Read Online or Download Book in PDF. Read Online or Download Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3) by Laini Taylor Book For. Editorial Reviews. caite.info Review. An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of the Month, April Author Laini Taylor's immense talent for storytelling is. Free download Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor in pdf and epub. This is the third book of her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Other two books of.
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Dreams of Gods Monsters - Laini Taylor (Dreams of Gods and Monsters eng) ( pdf) - plik 'Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke Bone Trilogy > EBooki'. What power can bruise the sky?Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera's . Dreams of Gods & Monsters book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. B.
Seeing the corpses of the Chimaera triggers more visions. A pod of the great birds had just glided right over the company, and a single wingbeat from the lowermost had been enough to scatter the chimaera from their formation. She returned her attention to Mik, but only briefly, and looked at him—down at him; she was tall—with flat disinterest. Melliel was not consoled. Now bring on that Zuzana and Mik quote book!
But was it, possibly, candor? Could it be the truth, that he wanted this peace but needed to justify it to his soldiers? I am patricide and regicide, and my guilt stains us all. You came to us half-dead. Indisputably, Thiago had let them live. He had let them escape. Had she pled for their lives? Not… … bargained for them? Akiva looked up the slope where she had gone. She stood in the arched entrance to the kasbah, watching them, too distant to read. He turned to Thiago, and saw that his expression was still devoid of cruelty or duplicity or even his customary coldness.
His eyes were open, not heavy-lidded with arrogance or disdain. It made a marked change in him. What could account for it? One explanation occurred to Akiva, and he hated it. Beneath the age-old hatred of their races had burned the more personal wrath of an alpha for a challenger. The humiliation of the one not chosen. But that was absent now—as absent as the reasons for it.
Akiva was no longer his rival, no longer a threat. Because Karou had made a different choice this time. Karou, oh godstars. Bruises, gouges. A worthy ally. He would be able to see her, at least, and know that she was well. He would be able to atone for his sins and have her know it. Not to mention, they might stand a chance of stopping Jael.
On the other hand, if Thiago was this—intelligent, powerful, and sane— and he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Karou to shape the destiny of their people, what place was there for Akiva in that? And more to the point, could he bear to stand by and see it? I understand that I have you to thank for the souls of some of my own. You intervened in the torture of a chimaera soldier. He escaped, and returned to us with the souls of his team. The Kirin. But how could anybody know that Akiva had done that?
He just shook his head now, prepared to deny it. But Liraz surprised him. Akiva flickered a glance her way. It sharpened, and settled on her. Liraz made no reply. And to return to our purpose, was not his torturer the very angel we now must oppose? Captain of the Dominion. Now emperor. If that helps. Revenant soldiers and Misbegotten, together. At best, it would be miserable. At worst, devastating. But in spite of his misgivings, it was as if there was a brightness beckoning to him—the future, rich with light, calling him toward it.
No promises made, only hope. Only time would tell. The pit had been fed its last body. She saw it from the air one last time as the company took flight, and it had a kind of magnetic hold on her gaze. It looked so small from up here, down its winding path from the kasbah. Just a dark indentation in the rolling dust-colored earth, with some mounds of excavated dirt standing near, shovels stuck in them like pickets.
She imagined she could see scuff marks where Thiago had attacked her, and even dark patches that could be blood. And on the far side of the mounds, discernible to no one save herself, was another disturbance in the dirt: For how long? Until such a time as was yet impossible to imagine: Should such a time ever come to pass.
It will come to pass if we bring it to pass, she told herself. It felt wrong to be leaving—to be fleeing—with what was set in motion, but what else could they do?
They were too few to defeat him or drive him back. If they attacked him now, they would not only lose, they would help him in his cause. Selling it to the chimaera. Karou knew that every step forward would meet resistance from a large contingent of the company. To shape the future, they would have to win at every pace.
Well, and now Zuzana and Mik. What did he do to you? Are you all right? Both of them had cried, which had been like a pull-chain to her own tears, no doubt shoring up her appearance of weakness in the eyes of the company. And that she could live with, but dear gods and stardust, Akiva was another matter.
But what was she supposed to do? She was closely watched by the entire chimaera host. Some eyes seemed simply curious—Does she still love him? Thiago rode at the head of the host astride the soldier Uthem.
Uthem was a Vispeng, horse-dragon aspect, long and sinuous. He was the largest and most striking of the chimaera, and on his back, Thiago looked as regal as a prince.
Nearer Karou, Issa rode the Dashnag soldier Rua, while right in the middle of everything, incongruous as a pair of sparrows clinging to the backs of raptors, were Zuzana and Mik. He was felid in body, but immense: She flew nearer, having to veer around a pair of overburdened griffons. She herself was weighed down by a heavy pack of gear and a long chain of linked thuribles, many dozens of souls contained within.
She clanked with every movement, and had never felt so graceless. There had been no question of leaving his violin behind, either.
From most of them anyway. There was Ziri. He might not look like Ziri anymore, but he was Ziri, and Karou knew… She knew that he was in love with her. Karou seized a corner of the bag to help him and together they rose slowly higher as Virko drew ahead. She thought of herself and Zuze, not so many months ago, at their easels in life-drawing class, or with their feet up on a coffin-table at Poison Kitchen.
For just a moment, in spite of the burden of the weapons bag, and the thuribles, and her pack—not to mention the anvil weight of her duty and the deception and the future of two worlds— Karou felt almost light. Then she heard a laugh, bright with casual malice, and from the corner of her eye, caught sight of the flick of a hand. It was Keita-Eiri, a jackal-headed Sab fighter, and Karou saw at once what she was about. Rark, alongside her, was doing the same, and they were laughing. Hoping the seraphim were out of range, Karou risked a look in their direction just in time to see Liraz break mid-wingbeat and swing around, fury clear in her posture even at a distance.
