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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: 9.27.2011
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Keywords: Good vs Evil, Orphans, Love, Magic, Wishes
Pages: 544
Description (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?

It's been a long time since I've loved a book as passionately as I love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. Laini Taylor has created a fascinating novel with a lush, atmospheric setting and terrifyingly beautiful characters. I really, truly never wanted to leave.

Karou leads a double life. As art student in Prague, she creates fantastical artwork and elaborate stories that amuse and entertain her peers and teachers. She has an ex-boyfriend that she can't seem to shake and a protective, and adorably vicious, best friend. 

What no one knows is that Karou's artwork and stories aren't just a product of an overactive imagination. The "monsters" she depicts and fanciful stories that accompany their images are all true... These "monsters" are her family.

Karou has no memory of a time before her unconventional family. She was raised in a curious shop by even more curious creatures. Many would call them monstrosities - they call themselves chimaera. Chimaera have both human and animal characteristics and speak a language entirely their own. 

I found myself particularly drawn to a specific member of Karou's family: Brimstone. He's a very private creature and that deals in teeth and wishes. He shoulders an immense responsibility - though Karou, and the reader, aren't exactly sure what this responsibility entails. The mystery surrounding his past, his shop, and his wishes was one of the many reasons I couldn't set this book down. 

Karou herself is a mystery. She has no recollection of who she is and where she came from. In one moment she appears very young, using wishes to create awkward itchiness for her ex-boyfriend, the next moment she seems much wiser and older than the body she inhabits. Who is this peculiar blue-haired girl?

All of this, coupled with the arrival of painfully beautiful Akiva, builds to an truth of epic proportions.

Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.


  1. I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Such a gorgeous book! I have the finished copy staring at me, and all I want to do is reread it. I've got to make it through my review pile until I can reread my favorites!

    Great review. I was drawn to Brimstone, too.

  2. I found your blog via Twitter, Sara, it's fantastic.

    I adore YA, both reading and writing, and your reviews are excellent.

  3. I read the ARC and I loved it so much I want to buy a finished copy! My Review


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