Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: 2011

This book is a total treat. I felt instantly transported to a world that is both seemingly mystical (Prague) and actual fantasy (another realm through a secret door). Right away I connected with Karou, whose name means hope in the language of the Chimaera. Her blue hair and sketchbooks filled with motley characters seem likeable and intriguing. Here's an excerpt from the beginning of chapter 10 that summarizes Karou's life:

In general, Karou managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she was a 17-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand girl to an inhuman creature who was the closest thing she had to family. For the most part, she'd found that there was time enough in a week for both lives. If not every week, at least most. This did not turn out to be one of those weeks...

I found a lot of parallels in The Daughter of Smoke and Bone to another favorite read from earlier this year, Kiersten White's Paranormalcy. The books are definitely different, but share many basic elements: both girls are parentless and raised by a hodge-podge of mystical/supernatural beings. Both Karou and Evie consider themselves normal, but as the story progresses, they discover their identity is something other than what they believed. Each of their worlds are threatened by a larger war, and both must realize that chief aspects to their world were hidden to them by those they trusted. Also, Karou and Evie have arrogant ex-boyfriends they are trying to get over at the beginning of the story, and each encounter a beautiful but most likely forbidden guy they have a desnity attached to.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone ties together real life locales across the globe with a larger world of angels and chimaera, who Karou must determine whose allegiance she belongs to. The story felt epic but somehow believable. Karou is eccentric and knows it, it's how she's survived in the real world as long as she has. And she has a great best friend. This is such an imaginative story filled with great one liners and captivating scenes. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a fresh contemporary fantasy.


  1. I just stumbled across your blog. Very cool. I like people who want to connect and share their experiences. It's so important in the writing world.

    Must add Smoke and Bone to my "to read" list, which is getting ridiculously long by the way. I seriously need a couple of months in hibernation to get through them all :)

  2. Hi! My reading list is long too, it's hard when you find so many recommendations on blogs. Daughter of Somke and Bone is really a stand out for the year. Different than a lot of what's out there now.

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  4. Meet Karou, a young artist with an elaborate way of telling stories about creepy monsters through her sketchbooks. Or are they stories at all? Karou is divided between two worlds. One that she longs for but in the other where she is lonely. Trying to discover more about her past and who she is, only turns up more secrets than she could ever imagined.


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