Not out of range, then. Akiva reached for his sister and restrained her from rounding on their assailants. With clenched teeth she watched Akiva and Liraz draw even farther away, and the growing distance between them seemed a bad omen for this brave beginning.
Karou turned. Lisseth was drawing up beside her. You look tense. Stupid, stupid. How can I not worry about an angel-lover? Not anymore. We should choose them with care. Now, how did you get that out of what I just said? Make of that what you will. They were moving along all the while, steady in the air in the middle of the company, and now the density of bodies before them parted, revealing Thiago astride Uthem, doubled back into their midst.
The company re-formed around them, their progress slowing. My lord, the angel-lover threatened me. We need to tighten our control over her. I sense every shudder and sigh, I know your pain and your joy, and I certainly hear your laughter. And if you suspect that I have forgotten to give you an order, kindly enlighten me. In return I will enlighten you. Does it meet your approval? We have bled and we have screamed. Refuge with seraphim? Strange it may be, but I would be so disappointed if your trust failed.
There is no room for dissent. Any who cannot abide our current course can leave us the moment we pass through the portal, and take their chances on their own. His own was hard but lit by some inner brilliance. If you stay with me, I expect faith. The future is shadowed, and I can promise you nothing beyond this: His look conveyed his faith in them—and more, his trust in their faith in him.
He went on: If we fail to thwart this pressing threat, we end. Chimaera end. His gaze having come full circle to Keita-Eiri, he said, with caressing gentleness that somehow made the rebuke so much more damning: Karou watched as the soldiers silently moved back into formation, and she knew that not one of them would leave him, and that Akiva and Liraz would be safe from errant hamsa strikes for the remainder of the journey.
That was good. She felt a flush of pride for Ziri, and also of awe. In his natural flesh, the young soldier had been quiet, almost shy—the opposite of this eloquent megalomaniac whose flesh he now wore. But the thought subsided as soon as it came.
This was Ziri. Of all the many things Karou had to worry about, his being corrupted by power was not one of them. Lisseth, however, was. What was she thinking? No one knew him better, and no one would watch him more closely.
Bovine, thought Karou. A big slow cow for you. And the next time Lisseth shot her a glance, she thought, almost merrily, Moo. The kasbah was behind them, the portal just ahead, though Karou could barely make it out. Even up close it presented as a mere ripple, and you had to dive through it on faith, feel its edges feather open around you. This company knew what they were doing, and vanished through the crease one by one. It took time, each looming shape winking out into the ether.
Against her face, the feather touch of whatever unknowable membrane it was that held the worlds distinct, and she was through. She was in Eretz. No blue sky here; it arched white over their heads and darkened to gunmetal gray on the single visible horizon, all the rest lost in a haze.
Beneath them was only water, and in the colorlessness of the day it rippled almost black. The Bay of Beasts. There was something terrifying about black water. Something pitiless. The wind was strong, buffeting the host as it fell back into formation. Karou pulled her sweater closer around her and shivered. The last of the host pushed through the cut, Uthem and Thiago last of all. The Vispeng race not naturally being winged, Karou had gotten creative in order to preserve his length: It looked pretty cool, if she did say so herself.
The Wolf had bowed his head through the portal, and as soon as he was through, he sat up to take stock of his circling troops. His eye came quickly to rest on Karou, and though he paused on her only briefly, she felt herself to be —knew herself to be—his first care in the world, this or any other. Only when he knew where she was, and was satisfied that she was well, did he turn to the task at hand, which was to guide this army safely over the Bay of Beasts.
Karou found it difficult to turn away from the portal and just leave it there, where anyone might find it and use it. Akiva was to have scorched it closed behind them, but Jael had changed their plan. Now they would need it. To return and start the apocalypse. The Wolf once more took the lead, turning them eastward, away from the gunmetal horizon and toward the Adelphas Mountains. On a clear day, the peaks would have been visible from here. In the plus column, the mists gave them cover.
In the minus, the mists gave anyone cover… and anyone—or anything— would not be sighted from a distance by themselves. Karou was in a central position in the pack, having just come alongside Rua to check on Issa, when it happened. The Naja race hailed from a hot climate. Morocco had suited her perfectly. This cold mist, not so much, and their frigid destination even less, though at least there they would be sheltered from the elements, and Karou remembered geothermal chambers in the lower labyrinth of the caves, if all was as it had been years ago.
The Kirin caves. She had never been back to the place of her birth, home of her earliest life. She had planned to return, once upon a time. It was where she and Akiva were to have met to begin their rebellion, had the fates not had other ideas. But, no. It was will. But in that moment, something came over her. Or at her. At all of them. A pressure in the lowering mists, and with it a seizure of certainty. Karou shrank down and threw back her head to look up.
All around her in the ranks, soldiers were reacting. Dropping, drawing weapons, spinning clear of… something. Overhead, the white sky seemed near enough to touch. On them and blotting out the sky, fast and past, skimming the heads of the company. It was like an undertow, and the chains of her thuribles flew wild, entangling her, and for that dark spinning instant she thought of the black surface of the water far below, and thuribles splashing into it—souls consumed by the Bay of Beasts, and she fought for control of herself… and just like that was released, adrift in a weird calm of aftermath.
Her chains were wound tight and tangled but nothing was lost, and all it took now was a glance to see what it was —what they were, oh. Oh—before the dense white day swallowed them again, and they were gone. The biggest creatures in this world, save whatever secrets the sea held deep.
Wings that could shelter or shatter a small house. That was what had brushed her: A pod of the great birds had just glided right over the company, and a single wingbeat from the lowermost had been enough to scatter the chimaera from their formation. The blacksmith Aegir had dropped the bundle of weapons—all of them lost to the sea. Akiva and Liraz were still in their place far ahead, and Zuzana and Mik were up ahead, too, not far, but safely clear of the whiplash from that wingbeat.
