Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

October 2, 2012 § 3 Comments

Star Rating: Date released: 27th September 2011 
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Author’s website:
My source: Apple iBooks
Format: eBook
Part of a series: Yes, #1 Daughter of Smoke and Bone series
Find it at: GoodReads Amazon | B&N

GoodReads book description

Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows 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?

What I liked:

  • The darkness in the book. You can almost feel it trickling out and seeping into your arms, your eyes. Taylor is a very talented author because she can really give that illusion of night, but at the same time assures you that you’re safe in her hands.
  • The worldbuilding. What a fantastical world! I’ve never read anything like it. It was magical, frightening, epic and absolutely interesting. The idea that there is a war being fought unbeknownst to humans is definitely not a new concept, but for some reason it feels like it is one when you’re reading.
  • Karou. As a character she’s totally multi-dimensional. A talented artist, a conflicted teenager and a budding woman, she’s everything you expect her to be but she still manages to surprise you. She is strong and independent, a girl who is walking the line between two worlds and actually able to handle it.
  • Karou’s family, and their relationships. As creatures borne from ‘hell’, you expect there to be a lot more… hmm.. how to say it? Violence? Maliciousness and cruelty? I’m not sure. I expected this from her family considering which side of good and evil they were on, but the love and kinship between them all was endearing and Taylor does a fantastic job of making the reader sympathetic to their side.
  • Themes of love. The passionate, the enduring, the star-crossed, familial love, and the forbidden. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has it all.

What I didn’t like:

  • The instant love between Karou and Akiva (for reasons I don’t want to completely spoil). As most YA books go, this happens almost everywhere and I find it irritating that this still happens.

Finally, a book that really lived up to its hype. The ending absolutely destroyed me, and I was literally left wide-eyed thinking wait… that’s it? Where’s the rest of it? No. No! It was so tragic, I actually teared up. I can’t wait for the sequel’s release. And check out that amazing cover! Delicious to read.

A solid and luminescent 5 stars!


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§ 3 Responses to Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  • I tried reading this a little while ago, but couldn’t get past the first few pages (also probably influenced by the fact that I had a lot of books to read at that time and it came in at the library with awkward timing) but it just didn’t flow very well for me or seem particularly intriguing. I’m really glad you liked it, and I heartily sympathise with the tenterhooks ending- one of the reasons to stay away from a series until it’s fully been published! (: It’s a good reason, but one I don’t stick to! (: x.

    • Elaine says:

      Oh gosh, Romi don’t get me wrong. The first few chapters of the book I literally had to force myself to reach my 100 page limit! It got better after I pushed through. As for unfinished series, it kills me inside – especially if the wait is something a whole year. So impatient.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • elena says:

    The instant love really is a downer for the book but everything else is so MAGICAL! Love the world building & the prose. I’m glad you liked it overall. 😀

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