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