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Review: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 424
Publisher: September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780316134026
Genre: fantasy
Source: My own copy


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) 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?



This was nothing like what I expected. AT ALL. To be honest, though, I'm not sure what I was expecting.

The setting for Daughter of Smoke and Bone was phenomenal. I know nothing of Prague, but I could imagine myself there. The writing was so descriptive that I could smell the burning embers from the fire and feel the wind whipping over my skin as the characters sat perched on the cathedral watching the sunrise. I could feel these things because it felt like I was there with them. This was probably one of the best settings I have come by.

The plot was pretty interesting as well. Since this is the first of the series, it's setting the stage for the remainder of the books. I have no idea where things will be heading, but I can guess there is one heck of a fight scene brewing. Now, as for a love story... Karou and Akiva were intense. Think Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, because that's what they were. A fantastical Romeo and Juliet of sorts. As I type this, I can think of more similarities between the two stories, which makes me like this more and more. So I'm going to say that's just what this was: a highly imaginative retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

The characters were pretty solid. Karou and Akiva were layered and very interesting. As their individual stories unfolded, you had glimpses into their pasts. As a reader, though, you were left to fill in most of the gaps until the very end. The supporting characters were also well written for their purpose. There was a fine line between protagonist and antagonist that often became fuzzy. That will be the basis for book 2 (Days of Blood and Starlight).

Overall, I enjoyed it. It did not knock my socks off or leave me speechless. I found myself getting tired of the multiple points of views at time. Karou mostly told the story, but at times Akiva would tell his version. What really through me for a loop was the final third of the book that was told from a different perspective all together. While it helped finalize the story and share insight into Karou's past, it was still a bit confusing upon the initial switch.

I keep pondering over this theme of hope that runs throughout the novel. I know it's important and once I put words to my thoughts, I may change my view of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

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Comments

  1. Personally I love this novel - but I can understand your point about the multiple POVs. For me it was the world building that really blew me away. It felt so vivid!

    ReplyDelete
  2. To be fair, I should say you are right about the world building. It was very unique. Especially when Karou crosses through the door (and when we get a glimpse into her past). I'm sure I will read the next books!

    ReplyDelete

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Paperback: 192 pages
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