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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Grade: 4.5 stars out of 5

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was just wow. Pick up it and embrace it.

That doesn’t convince you? Well let’s keep going….

But first, the beginning. When word first came out about Laini Taylor’s new book, I immediately dismissed it. I was trapped under piles of books and didn’t have the time to start a new paranormal romance series (because they’re really starting to annoy me). Then the reviews started to pour in. And pour in. They were positive, glowing, and urging other readers to pick this book up!  (Well here’s another one I guess.) When an offer was given to me to read an early copy, I caved in.
"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?" [from Amazon]
Daughter of Smoke and Bone captivated me from the very first page. Taylor was able to capture emotions, bottle it up, and share them with the readers. I felt the anxiety, anguish, and confusion with Kaoru rather than reading about it. Whether it may be rooting for the angels to win or the demons to win, Taylor makes it impossible to truly hate someone. The print may be in black and white, but the characters are all shades of grey. Taylor drew the evil from the beauty of the angels and the kindness from the demons.  It was effortlessly done that I didn’t read the book as good versus evil, but simply a story of rebellions looking for peace.

I felt most connected to Kaoru and Zuzana from the start of their adventures until the end. Their friendship was ruffled a bit, but it continued to hold strong. This is an example of a good and stable friendship that is so believable; good friends bicker and fight every so often, but when push comes to shove, they’ll remain true to each other.

I absolutely love the side-characters. Point-blank they’re such amazing characters that I can read several chapters solely on them.

Akiva and Kaoru relationship was one of Romeo and Juliet’s, but it didn’t feel contrive or forced onto the readers. It was a fragile relationship that seemed to teeter: fight for their relationship or destroy it to save each other. I loved how the mystery came together as well as how the memory was restored. Taylor was able to build up the tension and mystery before unveiling in a big way.

In general the book was truly magnificent. It merged the past and the present flawlessly. It struck a balance between good and evil. From deadly fight scenes and tender moments of love almost too sweet to look, Daughter of Smoke and Bone can be aimed at many readers. With its fantastic elements and human emotion blended thoroughly readers who are sick of vampires can have another option. Taylor left little hints everywhere without the reader even knowing it; and gave the readers just enough information to explain concepts without dulling the experience.

Just try it okay? Don’t make me come over there and smack the book in your face now….

Cover C
Source: ARC from HipScout
Published: 2011, September 27; hardcover


  1. Hmm, have you read any other Laini Taylor books? I tried reading the Dreamdark books but never really go into them (I don't understand why...I may give it another go). You've successfully managed to convince me to pick this one up, though! But, like you, I do have doubts about anymore paranormal romances...


  2. Not a fan of the cover either, but this is the first time I read the synopsis, and WOW! Didn't think it would sound so good, and your review just made it that much irresistible!


    Check out the GREAT GIVEAWAYS we have going on right now.

  4. This book is already on my TBR list. I can't wait to read it!

    Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :) http://rachelbrookswrites.blogspot.com/