Friday, March 23, 2012

REVIEW: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor
Pub:Sept. 27 2011 by Little, Brown & Company
Review Copy: Hardcover (personal, purchased)

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 grown dangerously low. 

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; 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. 

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well"
(from Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of those surprise reads for how beautiful the imagery in it was. Karou is a mystery to us, the reader and to almost everyone in her life. We quickly learn that Karou’s magic is more vivid and real than we originally thought and that there is a mystery here that will take time to solve.

One of the greatest pleasures of Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the way it unfolds and opens to the reader. The story reveals itself slowly over the course of the book and draws you in until, at last, at the moment when all is finally revealed, you have become so invested in these characters and their story, your heart breaks for the tragedy of it all.

I had no idea how deeply moving and beautiful this book would turn out to be. At first it just seemed very strange but as the story grows and we move beyond the streets of Prague and beyond the little room where Brimstone (the creature who raised Karou) conducts his business, we begin to see a much larger picture. A story that is so much more.

There is a surreal quality to the whole book, but by the end I was so invested in 
Karou’s story that I couldn’t put the book down. This is one of those books that are best read without knowing too much before you start. It is a little slow at the beginning, but worth reading to the end. Everything eventually ties together perfectly in the last few pages and the results are wonderful and tragic and…wow.

The story mostly follows Karou, but some parts are told from Akiva’s, an angel who is drawn to Karou, perspective too. There is also a back story told from a demon named Madrigal’s side too. These different stories all come together to explain the mystery that is Karou. 
I hate to say too much and give away the story, but I really enjoyed this book. It was so magical. It was interesting, surprising and romantic and well worth reading. 

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

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