smoke and Bone), this trilogy turned out to become one of my favorite YA series. Before I review the last book, I’ll point out that book 1 pushed me away from the series for a while. I read the second book some time after it was published, and it quickly drew me back in. The last book rivals Days of Blood and Starlight as my favorite Laini Taylor book.
I was happy with the progression of the storyline, and the development of the characters I have grown to love over a three year period. There was only a handful of complications, but story-wise, Laini’s conclusion was solid and nothing less than artistic.
– I have to, once again, pause and marvel at Taylor’s writing. The action and the poetry blend perfectly in all of her stories. However, the DoSaB books displays how far Taylor has come as a writer and as an artist. Her imagination always results in some of the most beautiful tales I have ever read. I can’t even place her inside a category with other authors, because her gothic/Victorian/steam punk/spiritual hybrid of world building has no other peers. Expect nothing less when it comes to Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
– The characters the book made some epic and world-shaking development. After the finish of the story, a number of the players in the book made my “most favorite characters” list. Honestly, Liraz has now landed number one on the female side. I always give a whole bundle of respect to a book with a high regard on character development and care. As always, this novel is a Shakespearean stage of old and new individuals weaving in and out. We watch the characters evolve and grow, shifting into legends. The mythology of the world strengthens and becomes alive and pivotal for the multiple plots weaving in and out of the entire arc. Even the terminology plays a whole new level of epicness.
– Speaking of multiple plots, I love how various schemes knit together for the entire arc of all three novels. Ranging from small to legendary, everything comes together at the end of the book. The ending was such a bittersweet blend of heartache and aspiration for a better world. I am deeply sorry to see this come to a close, since the storyline held so much promise for more stories.
– I can’t openly discuss it here because of some major spoilers, but DAMN, plot twists! Surprises and shocks became a main ingredient in the book. There were times I had to put the book down because of some strong emotions and sentiment concerning the developing stories. Disappointment wasn’t something I would use to describe the final book here. As for something a bit sweeter, OH MY GODS, the romance! Not Akiva and Karou, but the other romance. Best.Coupling.Ever.
– Water canteen.
– The conclusion. I never expect absolute sunshine and roses from Taylor, and she does not fail to deliver her heart-wrenching end to her series. However, it isn’t without a certain sugary and compassionate touch of perfection.
– The cover! Sweet!
What Didn’t Work
– I was slightly irritated that some of the consequences of the events were never really explains or showed. I can’t image anything less than utter fallout of human civilization happening after this book, but I suppose we’ll never know.
– Akiva and Karou. Oy. I do love them as separate people, but together, their romance just makes me feel, overall, uncomfortable! To me, Karou is more defined by her relationship with Akiva than her own merits. In Days of Blood and Starlight, she actually evolved quite a bit, and I feel that I knew her and that she developed a stronger personality. In the last book, there was some regression in her, and it was back to the whole “I’m Akiva’s!” routine.
Stunning, powerful, lovely, and heart-breaking, you’re going to have a book hangover after this one. At the end of it all, this book loved to hurt me, and I enjoyed letting it take my emotions for a joy ride. Standing ovation for Laini and her wonderful writing, her work, and her piece of imagination. Huge applause for some very remarkable characters, and a huge hooray for a stunning and break-taking romance.