Everyone was fine. In her earliest life, Karou had been a child of the high world: Madrigal of the Kirin, the last tribe of the Adelphas Mountains. Amid the peaks the massive creatures ranged, though no Kirin, or anyone else that Karou had heard of, had ever seen a stormhunter so close. It was believed that they could sense the smallest changes in air and atmosphere, and as a child—as Madrigal —Karou had had reason to believe it.
Seeing them from afar, adrift like motes in the slanting sun, she would take off after them, eager for a closer sight, but no sooner would her wings beat her intention than theirs would answer and carry them away. Never had even a nest been found, an eggshell, or even a carcass; if stormhunters hatched, if stormhunters died, no one knew where.
Now Karou had had her closer sight, and it was thrilling. She smiled. Their feathers shone iridescent, no single color but all colors, shifting with the play of light. They seemed like a gift from the wild, and a reminder that not everything in this world was defined by the everlasting war. She gathered herself in the air, untangling a thurible chain from around her neck, and glided up to Zuzana and Mik.
Four days they had been in this prison. Three nights the sun had set and three dawns risen to illuminate a world that made less and less sense. Bracing herself, Melliel looked out. Intense saturation of light; glowing clouds, a gilded sea, and the horizon a streak of radiance too pure to look at. The islands were like the scattered silhouettes of slumbering beasts, and the sky… the sky was as it had been, which is to say, the sky was wrong.
If it had been flesh, one would say it was bruised. This dawn, like the others, it was revealed to have set forth new blooms of color overnight—or rather, of discolor: They were vast, the blossoms or bleeds. They were sky-filling, and would spread by the hour, deepen and then pale, finally vanishing as others took their place. It was beautiful, and when Melliel and her company were first brought here by their captors, they assumed that this was just the nature of the southern sky.
Everything about the Far Isles was beautiful and bizarre. The air was so rich it had body, fragrance seeming to carry in it as easily as sound: As for the sea, it was a thousand new colors every minute, and not all of them blues and greens.
And the sky? Well, the sky did this. But Melliel had gleaned by now that it was not normal, and neither was the stormhunter gathering that grew by the day. Out there over the sea, the creatures were grouped in ceaseless circlings. But here were dozens. Dozens interweaving with more dozens. The Stelians were on edge. Something was happening here, and no one was telling the prisoners anything.
Not what was wrong with the sky or what drew the stormhunters, and not what their own fate was to be, either. Melliel gripped the window bars, leaning forward to take in the full panorama of sea and sky and islands.
Stivan was right. In the night, the stormhunter numbers had surged again, as if every one of them in the whole of Eretz were answering some call. Circling, circling, as the sky bled and healed itself and bruised anew. What power could bruise the sky? Melliel let go of the bars and stalked back across the cell to the door. I want to talk to someone! Those still sleeping woke in their hammocks and put their feet on the floor.
They were twelve altogether, all taken without injury—though not without confusion over the manner of their capture: There was a privy, and water for washing. Hammocks for sleeping, and shifts of lightly woven cloth so they might remove their black gambesons and stifling armor if they chose—which, by now, all of them had. Food was plentiful and far better than they were used to: Some tasted of honey and flowers, thick-skinned and thin and varicolored. One kind had sharp spines and hid custard within; they grabbed for that one first, and there was one that none of them could stomach: Those they left untouched in the flat basket by the door.
There came no answer to her call, so she knocked again. The Stelian girl was, as usual, alone and unarmed. She wore a simple cascade of white fabric fastened over one brown shoulder, with her black hair vine-bound and gathered over the other.
Engraved golden bands were spaced evenly up both slim arms, and her feet were bare, which struck Melliel as embarrassingly intimate. The vulnerability was an illusion, of course. There was more to Eidolon—as there was more to the Far Isles—than beauty.
Her smile was warm; her Stelian fire eyes danced as she greeted them with a gesture—a kind of cupping and proffering of her hand, a sweep of her gold-banded arm to take in the lot of them. The soldiers murmured responses. Male and female alike, they were all in some fashion fascinated by this mysterious Eidolon of the dancing eyes, but Melliel regarded the gesture with suspicion.
She felt old and ungainly, like an iron sword. It was more than Melliel had gotten out of her before. Every Stelian they had seen so far had them. A nonsense answer. She was toying with them. Powerlessness, reeling miles of it. Brief and far too still, it had given them just time to gasp before the full force came on again and sent them reeling again, westward now, back to Caliphis and beyond, where it finally released them.
Such force! It had felt as though the ether itself had dragged a deep breath and expelled it. The phenomena had to be linked, Melliel thought. The Wind, the bruised sky, the gathering of the stormhunters? None of it was natural or right. Was there anything else? We get so few strangers here.
The children should like to see you, I think. Blue eyes. Such a wonder. He blushed to his blond roots. Eidolon turned back to Melliel with a contemplative look. For practice. At what? Those arts were long lost in the Empire, and filled her with horror. Was she joking? Melliel was not consoled. So few strangers, the Stelian had said. It was her mission, after all, to find out. In their days here, Melliel and her team had seen or heard no hint of other prisoners.
Too sweetly, like honey that masks the gall of poison. Fruit they might have been, but the things were essentially meaty sacks of red juice, offputtingly mouth-filling, and warm.
The girl took a bite, and in that instant, Melliel would have sworn that her teeth were points. It was like a veil yanked askew, and behind it, Eidolon of the dancing eyes was a savage. Her delicacy was gone; she was… nasty. The fruit burst and she tipped back her head, sucking and licking, to catch the thick juice in her mouth.
