Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
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 one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored 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?
My opinion: Holy shit. I’m still totally stunned. This book was awesome. And I really didn’t think it would blow me off my feet the way it did. The writing was, as said in myriads of other reviews, wonderful. Ms. Taylor certainly found the right words for her story to make the idea sound good.
The settings were just wonderful. It almost felt like I was walking with Karou trough a still dark morning in snow dusted Prague and explored the bazar in Marrakesh with her and brought teeth to the Wishmonger’s shop.< style=”text-align: left;”>She created a wonderful male main character. The thing with me and male main characters is this, normally they don’t really “speak” to me, only very few do. I’ve come to think that that’s not the author’s fault but mine. I seem to concentrate more on the heroine and her feelings, so I don’t seem to connect to the hero and his inner life. With Akiva, there was no such trouble. He spoke to me immediately. All characters did, even the side characters were developed in-depth.
Then there is the heroine, Karou. First of all, peacock-blue hair is awesome. She’s a heroine most girls and women will be able to identify themselves with. Everyone has made the experience of being alone, feeling that there’s something that differs one from others in a way one is unable to describe. I really liked the way how Karou was portrayed at first, the way she was alone despite the fact that she had a caring friend, Zuzana, because of her secrets. Karou is a kick-ass heroine but she also has a vulnerable side and a mean streak. Wishing a cranny itch to a nude model during an art session? I almost died of laughter since Karou’s wishes have a habit of coming true.
There was one point in the book which made me think that I might be disappointed. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I really, really don’t like this reincarnation stuff in romances. It has the vapid taste of not loving someone for who he/she is but who he/she was. It feels like characters aren’t their own anymore. And I want character A to be character A and not just the reincarnation of character Z.
It’s also some kind of deus ex machina to save the “eternal love”. But hey, there is nothing wrong with falling in love again! So there I sat, thinking that I would be disappointed. To my own surprise, I wasn’t when I finished the book. I’m still no friend of reincarnation-stuff in general, but I’ll grant an exception on behalf of Daughter of Smoke and Bone for a reason: The reincarntion-stuff was fully explained in a way that totally made sense to me. It was vital for the story and not just plastered somewhere to make the rest of the plot work out. In Daughter of Smoke and Bone the characters were aware of the problems I mentioned above, they think about the question of loving someone because of who they are or who they once were. That made the stuff work out for me.
That brings up another point: In my review about Eve, I did rant about how the first installment of series has the habit of not giving you enough information to judge if the book was good. At least I feel that way most of the time. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is also an exception in this point. The plot of book one rounded up nicely, and raised some new.
There is much more to say about the book, I could write a whole book talking about that book but I’ll leave it at that. To me, this was pure magic. The author even managed to make me like stuff I normally don’t like and in my opinion, that says something about the author’s skills.
The bad thing is: Now I have to wait until fall for the next book. That sucks.