1 November 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 29th 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughten
Add it: Goodreads
Overall: ♥♥

Daughter of Smoke and Bone tells the story of Karou, a 17 year old art student living in Prague. Whilst she may seem like a relatively normal teenage girl with blue hair, she was raised by a wishmonger and runs errands for him which involves collecting human and animal teeth. The wishmonger has other people such as murderers and grave-diggers working for him by also collecting teeth, the wishmonger pays these people in wishes. Karou lives in between her world and the wishmonger's world and feels like she doesn't belong in either. An angel named Akiva comes along and changes everything for Karou.

I don't even know what to say about this. This novel was mindblowing. Laini Taylor has created a fantasy world so rich that after reading, I guarantee you won't know what to do with yourself*. I will try my hardest not to write in jilted sentences, however I'm not making any promises (this book makes it difficult to write a review that does it justice).

The writing, oh my god. The writing! Laini Taylor has given me faith in YA literature again and the fact that authors can write better than the average person. Every single word and sentence was written for a reason, there is true purpose from Laini Taylor's writing - she doesn't just write a sentence let alone an entire paragraph just for the sake of it or to fill space. Even telling the reader what Akiva looks like is completely different to other YA novels.

"What people saw was a tall young man, beautiful - truly, breath-stealingly beautiful, in a way one rarely beholds in real life - who moved among them with predatory grace, seeming no more mindful of them than if they were statuary in a garden of gods. On his back a pair of crossed swords were sheathed, and his sleeves were pushed up over forearms tanned and corded with muscle. His hands were a curiosity, etched both white with scars and black with the ink of tattoos - simple repeating black lines hatched across the tops of his fingers"

Isn't that beautiful?

The characters, primary and secondary, were awesome. Karou was incredibly awesome and strong-willed. Quite possibly another favourite literary character EVER. To Stephanie Meyer, Lauren Kate and Becca Fitzpatrick... this is how you write a tortured character the reader cares about. It's almost as if Laini Taylor has collected all the cliches in YA, two of which being forbidden love and angels/fallen angels, and has twisted them into something new and brilliant. For example, the fallen angel in this novel is absolutely hideous, he isn't beautiful and he doesn't have wings - why would God banish angels from heaven and still allow them to have their wings?
I loved the moral of this novel. It teaches you that one can be bred for and raised to hate something else simply because of what they are. It teaches that prejudice is a huge issue and is something that not many people stand up against in their own country or world. Instead of giving a negative message across to her readers, such as abusive relationships being portrayed in a positive light, Laini Taylor presents a different kind of issue and teaches that war is the product of hate and prejudice.

I honestly don't know what else to say about this book. I love different languages and cultures and it's incredibly refreshing to see that this isn't set in America. I loved the world building - it was absolutely phenomenal. I loved how everything linked together and everything that was written had a reason as to why it was written. I loved Karou, Brimstone, Akiva, Zuzana and the puppeteer scene and I'm pretty sure my mind exploded with the ending.
The only thing I hate? I have to wait god knows how long until the second installment *cries*.

I can't believe you read my review when you really should be reading this book.

*Note: I do not promise anything to the reader of this review if they find something to do after reading this book. 


  1. STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!! *cries* My fingers are twitching like crazy toward my bookshelf to reread this, but I don't have time! Stop with your gushing, woman ;(

    I am so so so SO happy you loved this just as much as I did!! Holy freaking crap. Laini Taylor is amazing. This is honestly a book that I would allow to reside on the same shelf as Harry Potter. And that is... an honour. And god... Akiva ;( I reread scenes of his when I finished the knowledge (obviously aware of certain truths this time) and the emotional meaning and depth of those scenes, the extent of his torment, packed such a bigger punch. GAH.

    Fantastic review! <3

  2. I KNOW BRODIE! I only just finished it and I want to read it all over again!

    I know! In my original edit of this review, I said that Laini Taylor's worldbuilding and writing could rival Harry Potter *gasp!*, but it is truly that amazing (I forgot to put it back in)... Akiva's torment was so emotional and heartbreaking! As for tortured characters, Akiva is #1!

    Oh, and thanks lovelyy! <3

  3. Awesome review! It was an AMAZING book with AMAZING characters with an AMAZING storyline. Definitely one of the greats this year!

    I've begged and pleaded and hinted for this for Christmas and POINTED AT THIS IN THE BOOKSTORE AND SAID "OMG ISN'T IT THE PRETTIEST COVER EEEEVVVVVVVAAAAA?" to my Mum so she couldn't miss the point, and I NEED to read this nownownow... ummm... is that kind of retarded when I could just buy it myself? >.<

    Your review has got me SO. FREAKING. EXCITED.
    You're a rockstar Taneika! xx


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