The column of her throat was exposed as red overspilled her lips, streaking down, viscous and opaque, to the white cascade of her dress, where it bloomed like flowers of blood, nothing but blood, and still she sucked at the fruit. The soldiers recoiled from her, and when Eidolon lowered her head again to stare at Melliel, her face was smeared with hungry red. Like a predator, Melliel thought, raising its head from a hot carcass.
Did you think we would keep you just as you are, blue eyes and black hands and all? It hit the tile floor with a slap. Not the fruit. Melliel had seen things, yes, but her mind would not admit that possibility. Simply no. It was a hideous joke. Her disgust emboldened her. We are soldiers. Each word a jab, and then the door flew open untouched and she was on the other side of it without having moved, standing in the corridor.
She had done this before: This was the first mention of a queen. Was it she who had sent Joram the basket of fruit that had seen fourteen Breakblades swinging from the Westway gibbet and a concubine flushed out the gutter door in a shroud?
Scarab has gone away hunting. Strobing time, strobing reality. What was true? A crack and strobe and the door was closed, Eidolon was gone, and… … and the room was dark. Melliel blinked, shook off a sudden heaviness and looked around her. Stivan was blinking, too, and Doria and the rest. Hunting hunting hunting. Melliel spun to the window and, with a push of her wings, thrust herself at it and looked out. It was as she feared.
It was no longer dawn. It was no longer day. Would they die here, the lot of them? Hunting what? Across Turkey the westward path held, and it was not until the angels crossed the 36th meridian without turning south that the Holy Land was eliminated from contention. After that, the money was on Vatican City, and the money was not wrong.
As he did, there came a shift in the first and central phalanx. It was difficult to make out details. The cameras were in the air, hovering in helicopters, and from this high vantage point, the angels looked like a living lace of fire and white silk. Now one of them stepped forward—he seemed to be wearing a plumed silver helm—and in one liquid movement, all the rest went down on one knee.
The Pope approached, trembling, his hand raised in blessing, and the leader of the angels inclined his head in a very slight bow. The two stood facing each other. They appeared to be talking. As for the television commentary, it was inane. The Rapture. Eliza knew exactly what he was getting at. Scramble the jets!
Am I the only non-idiot on the planet? As for the puffy lips, they existed in a state of snide smirk, and Eliza was constantly plagued by urges to bounce things off them. Gummy bears. The two of them were grad students in Dr. Sometimes, when Dr. It dirtied her—and Dr. Chaudhary, too, who was decent, and married, and also old enough to be her father.
Eliza was used to being underestimated, because she was black, because she was a woman, but no one had ever been quite so vile about it as Morgan. She wanted to shake him, and that was the worst of it. Eliza was mild, even after everything, and the rage itself enraged her—that Morgan Toth could alter her, bend her like a wire by the sheer awfulness of his personality. The helmed angel and the Pope still appeared to be speaking. Someone had gotten a camera closer to the action, on the ground with them now, though not near enough for audio.
Only Morgan could provoke her like this. It was like his voice—belligerent spiked with obnoxious—triggered an autonomic impulse to argue. If he declared affection for light, Eliza would have to defend the dark. We need it. He said every scenario is being considered. Can you really not see how this is different? He was pretending not to grasp the intense sensitivity of this situation out of some notion that it marked him as superior—like he was so far above the masses that their concerns were quaint to him.
How primitive your customs are! But Eliza knew that this was a whole different kind of threat than a flying saucer would have been. An alien landing would unify the world, just like in a science fiction movie. She should know. We need to be in control of the situation, not falling to our knees like a bunch of bedazzled peasants.
And now the sky opened and angels poured in? It was kind of hilarious. She wanted to laugh. She wanted to pound her fists against something. A wall. She imagined how he would look at her if he knew where she came from.
What she came from. He would achieve a threshold of disdain unmatched in human history.
Or more like fascinated, disgusted glee. It would make his year. She decided to shut up, which Morgan took as a victory, but still she had a sense, from the fishy glint of his glare, that she should have shut up sooner. Something was happening. The Pope had turned aside to issue orders to underlings, and now, lugging cameras and microphones, a news team approached at a lurching run.
This concealed his nose and all but the corners of his mouth, while leaving his eyes, cheekbones, and jawline exposed. It was a strange choice, especially considering that the rest of the host was bareheaded, their beautiful faces unobstructed. There were other odd things about the angel, too, but they were harder to assess, and his statement was soon to eclipse them all. Only later would the analysis of his posture begin, and his oddly bloated shadow, his mushy, lisping voice, and the whispering that was audible in his long pauses, as though he were being fed lines.
Details would start to catch up with the general impression of wrongness he made—like a sticky residue on your fingers, except that it was on your mind. But not yet. First, his statement, and the instant worldwide tilt it precipitated: Around the whole sphere of planet Earth, amid prayers and curses and questions uttered in hundreds of languages, billions scrambled to find a translation.
What is he saying??? The pontiff paled. He took a stagger step backward. At one point he tried to speak, but the angel cut him off without a sideward glance. This was his message for humanity: For centuries we have fought a war beyond human ken. Long have we protected you in body and soul while shielding you even from knowledge of the threat that shadows you. The Enemy that hungers for you. Far from your lands have great battles been fought. Blood spilled, flesh devoured. But as godlessness and evil grow among you, the might of the Enemy increases.
And now the day has come that their strength matches ours, and will soon surpass it. We can no longer leave you innocent of the Shadow. We can no longer protect you without your help. The words he had just spoken seemed to hang in the air. Pressure was building, the weight of the air defying the thin altitude. And then… Laughter. Incredulous and uneasy. To join with them?
Akiva suffered an acute physical memory of Madrigal sleeping by his side, and the joke was not funny to him. It was all the less funny here, in the echoing caves of her slaughtered people, where, if you looked closely, you could still make out the blood tracks of dragged bodies on the floor.
