Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Page Count: 432
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Book Summary: 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?
My Review: I didn’t think I’d end up loving it as much as I did. All I knew about the series was it was about angels and devils – not really a genre that normally appeals to me. But boy was I wrong! I loved this book.
With some authors, they make sure you remember you’re reading a novel about supernatural beings. Yes, Taylor does mention angels and demons but it’s more than that; she makes her characters come to life with their own depth and faults that the deeper I got into the book, the more I forgot I was reading about otherworldly creatures.
It took me a little to warm up to the Akiva chapters. He came off as too otherworldly and high and mighty at first that I thought I’d be dragging my feet every time he came up. But as I read on, I realized that there was more to him than a pretty face with fiery eyes. Taylor was able to create realistic and relatable characters that just so happened to be set in a fantasy world.
I loved the idea of the wish system and incorporating teeth. In other fantasy novels this system wouldn’t have any restrictions or setbacks, allowing the characters to freely use them as they wished ultimately leaving them invincible. In Taylor’s world there is a penalty for making a wish; the bigger the wish, the bigger the penalty. I loved this because it was another way of forming checks and balances in the story. If you wanted a drastic wish, that meant you had to make a drastic choice to receive it.
The only negative thing I can say about Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that I wish the flashback scenes toward the end of the book would have been split up a little more between the present day chapters. It was interesting to read and definitely added to the character’s story, but it just felt like the rest of the novel stopped for a few chapters before picking back up at the end.
Final Thoughts: All in all, I really loved it and plan on picking up the next novel in this series. If you think you can’t love a book about angels and demons, you’re wrong. Laini Taylor’s fantastical writing and realistic portrayal of her characters will have you wanting to devour this novel in one sitting.