Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

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 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?


Everything about this book screams beautiful. The cover, the story, the language. I fell utterly in love with it after the first chapter. If you want to steal away to a dark, fairytale world, this book is the perfect read.

We follow the story of Karou, an art student in the city of Prague (the European setting makes it all the more mysterious). Anyway, the strange thing about her is that she is an orphan, with no knowledge of her origins. You're obviously wondering "how does an orphan survive with no parents?" at this point, right? Well, Karou has been raised by a foster family of creatures from another world. Without giving too much away, this world has been at war for as long as anyone can remember, and is a big part of Karou's life.

My favorite aspect of this book was the author's use of language in writing the story. Everything is beautifully scripted and falls into place delightfully. She also manages to make the romance of "two people from two different worlds" work without it seeming cliché. While reading, I found myself drawing comparisons to Fallen by Lauren Kate, in which the romance is similar. While, the romance is a big component of the story, it doesn't completely devour the characterization or plot, which happens in Fallen. You should definitely give this book a shot if you're not a fan of the Fallen series.

I also enjoyed the world-building in this book. Every location and magical aspect, from the streets of Prague to the monstrous world is artfully drawn through beautifully poetic descriptions. Overall, Daughter of Smoke & Bone has the right mixture of romance, adventure, and intrigue that makes the start of an awesome series.

Rating: ★ 4 stars

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