What would it be like for Karou to see that evidence? How much did she remember of the day she was orphaned? Her first orphaning, he reminded himself. Her second was much more recent, and his fault.
They were all staring at him, faces caught between amusement and outrage, unsure where to settle.
Neither end of that spectrum would suit. Akiva needed to bring them to a different place altogether: Right now it felt very remote. He very much wanted to bring Karou to safety— and the rest of them, too. This impossible chance would never come again.
If he failed to persuade his brothers and sisters to try it, he failed the dream. We face a new threat now, not just to us, though indeed to us, but to all of Eretz: We must stop Jael.
That is primary. Unlike Xathanael, Akiva did know Elyon well, and respected him. He was among the older of the bastards left living, and not very old at that, his hair barely beginning to gray. He was a thinker, a planner, not given to bravado or unnecessary violence. How does that help us? Akiva wished he could deny that the hamsas would be turned on them; he still felt the sickness of their furtive palm flashes as a dull ache in the pit of his belly.
Look at their country. But our interests, for now at least, align. Their voices filled the cavern, bouncing and echoing off the high, rough ceiling and seeming to multiply into a chorus of ghostly shouts. He had to shout them down. When it came to Thiago, his persuasion ran dry. If the White Wolf were dead, would he be more eloquent? Think of her.
He did. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other. It would have been true. But it was a small truth overshadowed by a greater one. They never did. Akiva held the news to himself for a moment, not wanting to tell it. Feeling, more than ever, at fault.
Finally, he laid it like a corpse atop their hard silence. As there are breeds of chimaera. The Misbegotten had, in the last year, been pared to a sliver of itself.
They had lost so many brothers and sisters that those who remained could have drowned in the ashes of those who had died. They were bred to expect it, though this had never made it any easier, and in the last months of the war, when the body count crested to levels of hollow absurdity, a shift had occurred. Their fury had been growing—not merely over the losses but the expectation that they, being nothing but weapons, would not grieve.
They grieved. And by any hallmark, Hazael had been a favorite. It was a setup. It was hard enough for her without it being known by all. Whatever you might have heard, I did not kill the crown prince, nor would I have. Nor the council, the bodyguards, the Silverswords, the bath attendants. No matter how it fell out that day, he was going to lay it to me, and use it as pretext to exterminate us all. These two names—Hazael and Jael— could have served as their poles of love and hatred, and together combined to make this real, all of it.
They might do anything now. Even… ally with beasts? But more than that, it will unsettle him. And you should know, before you decide anything, that she was willing to save Hazael. She would be their touchstone. Furrowed his brow. He nodded. Elyon gave his promise, and the others did, too. It was simple, and slight, and as much as could be expected for now: Thiago had made the same promise on behalf of his soldiers. Soon they would all learn what promises were worth. That was the warmest part of her body right now: Immediately the microclimate of her neck began to drop in temperature.
Good-bye, tiny tropics. I was just working up my nerve when you distracted me with Star Wars. Sheltered being a relative term, and valley, too. One thought of meadows and wildflowers and mirror lakes, but this looked like a moon crater.
Seriously, that smell had no business existing in two worlds. Zuzana wondered what idea Mik might have that called for nerve. Humiliation, for sure. Like climbing out of a tauntaun, covered in wet— Ugh. Karou winced. It was so stupid of me to let you come. Zuzana had a fleece on, at least, and Mik a sweater. Mik had set off in the opposite direction from the resting chimaera. He is. Zuzana shared both. With his hands shoved deep into his jeans pockets and shuffling his feet like a terrified hobo, Mik approached… Liraz.
Zuzana rose to her feet to watch. The angel stood by herself at the farthest edge of this rock trench from the chimaera, looking every bit as pissed off as she had back at the kasbah, and on the Charles Bridge, too. Maybe more pissed off. Or maybe that was just her face? Zuzana had yet to witness evidence that the angel could look any other way. Hot, perpetually pissed-off angel seeks living pincushion for scowl practice and general stabbiness.
No kissing. Mik was not going to be that pincushion. It was crazy. And doomed. No way was Liraz coming over here to keep the huddled masses warm with her wings. Her fiery, lovely, toasty wings. Mik was talking to her now. Liraz looked, saw Zuzana and Karou watching. Her eyes narrowed.
She returned her attention to Mik, but only briefly, and looked at him—down at him; she was tall—with flat disinterest. How dare she? The chimaera, for all their monstrosity, were more approachable than she was. They were gifted another glimpse of stormhunters, too, though this one from more like the usual distance. The temperature dropped further, and the huddles of chilled creatures tightened. They cooked, ate. Oora told a story with a haunting, rhythmic refrain. Who could be mean to Mik?
And look at Zuzana! Not for nothing was her chimaera nickname neek-neek, and yet M i k turned her to honey. So far, Liraz alone had proven immune to the Mik effect. Liraz was special. Specially antisocial. Spectacularly, even. But Karou felt responsible for her, left in their midst as… what?
An ambassador of sorts? No one could be worse suited to the role. There had been that moment before Akiva left, when his gaze had cut across the distance to Karou. No one could do that like Akiva could, burn a path across space, make you feel seen, set apart. When will he get here? You've already told me three times that they pine for each other.
I get it, really I do. I'm a semi-intelligent human being, I'm not going to forget this fact after taking a break from their internal monologue-filled narratives to read about Jim Whogivesafuck for thirty pages. Between the long-winded pining, the info-dump expositions, and the repetition, I found myself starting to skim towards the end. And then there was the never-ending Karou-Akiva-Contrivance. How many times are you going to have your main characters almost get together before pulling them apart again?
