ALLISON reviews Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor

“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.

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor Book Cover

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone

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

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Allison is 27 years old. She is always looking for new books, good music, quality/epic adventures, and a normal sleep schedule. She currently works with the elderly.


  1. So glad you enjoyed reading this one, Allison! Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of my favorite reads last year and I can’t wait for the sequel. Laini Taylor’s writing is just beautiful. Have you read her Lips Touch anthology? It has three short stories in it and has a similar lyrical feel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Her middle grade novels are a bit different.

  2. I also can’t wait for the sequel! That ending was BRUTAL!

  3. Great review Allison! I totally agree, Laini Taylor’s writing is a thing of great beauty, and I’m so eager to see what else she has up her sleeve.

  4. For some reason, I still have not read this! (I even have a copy on my Kindle… thanks for the great review and enthusing me to read it FINALLY!)

    I love a book that as it’s coming to a close you’re wishing for it to continues.

  5. I get so happy every time I see someone new fall in love with this book. And then I remember that they also just had their heart ripped out, and I want to reach through the computer and hug them. The writing is so lyrical, the characters are so moving, and the story is so gripping, you just can’t help but falling for this one. Thanks for the review!

  6. I love this book so much. The writing is so lyrical. I also really enjoyed the different ways she structured parts of the story to enhance what was going on. It’s just so, so, SO amazing!!

  7. This book killed me in the best way. It was so gorgeous and imaginative and heart-breaking and beautiful. I loved that everything was so vibrant–the worlds, the creatures, even Prague. I’m so happy that you loved it!!

  8. Elizabeth Hammet says

    I haven’t read this. Based on the review and comments, this book seems like a good read. I’m yet to check out other books by Laini Taylor. I’m glad I found this post, I only have 2 more novels left unread on my Kindle.

  9. Oh man. You’re making me want to put down my current book and go pick this up off my shelf! It’s been sitting on my shelf since I won a copy back around the release date and I’ve yet to pick it up. I want to read, I really do, but it can be so hard to work everything into my reading schedule, sometimes! Great review, Allison :]

  10. Allison, this is one of my favorite books. I agree with all the things you said! I thought Laini’s writing was just so beautiful and I thought the story was gripping and amazing and I honestly found nothing wrong with it. It made me sad to turn the last page because I wanted there to be MORE MORE MORE!! Can’t wait til the next piece of the story comes out.

    Loved reading these thoughts. Honestly, you made me want to pick this book back up and read it again. 🙂