Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor
Publication: September 2011 from Little, Brown and Company: Look Inside the Book
Rating: 5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I loved it!
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldy war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she speaks many languages – not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is beautiful, and absolutely mesmerizing.
Karou is, at first glance, an art student in Prague. But her life is so much more involved than that – Karou runs errands for a chimaera, collecting teeth from around the world. And though this life is normal only for her, her normal is about to be disrupted in a book way. Black handprints begin appearing on all the secret doors into that other-space where the chimaera reside and angels have returned to the world. Karou is caught up in a fight she had no idea was going on and discovers more about herself than she ever expected.
Karou is one of the main reasons I love this book so much – she is a great character! Karou is independent, creative, loyal and loving, but she can also be insecure, hasty, secretive and even a little petty. So, you know…she’s a teenager. Her development throughout the book is wonderful and it’s after she meets Akiva that everything begins to speed up and mysteries start to unravel. Akiva is broody and angry in the beginning and while he stays kind of broody he’s full of hope and not a little bit of fear after meeting Karou. Though the ending of the book seemed to take a completely different direction than the beginning – mainly flashbacks and backstory rather than continuation of the main story – it still fit somehow, and gives you the information needed to lead in nicely to the sequel (I’m hoping, anyway. The last page says to be continued!).
It is so incredibly hard to talk about this book without spoiling it! The whole thing is a lead up to discovering the mystery of who Karou really is and learning about the war taking place between the angels (like Akiva) and the Chimaera (like Brimstone, who raised Karou from infancy). Laini Taylor’s writing is incredibly vivid and draws you in to Karou’s and Akiva’s world of love, war, beauty and fear. I loved that the story was set in a part of the world that I am completely unfamiliar with, and yet by the time I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone I felt as if I had been to Prague numerous times. The mythology behind the Chimaera and Angels, their war and their world is fantastic. It resounds with familiarity but is utterly unique. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is teeming with rich detail, clear emotion and solid character voice – definitely a must read for any fantasy or paranormal fan, and even if you’re not, I highly recommend you give it a try!
Hardcover received from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!