Saturday, August 24, 2013

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) 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.

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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?



“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.”

This book is a trip and the very reason that I love picking up the fantasy genre. The world building, plot expansion, characters, and plain-out uniqueness makes this book a fantastic read.

The Plot.
I had no idea what to expect when I opened this book. It had been on my TBR list for a while and I finally got a copy from my library. The synopsis shares a little, but doesn't give a way a lot. That fact that I didn't know a lot about the plot made the story even better for me. I got to experience the plot and things unfolding along with Karou and the other characters.

The words flow across the page with ease weaving an intricate story. Laini Taylor plots a point here and then there, and then she slowly strings them together. Events start coming together while Taylor fleshes out different details, and then suddenly you realize that you are seeing part of the grand picture.

The Pace.
This story is paced really well. I usually like something that is quick and easy. But sometimes, it pays off to slow down and really dig into a certain book. That was this book for me. This story slowed me down and I loved it.

It starts from the beginning and builds slowly, and it is perfect. Perfect for world building, perfect for growing with the main character, perfect for the overall mood of the book. It was like savoring a perfect bite of chocolate cake.

The Writing = mindblown
The way the writer writes captivates me. There is something almost lyrical and dreamy about the way by Laini Taylor forms here sentences. And they bleed together so effortlessly. It's magical. She easily joined my list of favorite writing styles that I've read. Never have I been so easily captured and enthralled by the sentences, structures, descriptions, plot expansion, etc.. Maybe this makes me a nerd, but I wish I could take a writing class taught by Taylor. She's that awesome.

I have included some quotes below because of how much I love the style. Some of them may include minor spoilers and are marked. Read them at your own risk.

1. (highlight here): They stood like that for a long time and they were quiet but their blood and nerves and butterflies were not --- they were rampantly live, rushing and thrumming in a wild and perfect melody matched note for note

2. “Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”

3. "She would have thought an angel would have something of air, but he didn't. He was all substance: powerful and rugged and real."

There are many more, but I just wanted to give you a taste.

A journey into this book should be open-minded. It is little bit strange, but it is beautiful at the same time. And the author's writing style is beautiful, making this book almost feel like poetry. It is a book that slowly builds and pulls you farther in with each page. I loved every minute of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I'm excited to pick up the second.

There is so much more that could be discussed, but as mentioned, I think this book is better with a clean slate. So I'll leave you here with the first section title (very first thing you see after the title pages) and with the hope that you'll give this book a chance:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”



  1. Fantastic review! The writing in this novel blew me away. I hope you read and enjoy Days of Blood and Starlight as much as you did Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And the quotes you chose for this post are great. I especially adored the first one.

    Kate @ whYAnot

    1. Thank you :) And the writing in this book *sigh*. I def want to pick up the second one soon. I hope my library has it. And the first too! I loved so many, but that one really got me.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kate!

  2. This has been on my to read for awhile! I wasn't really sure what to expect so I haven't picked it up yet. But I'm really interested in it after your review! I always love me some fantasy and great writing!

  3. I'm glad you liked this one! The writing is gorgeous and I really loved a lot of the characters!