You can only do this so much before it starts to feel forced and the reader becomes aware of the author's machinations. The last time was the final straw for me, and my skimming became full-page flipping for the last fifty or so pages, where I found out that three books of buildup led to a disappointing conclusion in their story arc. In short, where the fuck was her editor? Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest View all comments. Outside, the moon hung low.
It sang of tremulous shadows and evenings past, of urban gunpowder and decay. In trembling hands, the reader held it. Alas, not the moon but something better. The solid weight of the book, after months of yearning and patient waiting.
A creep of color in her cheeks, an imperceptible shiver of anticipation. She held it, not daring to believe -- but unable to stem the tide of hope and eagerness. It felt heavy. Six hundred and thirteen pages.
An ending. A begin Outside, the moon hung low. A beginning. A dream. Of God and Monsters. The uncommon love story held within the desperately thick hardcover beckoned.
She unfurled in her couch and began reading beside a steaming cup of decaffeinated tea that hinted of cinnamon and apples, of autumn long past. Would there ever again be such an autumn , she wondered absently, for a moment, before the tide of language pulled her under.
On and on she read. Akiva was manly but also beautiful. She was reminded repeatedly that his eyes were fire. Godstars and silverdust, they were fire. And Karou was a woman independent, strong, and brave. In the known universe, there was nothing like these two sets of eyeballs, the same yet different. The eyeballs of Akiva and Karou. Each contained such intensity, grief, and resplendence, that the universe was destroyed and reborn each time their gazes locked. It was a thing indescribable in language.
But the author tried anyway, over three books that sung with grief and hope. Across the nation, readers held their faces to the glimmering night sky and wept. They wept tears of moonshine and starlight. And they read. In a voice that was low and sweet and rough with love, he spoke: As they looked on at each other, it seemed as though all the words in all the languages in all the worlds had been extinguished in the bright blaze of their love.
What was there to say? I should have been there to protect you, he said, his voice choked with sorrow. The emotion in his voice seared its way through his body, and his chest rippled, slightly and gently as the leaves of a summer tree. Outside, clouds were gathering. Clouds of hope and heartache. But then the unthinkable happened.
She turned and saw her iphone blinking the way it did only when someone was calling her. It was like a kick to her heartbeat, that burning light. The screen shone yellow-green, then sparked and blazed like a star calling out to the heavens.
It was mom. Dear gods and stardust. She felt…exposed. An age-old conflict churned inside her: Moments passed but seemed like years, like an eternity. She made her decision. She reached over and with the sly cunning of a fox, pressed a button that would silence the ring and as she did, revealed a smile like a lovechild of a shark and scimitar.
She drowned again. Oh, Akiva. Oh, Karou. Oh, two halves of one soul, their destiny written in war and blood. Oh, tears. The reader was dimly aware that plot and pacing were pitch-perfect, that occasional characters were well-drawn, and that the setting was still interesting. But in the end, these things were known and buried under prose that shone unbearably purple in the starlight, growing brighter and brighter like a wounded star in the night sky until there was nothing left of the dream of god and monsters, and of the reader's patience which lay in pieces on the desolate wasteland of her bedroom floor.
View all 88 comments. Aug 21, Elaine rated it really liked it Shelves: Laini Taylor is god, or well, a godstar and I will forever be sitting in awe of her genius imagination. In all honesty, this trilogy hands down deserves a solid five glowing stars or more really but I just can't help but feel a little let down by the lack of a climax in this last book.
The last was chock full of gorgeously amazing prose as per usual and Zuze's hilarious and impactful one-liners but I couldn't help but crave for more action. Perhaps the second just blew me away with its epic-ne Laini Taylor is god, or well, a godstar and I will forever be sitting in awe of her genius imagination. Perhaps the second just blew me away with its epic-ness. We also had some deus ex machina in play and info dumping which I was not expecting. All in all, despite the little misgivings I had, Dreams and the entire trilogy was just an amazingly cannot emphasize this enough magical journey.
One that I'm not ready to leave just yet. Now bring on that Zuzana and Mik quote book! I love the red of the second cover but THIS. Karou looks fierce as hell. So much love. So someone highlighted to me that the release date has been pushed back to and I was like Then I was like Cue emotional wailing and denial. View all 43 comments. Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a war epic , not just the story of a demon and angel's forbidden love.
Everything lovely about the first book is simply one part of a whole story. There's so much nuance to both the themes and the characters. This is a series you my future wife: This is a series you could analyze for hours. The writing is still unspeakably beautiful , simple yet gorgeous. Laini Taylor's writing flows across the page to the point where instead of skipping across paragraphs as I usually do, I was hanging on her every word. I'd read her grocery lists. In terms of plot, though, this disappointed me slightly.
For the first pages, the plot is near-perfect, with brilliant twists and reveals. Yet my largest issue lies in the final hundred pages. The plot thread of the stelians needed far more buildup. It's great to see worldbuilding get even more fleshed-out, but when the first two books were so vague about worldbuilding, the focus on multiple universes seems completely out of the blue. It's an extra hundred pages spent on a plotline that has nothing to do with anything else in the story.
The plotline should've been integrated more into the full story previously in the book, at the very least. After the growth and change they went through in book two, much of this book is plot-driven. They're both compelling characters and I absolutely loved seeing them finally get together, but they didn't grow quite enough for me. Most of their growth comes through their relationship, so thank god that Karou and Akiva are still a great couple. Their scenes in the first half were few and far between, which served only to make them more tear-worthy.
The touch of instalove from book one has become a complex relationship full of moments that touch my heart. I'm going to dedicate an entire paragraph to my two favorite characters: Liraz and Ziri. These two have each developed so much since book one. Ziri's goodness and sense of duty towards Karou both saddened me and gave me hope for humanity.
His new form allowed the narrative to explore his character even more. Liraz's brutality and desire to be more than a machine mix to form an extremely compelling character. And their relationship delighted me. I know Liraz and Ziri being in a relationship is slightly convenient, and I don't care because they fit.
