Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) - Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)


GoodreadsAround 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 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?


“I don't know many rules to live by,' he'd said. 'But here's one. It's simple. Don't put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles--drug or inessential penises either.'

'Inessential penises?' Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. 'Is there any such thing as an essential one?'

'When an essential one comes along, you'll know,' he'd replied.” 


Guys.  Guys.  GUYS.  THIS BOOK!!!

I mean, I know I'd heard great things about it.  But...WOW.  I mean if there is an emotion in the human spectrum of emotions, this book takes you there.

But even more than the feels...oh my god.  I don't know how Laini Taylor does it, but I would read a book on sea cucumbers if she wrote it.  There's just something so evocative and exquisite's almost impossible to describe how amazing her prose is.  And we all know that if there is anything that will make me forgive any flaws it's prose.  (Or well...almost anything.  After Bellman & Black, I now know that authors with the most gorgeous prose in the world are not invincible).  There were times I didn't trust you, Laini Taylor, particularly with the instalove...but I never should have doubted.  Each time I doubted, I was proved wrong.

And that ending???  Oh Laini Taylor you brilliant, brilliant woman.  All the clues were there.  They were basically shouting to be discovered.  And oh the heart break.  I should have known!  I never saw that coming in a million years.  I usually have a vague inkling of things that are about to happen in a book - I imagine most of us who are big readers tend to at least have a few vague theories, and one of those theories is generally right.  But complete 100% unprepared shock?  Very rare.  And the best part is...ALL THE CLUES WERE THERE.  I felt so betrayed by my mind (And also my heart because I'm pretty sure it stopped for a second), because I should have had a clue.  In's entirely probably I was just being an idiot and most of you who have read this book did have a clue.

Other things I love?  Zusanna.  Ahhhh girl friendships are the best.  This one made me so, so happy.  It's a bit like Kami/Angela's friendship or Anya/Scarlet's friendship in that they really are kind of codependent on each other.  It's not unbalanced and Zusanna doesn't fade into the background - she's WAY too awesome for us to forget!  Where Karou brings mystery and magic into Zusanna's life, Zusanna tethers Karou somewhere so that she's not aimlessly drifting about the world.


Read this.  Please for the love of god, if you like fantasy...if you even think you might like fantasy, read this.  Don't be put off with distaste of "angel" stories, because trust me, it's not structured how you think it is.  I regret putting this series off so late (well only a little, because now I only have to wait until April for the third book to come out!), and as I've mentioned...3rd book is coming out in April! You have no excuse.  The whole series will soon be available at your bidding.


  1. I love that we generally have similar tastes in books, except not always. :D Daughter of Smoke and Bone wasn't my favorite. I just didn't...get it, I guess? I wish I loved it as much as you though. I feel like I'm missing out!

  2. Michelle {Book Hangovers}March 26, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    I just read this book in last month and OMG! I could not agree with you more! WOW!!! I absolutely fell in love with the writing and the characters. Especially Zusanna. Girl if you love her, then you gotta read Laini Taylor's novella, Night of Cake & Puppets. I still need to read it too but it's about Zusanna and her first date with violin boy, Mik ♥

    I'm about to read the second book, I wanted to wait and read it til it got closer to book 3's release date!! Thanks for sharing :)

    Michelle @ Book Hangovers Blabs Books

  3. I have to say that the romance aspect of this book wasn't all that interesting to me, so mushy feeling wise I also don't get everyone's attraction to whatshisname. But I am SUCH a sucker for prose, and there's something indescribable about the way certain authors write that absolutely stuns me and makes me want to put down the book and just absorb how beautiful a sentence was. Which sort of makes me sound crazy now that I try to articulate it haha. Arthur Golden, Diane Setterfield, Deb Caletti, and now Laini Taylor are all on this list!

  4. I don't usually read novellas, but reading the Throne of Glass novellas REALLY makes the series feel different and I consider them an essential part of the series, so I am rethinking my don't read novellas policy! Especially since I loved this so much (and a Zusanna book?! I NEED THIS)

  5. I fully respect that. I find myself more character driven, so if I don't connect on some level with the character, the prose won't save it for me. I felt very distanced from the characters in this book. Actually, I think I liked it until the romance part and we find out about them being angels.

  6. I usually am that way - I always feel a little bit like a child distracted by sparkly things when I put prose above everything else haha! Not that sparkly things aren't great, but there should be a difference in value between sparkly candy wrappers and sparkly sapphires and I seem to be like a crow and just like ALL sparkly things. Er...fancy prose haha

    I was glad that the mythology didn't take a religious angle, but I am with you angels are not my go to thing haha

  7. I will second Shannon in that I didn't love this one. I gave it serious points for creativity and imagination in world building and mythology but the characters felt flat and derivative to me and that pretty much killed it. Karou is a Mary Sue to the bajillionth degree and once the romance with angel dude gets going I just wanted to puke while scratching my eyes out, beautiful prose or not:0). I definitely feel I'm in the minority with this one!

  8. Yeah I super loved the mythology! And I have to say that Brimstone and co. were definitely my favourite characters (plus Zusanna obviously) so without them, this story would have nothing for me. The romance didn't bother me that much, but I expect that's because I had plenty of other things to get sidetracked by as I didn't love it either haha. I'm not sure I'm going to love where the third book appears to be going though (judging by the end of the second), but I hope I'll still like it (even if it's not for you!)


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