Books Magazine

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By Mswicegood @MeganSwicegood
Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and BoneDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Pages: 418
Grade: 9+ (fantasy violence and mature themes)
Series: Book 1, Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Publisher: Little, Brown, & Company
Source: Borrowed from the library
Amazon | Goodreads
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?
The writing in Smoke & Bone is just beautiful. It’s one of the better written books I’ve read in awhile, both in terms of style and plot/narration. I absolutely loved this one. I was also happy to see a 3rd person narrative - it seems like all I can find in YA anymore is 1st person and that gets old and limiting sometimes. This book has imagination, it’s unlike anything else I’ve read, even with the standard angel/war theme. It felt like Folklore to me. I could almost imagine this story being passed down from generation to generation like a carefully guarded secret.
Karou (don’t you just love that name?) is a wonderful heroine - smart, snarky, caring, loyal, and engaged. She doesn’t just let things happen to her - she fights for what she needs and wants. No “Pants” (aka Bella) here.
I also loved that the book was set in Prague. I had the good fortune of visiting this lovely city many years back and it’s always stayed with me. There’s a magic to the city itself and it comes across beautifully in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
I was surprised (pleasantly) with the plot. Right from the start there’s a giant mystery surrounding Karou’s otherworldly adopted family. What is it that they’re doing? How does it impact Karou? This is the part of the storyline that feels freshest. Yes, there ends up being a fallen angel and a war to end all wars storyline which is pretty commonplace, but Laini Taylor gives it such a fresh slant that it doesn’t feel common at all.
Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Fun and romantic.

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