Death souls dream only off death. [...] Small dreams for small men; it is life that expands to fill worlds, life is your master or death is
Why I read this book?
This is the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, a book I really enjoyed last year. Thanks to a gift from Audible I was able to get this one right before finishing the first and continue the story of Karou and Akiva
What's the book about?
The book takes place mostly in Eretz, the world of the Chimaera and the Seraphim. After Karou has learnt that her family is dead she goes back here to find and join the rebel army and helps them in the only way she knows: taking Brimstone's place. On the other side of the story we have Akiva, trying to deal with guilt and emptiness while trying to explain his new point of view to his brother and sister.
The first thing I have to say is Oh boy do I like Khristine Hvam as a narrator!.I have no problem whatsoever following the story and her different characters voices are spot on.
Now, as for the story, I liked the jump between characters so we could see the story from several POV; the story starts on a grim tone, which is just normal considering how the last book ended. The descriptions of new chimaera were exiting and the images of Eretz in my head were very nicely painted.
I'm wondering if the third book is going to talk about more about the Far Isles and the Stelians. Since the world building was so interesting in this installment I can only imagine how this part of Eretz will be like.
I have to say I quite enjoyed this book. It was not love story oriented, we do not get to see a lot of interaction between the main characters at the beginning and this was a good thing, exploring cruder sides of both main characters and the interactions with their respective sides. You could feel the pain, both physical (sometimes a bit too much) and psychological that Karou feels while getting into her new life and you can start to understand both Hazael and Liraz.
Zuzana and Mik are my favorite couple in a long time. Not only because of her, being funny and witty, but their relationship is sweet and feels...real of some sorts, like how I remember my teenage relationships (minus the traveling without apparently any money problems, but ignore that) all adoring and all over each other. And they have sex! Most of the YA books I've read have people kissing and that's pretty much it. Is not like this is a romance YA novel, that is not the focus of the story obviously, but it is nice to see a YA couple enjoying their sexuality.
I have nothing but disgust for the characters of Joram and Jael, but I will not elaborate much on this point not to give away spoilers.
I think the fact that I like the most about this book and the series in particular is that although it has 2 main characters the story is not necessarily weaved solely around them. Showing side characters caught in the war gives a different perspective and it evolves into a book that touches war, politics slavery and racism in a heartfelt way. It is not a love story, albeit there is love between couples, friends, communities, but the story of two groups forced to remain at war by leaders that know nothing but war.
I am looking forward the third book and I will read the novella since, as I stated before, I am a Zuzana fan.
There is intimacy in pain. Anyone who has confronted it or suffered it knows how it