Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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 otherworldly 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?
Wow, what can I even begin to say that will do justice to this fabulous book that Laini Taylor has written? After a friend recommended this book to me I rushed to buy it on my kindle and eagerly sat down to read it. Daughter of Smoke and Bone had me from the very first line. “Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” I’m sucked in already, how do they fall in love? What happens for it to end badly? What on earth do teeth have to do with anything? I eagerly flew through the book anxiously savoring every last word to discover the answers to this first sentence!
Taylor has a phenomenal imagination and Karou is such a complex character. She is brave, intelligent, resourceful, and loves her family deeply. I was impressed with the way the book flowed so nicely with the amount of world building that Taylor has to do to create this phenomenal realm. As the story unfolds we move along and learn of the battle raging between the seraphim and nephilim. Imagine angels with wings that emit flames, and creatures that are half human half animal. The way that Taylor reveals her story is paced perfectly so that you are learning more as Karou discovers who she is. I felt this was extremely important because the book flowed and you learned quite a bit about the war and all of the characters without feeling like you are being downloaded with lots of information. The book flows back and forth between worlds with the majority of the events in our world happening in Prague. I must say while reading I wanted to take the next flight and fly over there just to spend time in the beautiful setting that was unfolding.
The romance in the book with Akiva is an interesting twist and as the story unfolds you will learn more about the attraction between Akiva and Karou and why they share a star crossed love. Akiva is also a very complex and interesting character and we learn of his deep anguish and pain as the story unfolds which makes him even more endearing and the story even more haunting. It doesn’t hurt that he is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous either.
I felt that Brimstone was also a show stopper and loved watching his story unfold as we learn more about who he is on the inside and that there is more to him than just an aloof leader. I savored every second of his story as well as Karou’s. His story is so rich and his life of service is taking a toll on him.
Overall Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about Hope and the quote that sums it up the most beautifully from the book is “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” As Karou learns what it means to hold on to hope and discovers who she is along the way you will want to make sure you are along for the ride. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful journey that will leave you with many things to ponder and anxiously awaiting the next book to see what happens next. I highly recommend this book.