Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daugher of Smoke & Bone #1
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Around the world, black hand prints 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 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? (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)
One of my friends in my book club raved about Daughter of Smoke & Bone soon after it was published, back in 2011, and I bought it at some point in 2012, but didn’t read it until December. It’s one of those where I wished I had read it earlier so that I could have been caught up in all the hype. Luckily my book club is reading Days of Blood & Starlight this month, so we’ll be able to talk about both books!
My aforementioned friend wrote one line in her Goodreads review of Daugher of Smoke & Bone: “Now, this is storytelling.” And I can’t agree more! Laini Taylor created such an intricate world with such fascinating characters that really placed you in the story and made you see, feel, and smell everything going on in each scene. And I spent most of my time jotting down great lines from the story, because Taylor just has a knack with words. But I’ll get to those great quotes later.
One thing I really liked about DoS&B was that it started out with the main character having an ex-boyfriend. Not many YA books that I’ve read start out that way, and it was a nice, fresh beginning to the series. I mean, her ex really didn’t have much to do with the story overall but it was a nice subplot.
And I really liked the characters, especially Zuzana and Brimstone. Zuzana was hilarious and Brimstone was fascinating. And Taylor totally gets some bonus points for the game that Karou, Mik, and Zuzana play called “How much would your life have to suck to want the Apocalypse?” And MAJOR bonus points for the fact that one of the answers in that game was “That you know all Celine Dion’s lyrics.” Ah, I kid. But really. Major bonus points.
As I said before, most of my notes are full of beautiful quotes taken directly from the pages of this book. It was really hard to narrow them down, but here are just a few of my favorites:
My rating for Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor:
Actually 4.5 stars. I really, really enjoyed this story but I didn’t really fangirl over it which keeps me from giving it that fifth star. But I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series, along with anything else written by Laini Taylor.