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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: E-book
Source: Purchased
Pages: 432
Buy: Fountain Bookstore / Amazon
Description: 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?
I don’t even know what to say about Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  I don’t think the words have been invented that describe my feelings for this amazing book, and truthfully, the only person who could properly create and position the words for me is the incredibly talented author of said amazing book, Laini Taylor.  Oh my stars and garters, I am in a glass case of emotion, there is no gif for these things that I am FEELING. 

To say I was completely and utterly blown away would be an understatement. 

The thing is, I have no idea how to review Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  No idea.  I can’t even.  I tried to explain the plot to a friend while I was still mid-book, and she had to stop me because she said I was only speaking nonsense words.  So, instead of spouting nonsense words to you, here’s a list of just a few of my favorite things in this wildly original story.

The cast of characters, especially Karou.  Everyone in this book is awesome.  Even the people that suck are awesome.  Even little bitty characters that are only present for a quick joke are awesome.  At the head of this cast is Karou, a seventeen-year-old orphan of unknown origin with hair the color of lapis lazuli that grows out of her head that way.  She attends The Art Lyceum of Bohemia in Prague, she speaks countless foreign languages, and she is FULL of SECRETS.  Like the fact that she works as an errand runner for a chimaera wishgranter named Brimstone, who also raised her with the help of a bevy of other chimaera that her art peers believe are figments of her sketch book imagination.  Yeah, you read that right.  From the moment you meet Karou, you are on her side because she is dry, witty, and kick-ass.  She’s a heroine unlike any other.

The story of Karou and Akiva.  I really can’t go into this without ruining just about everything, but let me just say that this is one super intense origin story.  There is a reason Karou is so drawn to the mysteriously angelic Akiva, even after they totally kick each other’s butts Buffy and Angelus style in the streets of Marrakesh.  Their story is so real, and it is incredible.

Finally, Laini Taylor’s fantastically luscious and delightful words.  This is not a book to go into lightly, because that is pretty impossible.  It should only be devoured, taking the care to appreciate every syllable and love every letter.  It is lyrical to the breaking point, deliciously wonderful from start to finish.  Seriously, no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to do proper justice to the prose of Laini Taylor.  It’s simply otherworldly. 

I crave the follow-up to Daughter of Smoke and Bone like it is water.  I cannot wait to find out what happens next to our girl Karou.  I don’t even know what else to say but go read this book right now.  I guarantee you have never read anything like Daughter of Smoke and Bone before.  


  1. Ah! I keep reading great things about this book and I still have yet to pick up a copy. Lame, I know, haha. Thanks for the great review and for making me even more excited to read the book! :-)

  2. I'm not entirely sure that I completely grasp the general plot/story going on here, but your review definitely made me think that this is a book I must read soon. I will definitely be adding this book to my list!

  3. No, surely this gushing is too good to be true?! I've read a lot of hype about this book, and I'm a little scared of being too excited, and then not giving it a fair chance...alas, I'm going to wait to hear what Elaine Charles has to say about it. She and the Book report crew are usually straight down the line.