Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pages: 420 pages
Goodreads 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.I wasn’t sure how to approach Daughter of Smoke and Bone at first. Both the summary and the book’s cover art are vague and then there is the hint that this may be an angel book, which I usually avoid. After reading enough reviews that assured me that the mythology is this book is different than what we traditionally associate with angels, I decided to give Daughter of Smoke and Bone a try. I’m very happy that I did. Easily, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favorite books of the year.
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?
Laini Taylor certainly has a way with words. Her writing is so vivid and the world building is incredible. While reading this book, I could very clearly imagine the scenes in Prague, Marrakesh, the city of Loramendi and even the battle fields on Eretz. And the characters! Karou is a fantastic main character, both vulnerable and fierce at the same time. And Akiva, oh Akiva…. His pain, anger and love are such real, visceral things that are awesomely written.
There are certain plot devices used in this book that usually annoy me (characters declaring love very quickly after meeting and stalkerish behavior), but Ms. Taylor makes it work and work well. The story is incredible and well plotted, the characters are amazing and well rounded.
As great as the characters and world building are, the thing about the book that I really love is the original, dark and fantastical story that Ms. Taylor has imagined and thankfully, shared with us. I don’t want to give too much away, this book is something you should experience on your own and fall in love with it as I did. The sequel, which comes out next year, is now at the top of my list for must read books in 2012.
Content: Implied sex, kissing, mild profanity and heavy violence. While this is marketed as a young adult novel, only Karou and her friend Zuzana are teenagers. Everyone else is an adult including Akiva and Karou’s ex-boyfriend, Kaz. Daughter and Smoke and Bone reads like an adult fantasy novel and may be more appropriate for older teens.
My Rating: The Best!