Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

From Hicklebee’s 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?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is in one word phenomenal. Laini Taylor redefines YA Urban Fantasy with this release and I am officially on tenterhooks waiting for the next installment. It has been so very long since the ending of a book has elicited an audible “Noooooo!” from my jaded and judgmental lips. You know the sound, the one once uttered as you close the book that gains you a plethora of WTF looks from people sitting near you.

Karou is a fabulous character. She is strong, smart, and just a wee bit flawed and insecure. Anyone reading the book will fall in love immediately, and adore the fact that her ire is justified in every way. Karou is an artist, a liaison, and most importantly a survivor.

The setting of the book was amazing. When using European settings generally we see the UK, France or even Germany. Taylor moved us to Eastern Europe, specifically the hauntingly beautiful city of Prague which is perfect for this type of urban fantasy.

Lore, lore give me more! I haven’t read much on chimaera and I was incredibly fascinated by the history Taylor writes into this novel. Angel lore is given a new feel and the stories within the story about the legacy of both races are incredibly written and extremely interesting.

I could exhaust a thesaurus of flattering adjectives on this book and still not be able to convey the fabulous feeling and haunting lyricalness of the pages. When September rolls around be ready to delve into a world of pain, teeth, and unforgivable action.

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