Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
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.
My first reaction to Daughter of Smoke and Bone is wow. The intricacy and eccentricity of its characters and back story are truly incredible. Taylor obviously put a lot of thought into her backstory and worldbuilding, and the concept of the teeth and the wishes was very well done.
Karou’s story takes place in a range of exotic settings, some outside the human world, all beautifully depicted and mysterious. Taylor’s descriptions definitely made me want to visit Prague.
One of my complaints is that a large part of the second half of the book is given over to another character, not Karou (that’s all I’ll say, so I won’t spoil anything). I got really invested in this book, but I thought the second half was almost tedious. I started to miss Karou and I wanted to get back to her. I loved Karou; she was a great protagonist and I liked that she was independent and fought for herself.
I’m really torn on the romance aspect of the book; on one hand I thought it was rushed and kind of overdone and points, but on the other it didn’t bore me and was kind of adorable.
The thing I liked the most about the book was the fact that both the Chimaera and the Seraphim could be seen as good or evil, and are actually a mix of both. Each character sees it differently, which was really cool and very thought-provoking. I also liked how subtle it was, unlike the “hope is better than wishes” lesson, which was shoved in your face.
The first half of the book was, in my opinion, much better than the second half, but I really want to read the sequel, which hopefully won’t be so split.
Note: I owe a huge thank you to all the members of the Carpe Librum Book Club for this review. They brought some of this material to my attention and I wouldn’t have been able to write such an in-depth review without their insight. Check the Book Club link for a list of members and a link to the forums!
Once Upon a Time...
As a longtime lover of stories and a believer in the power and magic of books, I've spent my life seeking out the best reads. This blog is dedicated to reviewing the books I read - good, bad, or magnificent - to help other readers find their next favorite books.