Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review : Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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 otherworldly 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?

First Line: 
Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.

My Thoughts:

If I had to describe this book in a few words, this is what I'd say.

Enchanting. Bewitching. Spellbinding.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful, beautifully written novel. It is an utterly enchanting book. I've read a little more than a dozen novels about angels and forbidden love, but never anything like this. If you've read the synopsis and expected anything like anything you've ever read, then you're badly mistaken. I don't feel worthy of reviewing this book, saying anything about it - because to anyone who has read this - it will sound utterly bleak in comparison with the authors' writing style.

Laini Taylor's writing is beautifully poetic and so very, very vivid. This struck me especially when the author made a thorough description of a setting, and I could practically see things stand out at me. Colors and smells of the streets of Marakkesh. A battlefield after a fight. Emotions. People. While the authors' characters were almost always described as beautiful, ethereal beings, I couldn't bring myself to not like this - completely otherworldly, flawless characters and I still can't; because as everything else - it fit perfectly into the story. I never thought I'd say this about romance in a book, but it was as believable and real as every other thing in this amazing novel, and this is seeing the fact that he tries to slash her to bits.

There is not one thing about this book that I can say I didn't like. I loved Karou.I truly admire this fantastic female character that the author has created. She regrets nothing she does, and she's one of those female protagonists that are so rare these days - strong, a little skeptical, and not going falling head over heels for the other guy the minute she gets a look at him.

I loved the setting. Rather, I loved the huge multitude of settings in the book! That was the very first thing that made me love this book so much.Things never just happen in one place. And each place fit seamlessly into the story. Beautiful, snowy Prague. A brief glimpse of Paris with its street musicians. Morroco. And in the end, a tantalizing glimpse of the land of the chimaera - Eretz.

I'd written a similarly rambling review of Witchlanders yesterday, and now I can feel the stark difference between the two. They were both fresh, unique ideas. They had engaging story lines and great characters; but the difference is vast. There are books that drag you in headfirst into the novel, with a fast-paced storyline that barely lets you breathe. Now, if I had to make a comparison like that to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I'd say its a book that slowly, subtly lulls you into the story and slowly but surely pulls you into its depths, and it stays long after you've turned the last page and put it aside. Sounds cliche, doesn't it? Yet, I had no idea how true it was until I finished this book.

Book Trailer for Daughter of Smoke and Bone :


  1. This is just one of those that I had to decide to pass up because of all the books that I have on my TBR. I am thinking I should read it and get the anticipation over with. Great review.

  2. You really should! It's one of the best books I've read this year!