I hardly know where to begin with this review. I read Daughter Of Smoke And Bone because Carla had talked it up and I trust her recommendations unequivocally. Y’all, I was swept away by Laini Taylor’s scrumptious prose. Imagine if Sarah Addison Allen wrote paranormal YA, and you would have Daughter of Smoke And Bone, which on top of being a page turner, is beautifully written.
Karou is a blue-haired art student living in gorgeous Prague. Yet, she is no ordinary girl. You see, she was raised by chimaera – creatures with human and animal aspects. She runs errands for foster father Brimstone, a sorcerer who pays Karou in wishes. Yet, Karou feels empty on the inside. She does not know who she truly is. As her identity is pieced together, it’s as though a spell is woven over the reader.
“The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks.” – pg. 25 ARC
The worldbuilding in Daughter Of Smoke And Bone is to die for. I could believe in Brimstone’s portals, located all over the world. I could picture Prague, modern and ancient at the same time. I could see Eretz, a land torn apart by war. You see, Taylor’s book takes place in both our world, and an imaginary world where angels and devils have fought for centuries, and it seems will never stop fighting.
Further, Prague is not the only sexy thing about Daughter Of Smoke And Bone. You see, there is love depicted in this book, but instead of falling into the creepy trap, it falls into a place of sighs. I say that because I couldn’t read this without feeling something. I couldn’t read without being swept away by the forbidden romance which traverses SO MUCH. We see a relationship develop against all odds. And there is kissing and attraction and magic. Yet we do not see a love triangle, HALLELUJAH!
Yet, this book is far from sunshine and daisies. There is legitimate tragedy and sacrifice. None of the characters get off easy. They have to make actual hard choices. And that ending, what a way to just rip the reader’s heart apart.
Laini Taylor takes what passes for angel fiction to a whole new level. There was never a point where I was like ‘gross’ or ‘holy crap is this book over yet‘ or ‘why does this bish think she has any feminist sensibilities‘. And frankly, I love that Taylor has taken what is typically terribly written and turned it into something AMAZING. I love this whole concept. This whole battle of good and evil that may not be so black and white. I love that there are consequences for the characters. I love that this does not sacrifice writing for action and vice versa. I love that I have a true sense of Karou, her friends, and Akiva, her love interest.
I will actively seek out more by Laini Taylor as I am stunned by her writing in Daughter Of Smoke And Bone. This is definitely a favorite of my 2011 reading thus far.
Disclosure: Received for review at Book Expo America.