Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown, & Company
Release date: September 27, 2011
Source: Around the World Tours
Format: Hardback, 432 pages
Purchase: Book Depository
Summary 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 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 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’ll admit the first thing that drew me to this book back when I first saw in it in some BEA In My Mailbox posts was the cover. And then the title. I don’t think I actually read the summary until I was holding this book. And even then it was yes please! Daughter of Smoke & Bone has tied with A Beautiful Dark for absolute favorite reads of 2011.
First off, this is one of those few books that actually makes the atmosphere its own character. I loved the descriptions of places and people. Each destination described had it’s own feel to it. And I loved that the first half was mainly set in our world, and then the second half set for the most part in the other world. I’m sorry, but you don’t often find worldbuilding this good in YA fantasy, in my own opinion.
The story itself was awesome as well. I became very attached to all the characters, even though some weren’t seen for more than half the book. I’m extremely eager to know what happens to them in the sequel though. Karou and Akiva’s romance was whirlwind and somewhat sudden, but honestly I didn’t mind this time. Especially since there’s a reason for it. Which blew my mind, I was not expecting what was revealed. There is even a part in the book that explains the title, which was nice. Every now and then I sometimes find a book where the title doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is not your average paranormal/angel book. Laini Taylor has definitely crafted a unique and gripping story that will leave you wanting the sequel the minute you finish it. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the next one, and I recommend that anyone who loves fantasy read this now.