‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ By Laini Taylor
I often set myself up for disappointment when I get caught up in the hype surrounding a book. I hear one glowing review, then a few more, then even more. I stare down those golden stars beside the book on Goodreads and Amazon, noting all the four and five star reviews. I think to myself, “This book must be amazing! Look at that average!” Throw in a pretty cover, and I’m basically sold. Now, I know this may not be right, but it happens, and I often do buy into it. Sometimes I’m incredibly dismayed to find that I was fooled, not by the actual book, but at my own colossal expectations. But, once in a great while, my expectations are exceeded, and this was absolutely the case with Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
So, this book. THIS BOOK. Guys, I loved this book. Can I get all fangirly now? I have to confess, one of the contributing factors of me wanting to read this book so badly was that it takes place in Prague. Ah, Prague. I fell in love with the city while I was traveling abroad in college, and was completely awed at how it felt like I had stepped back in time. The place is beautiful, mythic, and completely magical, with storybook settings everywhere you look. Those qualities can also be attributed to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It completely swept me away, right from the get-go. Before I say anymore, here’s a little synopsis on the novel 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 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?
Sounds good, right? I had never read any of Laini’s books before and therefore didn’t know what to expect (I think that’s a good thing, seeing my predilection toward listening to too much hype). I was amazed at how Laini let her characters unfold. I felt that I was given quite a bit of time to ease into the characters and their lives, yet the pacing was spot on. That sounds sort of contradictory, but I felt the urgency of the situation, and yet I also got to build my own rapport with everyone involved. I was able to languish in the setting, and was never bored by what I found. I don’t want to give away anything about the plot; I just want to convey the feelings I had while reading this book. I think it is a must-read if you love a good, dark fantasy, especially angel and demon mythology. It is one of my favorite books of the year, and will most likely be my favorite book of the fall (I say this now, but really, I don’t think it will be unseated). Please do yourself a favor and pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone when it goes on sale September 27, and in the mean time, check out these pretty book trailers (of which there will be five in total).
My rating: 5 Books
I’m not sure what I can add after Krystal’s thorough review. The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor is beautifully written and is filled with cultural intrigue. The story fascinated me! I am only giving the story 4 books on the bookshelf, but that still means you need to go out and read it. The story has several twists and turns, but it left me in the present for far too many flashbacks. After finishing the novel I wanted to be an artist in Europe with an unlimited number of wishes to use at my discretion.
Kelly’s Review (Slight Spoilers Ahead…)
Okay, so Krystal and Kallie have given you their reviews and I am now going to add mine to the mix. I will not lie, and I hope you have come to expect that of me, so…here goes…THIS BOOK…THIS BOOK!!! I am freaking in love with this book! Laini Taylor has made me wonder why in the world I ever thought I could be a writer and spurred me on to be the best writer I can possibly be all at the same time. She is kind of a genius when it comes to this book. I love really good descriptions-when someone explains something in a way that I would have never thought of before. Laini is a master at this. The entire book is filled with descriptions that make you scream out YES! And then make you wonder how you could have ever thought of it another way. Karou is a wonderful main character that I want to be friends with, travel with, and YES, steal all of her wishes. She is brave and vulnerable. I envision her as this artsy, rockstar chick who is terribly sexy and has absolutely no idea that she is. And, while I loved Karou, Zuzana stole my heart. I love her pixie-like description and her larger than life FIREBALL of a personality. Of course there is Akiva-the mysterious angel who follows Karou even though he should definitely exterminate her. Thankfully, good sense and doing the right thing leaves his head for a few moments. Seriously, is there a girl out there who wouldn’t want to feel the heat of his wings up close after reading this book?? Come on…if you’ve read it, you know you’ve thought it. And, believe it or not, I can’t leave out Brimstone. He is a character that is extremely complex. I wasn’t sure if I should hate him or love him, have compassion for him or wish for justice where he is concerned. And I caught myself doing all of the above!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a masterpiece. I have read the reviews out there. I know the hype that surrounds this book. What I can say is that the hype is there for a reason where this book is concerned. I’m the first to say that’s not the case most of the time (in my humble opinion), but this time-the book is definitely worthy of the hype. Go-get it now-and prepare yourself to get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done for the next day or so! Yes, I mean it. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Well…you may have to stop and daydream about Akiva here and there, but that is totally worthwhile pausing. You might want to prepare yourself to start saving for your trip to Prague too. You are definitely going to want to visit there after reading this book. My “Prague Trip Budget” has already begun. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. I’m anxiously awaiting the next! Bravo, Laini Taylor, Bravo.
Read the first 14 chapters on NetGalley below!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Chapter Sampler)