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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 by in 5 stars, Book Reviews | 0 comments

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Format: e-Book
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Dates Read: March 11-13, 2012

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?

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.  It did not end well.

After much debate, I have decided that’s really about all you need to know about this book before you read it.  It took me a while to gather my thoughts about this book enough to write a review, because I know I simply cannot do it justice.  I also don’t want to dilute the magic of the novel by revealing the plot.  As a reader, it really is best for you to not fully understand what is going on — to get swept up in the magic of the plot as it unfolds, and then be stunned breathless when it comes full circle.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the most original, solid novel I have read in a long, long time.  It is lush, wholly inventive, full of mystery and intrigue.  It has action, adventure, angst, magic, romance, tragedy and a heaping dose of fate.  It possesses elements of Moulin Rouge, The Fifth Element, and Rise of the Lycans that led to me liking it even moreThe world-building is magically well-crafted and the characters are strange and enchanting.

In short, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a story about Karou, an artistic teenager living in Prague, and her reconciliation of her strange lives.  You see, Karou may be a slightly abnormal teenager in one half of her life, but the other half is much more mysterious.  Karou runs errands for a strange creature named Brimstone that resides in another plane of existence she simply knows as “Elsewhere”.  Brimstone and the other inhabitants of the dusty shop fill Karou’s earliest memories, but she doesn’t seem to know much about herself or her situation beyond that.  She seeks answers, an explanation to the empty feeling inside her which tells her she should be somewhere else, doing something else.  However, when she begins to get the answers she desires, she may not be so sure she wants them any longer.

I recommend this novel highly to anyone that is a fan of fantasy, fairy tales and myths, exceedingly well-crafted worlds and plots. and/or having their heart handed to them by a book.  Really, I recommend it to anyone who has even an inkling of a feeling that they would like it.  Laini Taylor is an excellent author, and I greatly look forward to the release of Days of Blood and Starlight.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

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