Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – My Review

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.”

― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

My Quick Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone was utterly unique and unlike anything I have read in the past. The world building and magic system were unprecedented. The character depth and relationships emotionally devastating. This was a fantastic read and I would 100% recommend this book to anyone wishing to delve into a bizarre world full of action, magic, otherworldly creatures, and wishes that actually come true.

Category: YA Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Age Rating: 14+

Pages: 418

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

CharactersMadrigalKarouAkiva (Daughter of Smoke & Bone)KazimirZuzanaIssaBrimstoneThiagoMikZiri

Literary Awards: Locus Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel (2012)Audie Award for Fantasy (2012)Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2013)Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2013)Children’s Choice Book Award Nominee for Teen Choice Book of the Year (2012)The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky (2012)California Young Readers Medal Nominee for Young Adult (2015)Oregon Spirit Book Award for Young Adult (2011)Lincoln Award Nominee (2014)Andre Norton Award Nominee (2011)Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and for Favorite Book (2011)The Inky Awards Shortlist for Silver Inky (2012)Missouri Gateway Readers Award Nominee (2014)Premio El Templo de las Mil Puertas Nominee for Mejor novela extranjera perteneciente a saga (2012)

Trigger Warnings: animal death, death, execution, fatphobia, injury, murder, rape (mentioned), Self-mutilation (brief mention), Slavery (mentioned), Stalking, Toxic masculinity, Trauma, Violence.

Representation: N/A

Tropes: Insta-love

Synopsis:

Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone follows the story of Karou, a 17 year old art study residing in Prague. Karou is a seemingly normal girl, going to classes with her best friend Zuzana and visiting her local cafe, however it is quickly revealed that there is more to Karou than meets the eye. She speaks several languages, not all of them of human origin, and draws nothing but bizarre half human – half animal creatures, that couldn’t possibly be real….right?

Karou leads a double life, and it’s even more magical than you could ever imagine. Filled with other worldly creatures, and a completely unique magic system, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is unlike anything I have read before.

The beginning of this book completely enraptured me. It almost read as a contemporary from the first few pages, however, as you delved deeper into the words, references of bizarre magic systems, mythical creatures and otherworldly objects were thrown into the mix as if it were a completely ordinary occurrence. It had me furiously turning the pages just to find out what on Earth was going on!

There was only one aspect of this book that I really did struggle with, and that was the concept of an insta-love romance. I have always found that, to me, insta-love romances are unbelievable and I am unable to invest fully into the characters emotions and relationship. However this is simply a personal preference and if that is a trope that you enjoy, then I am sure you would love this book.

The depth of the world building in this novel was incredible and the story line had so many twists and turns that I had no idea what to expect. I will warn you now though, that this book ended on a massive cliff hanger that will have you reaching for the second book in the series as soon as you have finished.

Conclusion: This was a fantastic read and unlike anything I have read in the past. Laini Taylor’s world building was impeccable, her writing style devastatingly beautiful and her characters heart-warming yet overwhelmingly deep and rich.

4.5/5

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.”

― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Interested in this book?

Find it here / Add it to your GoodReads shelf

One thought on “Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – My Review

  1. I have this whole series on my shelf! I’m hoping to get to it soon, it sounds like something I would really like! Glad you enjoyed it.

    Like

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