Monday, 17 October 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor
September 29th 2011
Hodder & Stoughton

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?

Daughter and Smoke and Bone is simply amazing. I won't lie, as much as I was excited for this book, I had heard very mixed things about it, and I was a little worried that I would be left a little disappointed, but such was not the case! I was constantly in awe of how beautiful and peculiar Taylor's writing style was, and I just wanted to savour it for as long as I possibly could.

The whole idea of the book is intriguing and everything in it, from the teeth being used for magic, to the Chimera, to the wishes, and the names, to the other worlds and the characters themselves was a little bit weird and odd, but completely magical, and it might just be my inexperience with fantasy, but all of it was wonderful and new to me, and made me realise that I should give fantasy more of a go! *picks up Graceling to try and read again*

Another of the fascinating things about this book (to which there are really no end) were the characters. I didn't really connect with any of them, but this didn't affect my enjoyment of the book at all. I think that they were each so unique and peculiar that without a connection to them, you could still just LIKE them, but as with most books, I did prefer the side characters. I would love to read more about Brimstone, and Zuzanna and Mik and her Karou's human friends. None of the characters were wholly good or wholly bad either. It was packed full of shades of grey, of bad acts done from mistakes and misunderstandings, and a war told from the point of view of either side, and there was good and bad in both of them. There were good Chimera and bad Seraphim and good Seraphim and bad Chimera, as there are of most people. I like it when books are like that, because there's nothing worse than a cheesy, 2 dimensional bad-guy... Everyone has reasons for doing bad things... I'm getting a little off track here.

The romance felt like it was a little fast around the middle, but by the end everything had been explained, and secrets revealed, and a whole new story of Akiva's past love told which explained all the things (pretty much) regarding their relationship. I love Karou's reaction at the end though! I'm not gonna spoil anything, but I think she made the right decision. You know, RIGHT at the end, like, just before the epilogue? Yeah. I was just sitting there like GO YOU KAROU! But that might justa been me.. It was a great ending though! I neeeed to know what happens next! That, and I just want to read more from Laini Taylor... *in love with her writing*

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is amazing from title to the last page, and I just genuinely fell in love with it, and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, I thought it  was beautiful and magical and I can't wait to read more by Laini! 

*This book was sent to me out of the kindness of the publishers hearts, but my reviews are in no way influenced by that fact. :)


  1. Yes yes YES, we couldn't agree more! DoSaB is definitely one of our fave reads of the year, and we're dying for more.

    If you liked DoSaB, check out Lips Touch by Laini too. Also, we haven't read Graceling, but one of our fave authors for YA fantasy is Robin McKinley. Try these: Pegasus, The Blue Sword, The Hero and The Crown. We loved them!

    And no, Laini is not "the norm," even for fantasy. She's well above average. As you said, she has a particularly "beautiful and peculiar" imagination.

  2. I totally agree! I CANT wait to read the next one in this series, and more from Laini!


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