This is the third and final book of Laini Taylor’s Trilogy. The first two books are Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight. This review contains no spoilers for this book, but will inevitably contain spoilers for previous books in the series. I will however keep them to a minimum.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters picks up where the last book left off. Angels are invading Earth, charading as descendants of heaven and naming chimera the demons of hell. Karou and Akiva must combine their forces, allying chimera and misbegotten angel armies and overcoming thousands of years of enmity, to stop the angels taking humanity’s destructive weapons back to Eretz. But there are other mysteries afoot. The sky over Eretz is bruised, some invisible force is hunting Akiva and there’s a human on Earth with an unexplained connection to the angels.
These plots are expertly intertwined into a thrilling tale. Laini Taylor’s ability to weave words into an almost poetic prose astounded me. The story continually switches points of view, and often the same scene is seen through two sets of eyes and though this slows the pace of the story, I was never desperate for it to move on. Each character’s interpretation is completely different, and it brings an unusual sense of “completeness” to the story.
The first half of the book continues this way, focussing on characters rather than action. Karou and Akiva get their share of story time but it’s Liraz, a once stoic and brutal angel, who’s development is most interesting. Liraz is conflicted—her soldier’s desire for vengeance competes with her confusing new relationship with emotions—and I found myself rooting for her and excited by her surprising decisions. Ziri, disguised as chimera warlord Thiago, is also battling himself, trying to deflect suspicion and maintain his guise as Thiago, while making the war-ending decisions Thiago would never have made.
Karou and Akiva’s relationship, quickly recovering from the hostilities of the previous books, never overshadows the plot, though is constantly developing under the story. If you’re holding your breath for even a kiss you’ve got a long wait ahead.
As the story unravels, plot twists are constantly revealing themselves and Laini Taylor is uniquely skilled at ending chapters with a single sentence that will change everything, before switching point of view away form that plot. It’s an infuriating but gripping skill that rarely lets you pull your mind from the story.
The end of Dreams of Gods and Monsters, lasting the last 100 pages or so, doesn’t just wrap up loose ends, but weaves them into a single, astonishing idea that kept me guessing until the very last page. Interestingly, it was also left open for further books. Perhaps even another trilogy, which I would welcome with open arms.
This was an exquisite end to a beautiful trilogy. Laini Taylor’s prose is poetic, her story provocative, and her imagination infinite.