“Hey! My body may be small, but my soul is large. It’s why I wear platforms. So I can reach the top of my soul.” ― Laini Taylor,
Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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? – Goodreads
Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Avg. Goodreads rating: 4.04/5 stars
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Background. There’s a lot going on with this book… We are introduced to Karou, who is an art student in Prague where she seems to be much of a loner to the outside world. In reality, she lives between two worlds–Elsewhere and what we know to be our normal Earth. Karou was raised by Chimaera from the Elsewhere side, but lived in various cities throughout Earth. She is allowed to use small wishes that her head parent figure, Brimstone creates and is constantly on the search for questions that she needs answers to.
We learn a lot more about the Elsewhere history gradually through the story since it is something that Karou doesn’t know much about either. Brimstone kept many secrets from Karou through her whole life and she gradually finds out some important things about her life.
We meet a few crucial characters throughout this book including: Zuzana, Karou’s best friend; Akiva, a mysterious Angel (which are the mortal enemies of Chimaera), and many others throughout the story.
Pros. The first and foremost aspect that I enjoyed about this book were the characters. The quote that I used at the beginning of this review was from Zuzana who is one of the funniest best friends of a main character that I have read about. I loved her and Karou’s relationship from the very beginning and I was constantly looking forward to reading their conversations. I loved that Taylor brought up the issue and strain of Karou’s double life had on her relationship with Zuzana. Each of the other characters were so impressive to me as well. Karou’s “family” of Brimstone and all of the others at Brimstone’s shop was such a great dyamic that Karou had.
The plot was definitely unique from what I’ve read lately. It focused on a huge conflict between Angels and Chimaera species which had been waged for many years. This introduced Akiva to Karou in the novel which escalates the romance plot line of the novel.
I did really enjoy Akiva and Karou’s relationship and I particularly enjoyed the ending of the book in relation to their relationship, but no spoilers here. 😉
Cons. To be as spoiler-free as possible I won’t go into much detail about this but how Akiva and Karou first met is what bothered me the most about this book. It was very insta-lovey for me and I didn’t care for it too much. It didn’t affect the way that I felt about their relationship later on in the book just the premise and background of the story wasn’t my favorite…
That was really the only con that I had for this book, which explains why I loved it as much as I did.
Overall. I am very happy with this book and I cannot wait to move onto Days of Blood and Starlight. I’m excited to see where Taylor takes us with this amazing world and story that she has set up. I can’t wait to see what else Karou has up her sleeve and I’m really hoping for some more Zuzana sayings! I’m giving this book a 4.5/5 stars.