Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published September 27th 2011
by Little, Brown & Company
Book Source: publisher
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?
Last night at 3 Am when I couldn’t sleep I was up finishing the last few chapters of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something so truly unique. Taylor has fashioned worlds and characters the likes of which you’ve never seen. Let’s start with Karou, a blue haired teenager living in Prague and living a double life as an art student/errand runner for Brimstone- a wishmonger Chimaera. Her time is spent fetching human teeth from all over the world while on the side she’s fighting off the unwelcome sneak entrances of her ex-boyfriend, vampire actor Kaz. Not only is Karou a master with her pencil and paper, but she can handle old weapons with skill. Yet something fundamental is missing. She is lonely, empty and longs to be filled.
Akiva is a hardened warrior stolen form his mother at age 5 and raised to fight a war that is still raging between the Chimaeara and Seraphim. Across his fingers are the tally marks of the sacrifices he has made and in his heart is the brokenness of a forbidden love. When Karou and Akiva cross paths in a busy marketplace sparks and swords will fly.
A well spun fantasy with paranormal elements, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is incredibly rich in description and history. I will admit I was a bit lost for the first 95 pages with all the talk of teeth and little context to put things in to, but once I got used to the names and places it all started to fall together in one well orchestrated tale. It’s a story of holding on to hope when all else fails and believing in the possibility of a seemingly impossible future. Guaranteed this book is unlike anything you’ve ever read before! With side characters full of personality and so many multi layered elements Laini Taylor has an amazing imagination. Thanks so much to LBC for letting us be swept away into the world of Karou.
Content: moderate swearing, mention of sex with mature undertones through out the book, moderate violence. Not recommended for readers under age 16. Adult crossover title.
The Giveaway: Fire and Ice is giving away two advanced reading copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone courtesy of Little Brown publishing. To enter to win fill out this form. Must be 16 or older and have a US mailing address.