Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book #1
Published: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
418 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: may include spoilers
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Synopsis: 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?

I don’t really know what to say about Daughter of Smoke and Bone. So many things come to mind, and I’m not sure any of them can do justice to just how incredible this book is. It was unique, fascinating, heartbreaking, romantic, thrilling, suspenseful, captivating. Some of the many, many things I loved: Forbidden love. Prague. Flying. Angel wings. Giant marionettes. Elsewhere. Poison Kitchen. Wishes. Hope. I could go on and on, there were just so many things to love about this book.

Ms Taylor’s writing was so achingly beautiful and poetic, there were times it almost brought me to tears. I had to reread certain parts because they touched me so deeply, and as a writer myself I aspire to have a talent like that. I became so immersed in Karou and Akiva’s worlds, I never wanted to leave.

The characters in this book are fantastic. Karou and Akiva especially are so real - their emotions, their actions, their reactions. Karou was no-nonsense and kick-ass, but there was this vulnerability about her, too. Akiva was so intense and haunted, and despite the things he had seen and done, he had an innocence about him that made me love him. 

I also loved the secondary characters. They made the story so much richer and more vibrant, whether you loved them or hated them. I loved the hilarious, sometimes snarky dialogue between Karou and her best friend Zuzana. It reminded me of the way my friends and I talked in high school, and made me feel like I was right there with them.

As for the romance: *swoon* I know some people don’t like forbidden love romances, but this one was epic. I loved that it didn’t happen right away, and that we got a chance to know Karou on her own first. Then we met Akiva, and things slowly started happening and the romance began to unfold. Wow. Their love was so beautiful and heartbreaking; I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book.

It’s only February, but this is already one of my favorite books of the year, and I’m quite certain that at the end of the year it’ll be making my list of favorites for 2012.


  1. Probably my favorite read of last year.

  2. I got this book back in october for my birthday and I have still not read it yet. After reading your review, I am totally kicking myself. You make it sound even more awesome than the summary of it.

    Great review!

  3. The more I hear about this one, the more excited I become about reading it. I have a copy on my shelf, but I'm forcing myself to finish what I'm already reading before I start!

  4. At first I cringed at the phrase 'angel and devil fell in love'. Then I decided to pick this up and now I am so.. so.. in love with the world Laini Taylor has created. Hearts over my Eyes! :D


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