Their personalities are so opposite yet so similar, and it's lovely. I'm unspeakably happy about them. Of course, Zuzana and Mik are delightful. The addition of Eliza's narrative voice surprisingly helped too. These three add a touch of humor to an otherwise disturbing story. Definitely recommend this trilogy for any fantasy fans. It's been a lovely ride. Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube View all 11 comments. It's hard work but they manage to get it done with a few rough starts and stops.
They have some help with a secret Karou is carrying. What a brilliant author Laini Taylor is to come up with the worlds that she does.
There is also another character that has a very interesting to put it mildly part in the book. Her name is Eliza. I enjoyed her character quite a bit.
Karou's best friends, Zuzana and Mik are in the middle of it all. Just two small humans in an unhuman world. I love them so much and they were great through the whole thing. They also brought many comedic moments. Liraz is there and hating stuff as much as always but she is there for her brother Akiva.
BUT, she does show a sweet side when no one is looking and she gets a crush that will turn to love. I was so happy and it was lovely how sweet they were together. NO, I'm not saying who it is. Ziri is there, another one of Karou's best friends but he was a monster like her. I don't like calling them monsters because they were the good monsters but that's how we keep them separate. Ziri rising above and beyond the call of duty to help both the seraphim and chimaera! I loved him so much.
He put himself in a very precarious situation and he rocked it. And, oh the outcome, he was perfect and he finally got what he wanted in life. Not what he thought in the beginning, but even more. I loved all of the creatures and I WISH there was a graphic novel or some kind of artwork book of all the creatures. They were just so awesome sounding. Actually, I would like to see this trilogy as a movie too, as long as they didn't mess it up.
It's a very serious book and not something you could cartoon up. Melissa Martin's Reading List View all 25 comments. May 18, Natalie Monroe rated it liked it Shelves: Cynical Natalie: Since no one else in this goddamn city has the guts to say this, I will: Nice Natalie: Do you want to alienate everyone in the YA community before this review has even started? Someone has to be the voice of reason. Oh, get off your high horse. Cynical Cynical Natalie: That was only because I was in the middle of a tense part.
Please, you thought the entire thing was the bees' knees. Laini clearly had a long-term plot in mind from book one and she executed it flawlessly. I wouldn't say flawlessly. The beginning and ending was a slog to get through. It nearly put me to sleep. And don't get me started on the romance. Oh, boy, here we go. Karou and Akiva's epic romance is insta-love.
There is no foundation for their romance from day one! Karou took one look at the feathery bastard and went, "Dayum, that boy is hot. Gotta get me some of that. Because, guess what? Madrigal and Akiva were Red String lovers too! She comes across him in a battlefield, doesn't murder his ass like she's supposed to, and Akiva tracks her down to a ball and makes her a shawl of moths.
Bam, that's it. Never-ending lurve despite them knowing each other for like what—two minutes and a dance? Akiva knows that. And acknowledges it. That's why he wants to know her better. Doesn't change the fact that this trilogy is built on a lie.
And it's not only them and their stupid goo-goo eyes. Liraz and Ziri stank of convenience. We have to solve the Karou-Ziri-Akiva love triangle somehow, even though Ziri never had a fishfinger's chance in hell of getting the girl, so let's slap him with the battle-hardened angel.
This way, Karou doesn't have to hurt anyone's feelings and Ziri can replace her the way Jacob replaced Bella with Reneeesme. Is it too much to ask that a character get over a love through time and space, instead of another person? What kind of message does that send out? You're completely misinterpreting the point. It's to create a parallel: Karou, a female chimera is with Akiva, a male angel; and Ziri, a male chimera is with Liraz, a female angel.
Blah, blah, blah. Save it for literature class. Actually, no, I got another allusion to Twilight. Karou, like Bella, only ever thinks about kissing Akiva.
That's the extent of her sexy thoughts. No petting the kitty, no stroking the sword, no target practice. Er, are you talking about sexy times? Just trying to keep it clean. Much like this book. I could polish my silver on it. Give me the hormone-charged, repeated safe sex of Opposition any day. Laini's writing is so lyrical and poetic, talking about blow jobs would ruin it. Even the occasional everyday slang used within sound out of place.
Then maybe she should tone it down a little. Her prose is suffocating in its beauty. We know you're the Jane Austen of the decade, babe.
Now let's try for a little simplicity. And humor. You can never go wrong with humor. Zuzana is snarky. Eh, she's alright. She was one of the few characters I gave a fuck about. Too bad she view spoiler [accepted a marriage proposal from a guy she knew for only a few months. That's a divorce statistic right there. It's magic, remember? Akiva learned to tap into cosmic energy. Cosmic energy It was done with proper foreshadowing.
I'm not even going to get into that ludicrous shit. Let's make it 2. You were hooked on it! Until the confusing ending. Everything's dandy, then some mystic dudes turn up with a new mission. It's like freaking fanfiction. She's leaving it open for a spin-off. Hear that sound in the distance? It's ka-ching of cash registers everywhere. Must you nitpick everything? I'm a hater. Haters gonna nitpick, nitpick, nitpick.
You're going to bring Taylor Swift into this? I have a arsenal of Taylor gifs at my disposal. Stand down, sir. At least make it a 3. Counting down Look at those glowing 5-star reviews! That's why I exist. Everyone will hate us. This is the Internet. What else is new? FYI, if Laini writes a spin-off, we'd probably have to come back and do this all over again. Oh, God I will read this just for the sake of finishing this series.
Come on, Laini Taylor, hit me with your best shot. View all 42 comments. Apr 29, Steph Sinclair rated it really liked it Shelves: I enjoyed this finale much more than I did Days of Blood and Starlight.
