Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
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 otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; 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.
From master storyteller and National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor comes a sweeping and gorgeously written modern fantasy about a forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope for a world remade.
First Sentence: Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.
It all started with the hype. Everyone who had read Daughter of Smoke & Bone was going around praising it, worshiping the air Laini Taylor walked on, and urging everyone to get their hands on it and read it. I resisted – until the Days of Blood & Starlight came out and I fell in love with its beautiful cover. Before I can actually read Days of Blood & Starlight, though, I actually had to read Daughter of Smoke & Bone first.
The first thing I have to say about Daughter of Smoke & Bone is that Laini Taylor’s writing is just so unique. Upon reading the first paragraph of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I could already tell that Laini Taylor’s writing is different from all the other authors that I’ve read before. Her writing is detailed, but not that detailed. It’s long, but doesn’t have any run-ons. Her descriptions are sometimes weird – but it works. Laini Taylor’s writing is simply unique.
I’m quite sad to give The Daughter of Smoke & Bone 3.5 stars instead of a full 5 stars, but I have my reasons. My one and main reason is that the first two-thirds of Daughter of Smoke & Bone were just okay. It didn’t grab my attention and truly make me feel for the characters, I was just going along with the story. However, at the last one-third of the book when everything was finally revealed, I had so many feelings. (I never thought that I’ll actually write that.) I literally didn’t want to let the book go.
My one other complaint on The Daughter of Smoke & Bone is how Laini Taylor dragged things on long after I figured out a majority of things. I knew who Karou was once a certain event was revealed, and I had to read at least another hundred pages more to find out that I was right. I knew what Akiva had done, but had to read another two hundred to three hundred pages until it was finally revealed.
I feel that the Daughter of Smoke & Bone didn’t really start until page 57. Before page 57, there were just lots of backstory on Karou, her life, what she went through, and what she could do. It was when I finally reached page 57 that I finally met the other main character that plays a major role in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone. As soon as I got to page 57, I squealed in happiness because I could tell that finally the book would start for real instead of just giving us the backstory.
I want to bow down to Brimstone. At first, I hated that chimaera. He was moody, rude, and impolite. He was simply a beast in my eyes. However, after finding out what he did way later on in the book, let’s just say that I fell in love with him and his ways. Too bad there isn’t a Brimstone in real life. (If there was a Brimstone in real life, I’ll probably run far far away from him anyway because of how he looks.)
One thing I didn’t get is why are the chimaeras called the “devils” in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone? Sure, they are “monsters” since they have a mix of human and animal body parts, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the devil. I’m still waiting on that explanation.
Overall, I did somewhat enjoy the Daughter of Smoke & Bone, especially once I reached two-thirds into it. I am going to read the sequel sometime soon and fond over that cover. It is simply gorgeous. As for if the Daughter of Smoke & Bone deserves the hype or not? I’ll say it deserves it since Laini Taylor’s writing is just beautiful.