Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By Laini Taylor
Sept. 27, 2011
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 432 pages
Source: Review copy
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 otherworldly 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?
— GoodReads description
As you can see from my texts with Jen, this book was creepy…but GOOD creepy. (And yes, that is a dirty quote from the book because, yes, that is the type of thing we find hilarious. Roll with it.) The world-building was delightful and intriguing. You can’t deny that Laini Taylor has a beautiful and twisted imagination, with an impressive ability to translate it to paper.
I was swept away in Kirou’s worlds – yes, there are multiple worlds! – and was rooting for her from the get-go. The setting here is dark, twisted…almost monstrous. But it’s all intertwined with moments of levity and kindness and humor.
A fair warning: A lot of earlier reviews mentioned a lot of SWOON action. I have to say, it was more about Kirou for me than it was about romance. Because of these reviews, I think I was antsy for most of the books…waiting for something that didn’t really come. I’d have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn’t been anticipating this to be mostly romance.
I’ll be looking into Taylor’s previous works, as she is clearly a bright, unique voice in young adult literature.