Taylor chose to introduce new characters and it felt a bit jarring for a final book. The sexual tension and want bet I enjoyed this finale much more than I did Days of Blood and Starlight. Sure, there is a love story at its root, but has become so much more than that. A part of me wants to read a straight PNR from Taylor just so my feels can burst into flames. Overall, I loved this book and this series still remains a favorite. There better be a spin-off planned, because I smell a spin-off. This cover View all 59 comments.
I still really enjoyed this book but I felt this could have been a 4 book series, so the last half in particular felt a bit disjointed. Review to come on my channel! View all 7 comments. Apr 17, karen rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 31 comments.
Sep 28, Nick marked it as to-read Shelves: It's been a while since I read "Days of blood and starlight". If you know me you would probably know that I am an ultimate fan of the this series. It's one of my all time favorites. I have saved this one for the winter break,but before I read this I wanted a feedback from you. Have you read it and if so,what did you think? View all 12 comments. View all 14 comments. The perfect conclusion. This trilogy is everything.
View all 3 comments. Apr 19, April rated it it was amazing. View all 6 comments. Mar 19, Nataliya rated it really liked it Shelves: I was afraid of disappointment, but it never came. This story started strong, soared in the middle and came a conclusion that made me happy - with a slight open-endedness that is there as a gentle reminder that beyond the conclusion for the Chimaera and the Seraphim, Karou and Akiva there's more.
Because no good story is truly complete just with a "It was not a happy ending, but a happy middle - at last, after so many fraught beginnings. Because no good story is truly complete just with a happy ending alone.
There are no endings in life. But there are happy middles. And they make me strangely content. And then her strange but comfortable world shattered as she found herself in the middle of apparent annihilation of the entire species who have not only raised her but to which she used to belong - long ago, in another life, in another body, having dared to dream a brave dream of peace with an eternal enemy - the enemy who, having barely become her lover, has also become the weapon of destruction for her entire race.
We saw the devastation of the brutal war, the genocide, and the fight back of which Karou - shattered and broken and suffering from despair and guilt - has become an integral part; a fight back that promised as much brutality and destruction as the force that started it. We saw a former murderer look into the bleakness of what he's done, see the abyss staring back at him, and in horror and disgust with what he saw he tried to put things right, clinging to the memory of that wild dream conceived years ago.
And now that dream is still alive, despite all odds, despite the blood and death and revenge and grief and despair. Despite centuries of hatred and prejudice and violence. The dream of peace and the longing for dull days beautiful in their calmness. Once, when she was studying the death toll of battles in World War I, she's caught herself thinking, Only eight thousand men died here.
Well, that's not many. Because next to, say, the million who died at the Somme, it wasn't. The stupendous numbers deadened you to the merely tragic, and history didn't average in the tame days for balance.
On this day, no one in the world was murdered. A lion gave birth. Ladybugs lunched on aphids. A girl in love daydreamed all morning, neglecting her chores, and wasn't even scolded. What was more fantastical than a dull day? Beating swords into plowshares. The dream as old as the world itself, and yet in its simplicity strangely unattainable.
Because to attain it you need to let go of the past filled with blood and losses and grief. Because you need to see your enemy as a person, and be able to let go, to forgive, to accept.
Because you need to let the dead rest in peace. I can't speak for all the dead, but I know it's not what I wanted for you, when I died. And I know it's not what Brimstone wanted for me, or for Eretz. And that's what can - and I'm sure already did - leave so many readers unsettled. Because doing that in the conclusion of beloved series is wrought with trouble. The ever-expanding scope of the story? So much can go wrong with that. Normally I'd be the first to grudgingly point it out.
But yet for me it worked here, unexpectedly and so neatly that it caught me by surprise. The introduction of a larger theme than the courageous dream of two lovers leading to reshaping of their world did not erase the significance of the 'smaller' goal. Not at all. No, instead it helped create the sense of the world bigger than just their dream, with their story - as far-reaching as it's consequences may be - becoming just a chapter in the history of their world, and not even a crown jewel of it.
It helped create a feeling that there's is more to the scope of this world than Karou and Akiva alone - neatly subverting the Chosen Ones trope at the same time - and creating a 'happy middle' in place of a happy ending. The significance of 'our' story is not diminished - but it is also not a final culmination, and I thought it was awesome.
Laini Taylor's lovely prose and juuuust the right amount of humor - not only for comedic relief but also by contrast to underscore the grimness of the situation - are just as enjoyable as in the first two books.
She knows how to create beautiful and yet simple passages that flow so organically and pull you into the story completely. Her array of interesting, fully-fleshed secondary characters who actually make you care is impressive Zuzana, Mik, Ziri, Liraz, Issa, Eliza - just to name a few. Her pacing, even though just a tad off in places, is overall decent. Her descriptions are vivid but not overpowering.
And - thanks to all the literary gods for hearing my fervent prayers - she sticks with the third person narration that seems to become more and more rare in the present day landscape of literature for young people. And manages to avoid the omnipresent suggestion of vomit-inducing love triangles. And manages to create so many instances of not only strong female heroines but also a genuine friendship between young women without the omnipresent underscores of competitive bitchery to each other and that is, sadly, rare in books of our time.
Zuzana in particular, I love you and your fierce awesomeness and loyalty. She could make her friend laugh. It is not without its flaws - but, of course, perfection without flaws would run a danger of becoming boring. Even Mona Lisa lacks perfection in her eyebrow-less stare. Tongue-in-cheek here, oh you serious art critics! Or godstars. Or teeth. Or monsters. Or wishbones. It's good, that's the point. Food, weapons, happiness.
With hope that the weapons could in time vanish from the picture. A new way of living. My review of 'Days of Blood and Starlight'. View all 10 comments. Wowwee wow. Laini Taylor is one of a kind.