“Once upon a time,
an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well.”
When I came across Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor at my local library, I immediately recognized the title and cover from having seen it here on the blog before via April. April had also mentioned the title to me a time or two and told me that I really should check it out. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I did! Daughter of Smoke and Bone opened me up to a world filled with smooth luscious prose, brilliant interesting characters, and the possibility of a never ending battle between our world and a world possibly beyond even our greatest imagination.
Like April has already said in her review, Daughter of Smoke and Bone tells the story of blue-haired art student Karou who is living in Prague. With maybe the exception of her extravagant blue hair, her ability to speak multiple languages with ease, and her tattoos, Karou looks like any other college student except she is not. She was raised by chimaera – creatures with both human and animal aspects – and she is responsible for running errands for her foster father Brimstone who is a sorcerer and who pays Karou in wishes. On the outside, it looks like Karou may have everything she needs in her life – good family and friends and the ability to have whatever wish she may desire even if it is not really worth anything in the end – yet she feels empty on the inside. She does not know who is truly is and she struggles with this every day. Her identity struggle comes to a head as she becomes more aware of the ever changing world, the people around her, and the fact that a dangerous war is beginning to brew. At the tender age of seventeen, Karou is forced to learn who – and what – she is and the reader is taken along on a magical unforgettable spell-binding ride as she attempts to figure everything out.
Honestly, I feel that Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a thing of beauty. Every detail of the story is important and the results rendered a world that is simply vivid, strange, and achingly real. I loved Karou! She is the complete opposite of someone who waits for their guy counterpart to give instructions. In fact, she isn’t even afraid to attack her guy counterpart with Chinese crescent-moon blade when it comes right down to it. How awesome is that? Even though she is confused, she is strong and she is fearless and she is ready to take whatever comes at her head on. I loved that about her. I also loved her relationship with her male counterpart Akiva. It’s not just simple puppy dog love but instead it’s a love filled with beauty and anguish, joy and pain, and heartbreak and tragedy. There are consequences for the things that happen to each of them individual and to both of them together. It’s a messy star-crossed relationship but it’s a beautiful mess crafted expertly at the hands of Laini Taylor. Seriously, her writing gave me chills. It was so easy to get caught up in such a unique vision – sometimes it felt like her creativity and prose was going to overwhelm me – but I loved every second of it.
Ultimately, as Daughter of Smoke and Bone began drawing to a close, I longed for it to continue (especially after the ‘holy crap – you just ripped my heart apart’ ending), and I’m greatly anticipating the release of Days of Blood and Starlight, the next book in the trilogy. I’m not sure where we are headed next with the characters of Karou and Akiva but I do know that it is going to be one extraordinary and breathtaking journey!
Disclosure: Borrowed from local library