Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: The Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 418 pages
Date Published: September 27, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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?
Words cannot adequately describe the monumental beauty and perfection that is The Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The first chapter, the first page, hooks the reader and gives us a character to care about, and to root for. Karou has this magnetic personality that I was instantly drawn to. She’s funny and witty and has this edge to her; but she’s also has this utterly vulnerable side that shows just how broken and empty she is.

The setting of Prague and Marakesh come alive with vivid clarity. Laini Taylor places the reader on the twisting cobblestone streets alongside Karou and guarantees that we live her every experience with her. In doing so, Laini Taylor demonstrates this flawless prose that captures the best and the worst of every character and every scene.

Not only is Karou intriguing, but so is Brimstone’s world of hidden knowledge and secrets long kept. The chimaera are cloaked in mystery and since Karou knows little about them, the reader remains in the dark as well. Then there are the black handprints and Akiva. Both are tied to the chimaera, but, at first, it’s unclear how. The tension between Karou and Akiva crackles with energy and the two characters alternating chapters keeps the story moving without pause.

Karou’s fight for the truth – and for her life many times – is fast-paced and complex. Nothing is ever what it seems. The omg-worthy twist towards the end does pull the reader out of the story a bit, but if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most perfectly told stories and one of the most intricately detailed plotlines in young adult literature.

The Daughter of Smoke & Bone
is so much more than just a tale of angels and demons. It’s about secrets and wishes and love and hope. Taylor is an extremely talented storyteller who knows how to hook her readers and never let go. Believe me when I say that this is a must-read.

Opening line: Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages:
It was like stepping into the pages of a book – a book alive with color and fragrance, filth and chaos – and the blue-haired girl moved through it all like a fairy through a story, the light treating her differently than it did others, the air seeming to gather around her like held breath. As if this whole place were a story about her. ~ pgs. 78-79
Because it's impossible to pick just one:
“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.” ~ pg. 288
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Laini Taylor online:

Buy it online:


Britt said...

Glad you loved it!!! Can not wait for the next installment. It really is an intricately detailed plot line. It's so weird reading Laini Taylor's books, it's like she lives in her own bubble of awesome. Happy Reading!

Candace said...

YAY! So glad you loved it too! Laini's writing is so beautiful and unique, I adore it.

Off subject- I'm reading Shatter Me and have been thinking of you the whole time because you already expressed, and even read to us, the beauty of her words. I'm so blown AWAY! SO gorgeous! I'm nearly done with it and I'm going to be sad for it to end. :(

roro said...


Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I love books like this! It's been awhile since a book completely blew me out of the water, but I've heard so many good things about this one! Glad to hear you liked it too!

Lori said...

It was almost impossible for me to review this book. It's just so....amazing. You did a great job reviewing it, though! I can't wait to for book 2.

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