Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Age: Young Adult
Species: Seraphim/ Demon/ Human/ Fallen Angel/ Sorcerer
Rating: 4.5/5
Interest: Kiersten White/ Laini Taylor/ Cool Title/ Buzzed

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? (Summary from

It has taken me weeks to come up with the proper way to describe reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I'm still not sure if I can do the book justice. My first encounter with Daughter was reading about it on Kiersten White's blog. She could not stop talking about how much she adored Laini Taylor's book, especially the writing. Kiersten, for the record, was the one to turn me on to Anna and the French Kiss, so I have a lot of faith in her book suggestions. I marked Daughter on my goodreads to be read and I sort of forgot about it. Months later, almost right after the Harry Potter films ended, an article came out about the two books most likely to take over after Harry Potter. One was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and the other was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. The article promoted them so highly that I pre-ordered them on amazon that very day... and forgot about them... again. Not even two weeks later, everyone and I mean everyone was talking about their arcs of Daughter, reading Daughter, fangirling over Daughter. So as all the buzz and anticipation built up, for weeks, I developed an exceedingly high expectations for this book. I was convinced a magical unicorn with wings of glitter would deliver the book to my doorstep.

Then I read it.

The best way for me to describe Daughter of Smoke and Bone is with this picture.

 (Warning: scaring is graphic)

See Me as I Am (c) Anzabelle on Casper (c) Anzabelle on

Most likely, you just had this shot of revulsion down your spine looking at Anzabelle's See Me as I Am*. The scaring is detailed to the point where I'm getting a little nauseous just looking at it. Some of you though, like me, are also taking the time to appreciate all of the detail, beauty and effort it took to bring this piece to life. Those two feelings mixed together are what it's like to read Daughter.

I am a person who has a fascination with the morbid, the creepy, and things that cause the heebie jeebies. The creepier it is, the more interesting I'm probably going to find something. Taylor's book has spine curling pockets of creepy going on involving dead bodies, teeth and pain. Yet, the book is still one of the most beautifully crafted novels I've ever read. The descriptions of Prague are fairy tale-esque, the mythology is expertly crafted, filled with captivating new creatures, the writing just makes me want to curl up and forget my own world for a while. It is exquisite.

There were a few minor problems I had with Daughter, like Taylor waiting until the last hundred pages or so to explain everything that was going on and what it meant for Karou. Or, the large chunk of time when it felt like one part of the story had been abandoned for another, but I still found the book interesting. 

I must also take this time to bow down to the queen of names aka Laini Taylor. I loved almost every single name in the entire book. Karou's was especially dear to me because it is also the name of a Ruroni Kenshin character I adored. Other names like Akiva, Kazimir, Twiga, Brimstone, Thiago, all sound so exotic and otherwordly, like characters in fairy tales. I almost wished there were more characters introduced in this book just so I could read their names and try to pronounce them.  

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is magical novel filled with spectacular and awe-inspiring creatures. The writing will draw you in like a moth to a flame. I garuntee you will absolutely not ever want to put this book down. Any fans of fantasy, japanese or other foreign mythology and great story telling. Heck, I even recommend it to video gamers, it's just that visually driven. Please, do yourself a favor and pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone today. It's a spectacular book.

*For more art by Anzabelle, go to her deviation gallery here.

Series Order: 
1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
2. TBA (September 2012)

Teaser Line #1 : "Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star."

Teaser Line #2: "Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."

Teaser Line #3: "Stop Squandering yourself child, wait for love."

Happy Reading, 

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