Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

(Synopsis from Amazon)

Karou is a seventeen-year-old art student with a most unusual family. From his desk in a dusty, otherworldly shop, her mysterious, monstrous father sends her on errands across the globe, collecting teeth for a shadowy purpose. On one such errand, Karou encounters an angel, and soon the mysteries of her life and her family are unraveled--with consequences both beautiful and dreadful. National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor has created a lushly imaginative, fully realized world in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Taylor’s writing is as sumptuous as poetry, and the story overflows with dark and delightful magic, star-crossed love, and difficult choices with heartbreaking repercussions. Readers of all ages will be utterly enchanted.

“She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of a devil's lair. She wasn't innocent now, but she didn't know what to do about it. This was her life: magic and shame and secrets and teeth and a deep, nagging hollow at the center of herself where something was most certainly missing.”

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a fantastic contribution to the world of YA fantasy by author Laini Taylor. The writing is stunning and the story is so unique that I dare say this was unlike anything I've ever read before. This didn't really even feel like reading YA, so if you are not a YA fan, please still give it a try! Taylor's style is refreshing and poetic and I often got lost in the words.

“Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and...cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.”

The secondary characters in the story really shine, especially Brimstone (best book monster ever!) and Zuzana (best sarcastic friend ever!), but the strength really comes from Karou and Akiva. Karou's world is a mystery. Even she doesn't really understand her errands for Brimstone or know anything about his world. We unravel the mysteries along with Karou, making our own guesses as the plot progresses. Taylor unfolds each little piece of Karou's world and her past a little at a time. When Akiva enters Karou's world he just adds another piece to the mystery. He is fire and strength where Karou is sadness and longing and their 'situation' is intriguing to read. I definitely liked Karou more than Akiva, but that is probably because the story gets told from her third-person perspective. I say mostly because there is a bit of point of view shifting between Karou and Akiva here and there, and then a major point of view shift takes place toward the end of the book. I enjoyed reading from the other points of view, but I felt a bit disarmed with the switch at the end and I felt it created a screeching halt in the plot that I felt could have been handled differently. That is really the only reason I gave this book four stars rather than five.

The world of Brimstone and his 'monsters' is another major strength. I loved them all and wanted them to be in the book even more! Brimstone's gruff exterior and his obvious care for Karou made him lovable.

You will like this story if you enjoy poetic narrative, romantic mysteries, fantasy creatures, angels, and the unusual.


  1. I loved this book. It is such a fascinating world, and I desperately wish that I could walk through a door and end up abroad. I am so excited for the next book.

  2. I loved this book! I thought she did a great job with story, and it was such an original plot! I kind of agree with you about the ending - it left me hanging a bit so I can't wait for the next book!


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