Monday, September 12, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By Laini Taylor

Sept. 27, 2011
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 432 pages
Source: Review copy

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?

— GoodReads description

As you can see from my texts with Jen, this book was creepy…but GOOD creepy. (And yes, that is a dirty quote from the book because, yes, that is the type of thing we find hilarious. Roll with it.) The world-building was delightful and intriguing. You can’t deny that Laini Taylor has a beautiful and twisted imagination, with an impressive ability to translate it to paper.

I was swept away in Kirou’s worlds – yes, there are multiple worlds! – and was rooting for her from the get-go. The setting here is dark, twisted…almost monstrous. But it’s all intertwined with moments of levity and kindness and humor.

A fair warning: A lot of earlier reviews mentioned a lot of SWOON action. I have to say, it was more about Kirou for me than it was about romance. Because of these reviews, I think I was antsy for most of the books...waiting for something that didn't really come. I'd have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn't been anticipating this to be mostly romance.

I’ll be looking into Taylor’s previous works, as she is clearly a bright, unique voice in young adult literature.

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. This is another one that seems to be making the rounds on Twitter. I've seen lots of praise. Thanks for the warning about the level of romance. :)

  2. Good creepy is one of the best book descriptions I've heard. I just love creepy scary books and I'm always late anywhere I go because never once have I managed to constrain myself to not read all the time the books I found at All you can books on my tablet haha.

  3. I discussed this quote with someone has well! I was laughing so hard!

  4. "Laini Taylor has a beautiful and twisted imagination, with an impressive ability to translate it to paper. "

    SO TRUE. We felt exactly that way after reading Lips Touch.

    Glad to know the romance isn't that important -- always good to know what to expect, as you said. Thanks for the review! We can't wait to read this book. :)

  5. Great review! I love that you mentioned this isn't a book about romance. It's definitely a good creepy read.

  6. LOVED this book and loved this review. You should definitely look into Lips Touch :)

  7. Thanks for the heads up on the swoon factor. Just know that if I rec a book to you based on swoon and kissing, there WILL BE LOTS OF IT.

    Still can't wait to read the book. You & Jen crack me up. =)

  8. I am SO IN LOVE with daughter of Smoke and Bone. And I totally got out of bed and rushed into my flatmate's room to shout about inessential penises at my flatmate!

  9. Okay, so can I just say that based on that quote alone - & yay for creepy! - this is going straight to the top of my to read list.

  10. So excited for this one! And thanks for the disclaimer about the romance aspect. I also get distracted if I'm waiting for one thing to happen in the book and it just doesn't...

  11. I hadn't heard it was a romance. But can't wait to read.

  12. At first I thought this was an autocorrect fail, but I'm happy to see it's actually in the book LOL. Dirty minds for the major win...

  13. just got this today, and i'm so pumped.

    especially after the inessential penises.


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