Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Published: 9-27-2011
Format: Hardcover, 418 pages
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy YA Fiction
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis 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?

Laini Taylor has quickly become one of my favorite authors! In Daughter of Smoke and Bone, she weaves a very intricate and dynamic story that will have you on the edge of your seat until you reach the very end. The other world that is described seemed so vivid and I could picture everything that happened so perfectly. This book is also beautifully written and unbelievably descriptive, and the premise is so unique. The characters in this book are divine as well. This entire book is magical.

Seventeen year old Karou doesn't exactly lead the most "normal" life. She pretty much has two separate identities: Art student in Prague by day and errand runner for a horned beast named Brimstone by night-- for whom she collects teeth. I really felt for Karou. She lives her life in a state of emptiness that she can't quite put her finger on. She has no clue where she's from or who her parents were, only that she was taken in by Brimstone and him and a few other non-humans (A.K.A. Chimaera) are the only family she's ever known. I really got so caught up in Karou and her journey throughout this book. Learning about other worlds and races was so incredibly fascinating. Her Chimaera family was so great, all of them so unique. I relished the moments when she stepped through the portal into "elsewhere". I was also in shock and awe every time Karou would stumble across vital bits and pieces of information she had yearned to discover all her life. Believe me, there are so many revelations and discovered truths that will leave your head spinning!

At the heart of this tale is Karou and Akiva. Oh, Akiva........what an experience he was! Some of the moments that he shared with Karou just about set me on fire. This man is, for lack of a better word, HOT. Once we get to know him he proves to be filled with a passion and fire that is irresistible, especially to Karou. Delving into the unexplainable connection that these two share was both beautiful and heartwrenching. You can't help but crave more of them.

This book is filled with an almost palpable intensity at times, but some of the lighter moments that I really quite enjoyed were when Karou and her best friend Zuzana were hanging out. In fact, I can guarantee that pretty much every time I would burst out laughing hysterically, Zuzana was always involved somehow. I hope there's more of her in the next book. Only she can turn a widow's peak into a sexy, dirty and hilarious joke!

I feel like I'm not doing this book justice in this review, because the awesomeness of this story has scrambled my brain. But please take my word for it when I say that you NEED to read this book. It will far exceed your expectations! I can't wait to read the next installment of this series and see what's next for Karou, because the ending of this book left me with so many more questions. But I am sure that whatever happens next will be equally as enchanting and clever!


  1. This one is on my wish list. I've heard so many good things about it. I think I'm going to need to read it soon!

  2. Yay!! I'm so glad you loved this! Now you and I can impatiently wait for the sequel together :0) As always, great review!

  3. Fantastic review! Now I'm super anxious to read this!!

  4. I really didn't expect much from this book. I've been sort of underwhelmed by the recent onslaught of YA books, which is not my favorite genre but all I really want is a great story told well. Much to my surprise, this book totally delivered. I loved it and can't wait to read the next one!

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