Saturday, 31 December 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and BoneDaughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars

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 otherwordly 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?
  (Description from Goodreads)

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An absolutely amazing book! I’d heard a lot of great things about this book and I’m pleased to say all my expectations were met. You cannot help falling in love with Karou and following her on her journey; discovering new things about herself and the world she knows little about.

Imagine living between two worlds. One is out world, the world we know where people go to school, watch TV, and use mobile phones. The other is a world beyond; a workshop set outside the existence of our realm, where creatures live and create magic – wishes – and collect teeth. This is Karou’s life. Raised in the workshop with the Wishmonger, Brimstone. Karou knows there is more to like than just the human world, but little does she know that the life of the workshop is just the beginning.

‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ is a crazy book. You’re thrown into the story immediately and are left to discover Karou’s world from her actions: opening portals into Brimstone’s workshop, using scuppies and graviels (types of wishes) to give someone un-pluckable eyebrows or turning hair blue. And yet, you’re still left with questions, even as Karou’s actions start to explain the story’s setting. This is mostly because Karou has been left in the dark for so long, she’s still learning about her life and we get to experience that with her.

I love the way we find out the answers to Karou’s mysteries. You’ll be reading, excited about what’s to come and suddenly a line will reveal the next clue to the past and future and the first half of the book will make more sense. It is the type of book where every little movement and detail has meaning, and you become lost from all the facts you might be missing, but the revelations towards the end of the book transforms the beginning into a buh of information.

I adore flashback scenes, they always manage to make a story slightly more exciting than it was before, because you know the main character is still kicking and you get to experience their emaions and actions as though from another life. Laini Taylor does this perfectly in ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’. You almost forget you’re looking into the past and I’ll admit I was disappointed to be thrown back into the present at times because I was so attached to the past.

How can I write a review without mentioning Akiva? Wow, I don’t think I’ve read such an intense YA male lead in a long time. Without giving too much away – because I believe it’d be a lot better for readers to uncover his character by themselves – Akiva is a mysterious, dangerous, but gentle being who moves you beyond all else in this novel. I love him.

Dying to know what happens next. The end of this book came way too soon.

5/5 stars (I’d rate higher, but that exceeds my rating system)

(Originally posted on Goodreads)

1 comment:

  1. The fantasy world in this book is the most exceptional I have ever encountered.
    Can I even compare it with Narnia? If I could, Narnia would fall short, so I won't do it. This world is original, and brilliant, and really really intricately drawn. I actually forgot myself and was expecting to see one of the strange but lovely creatures of the story as I was walkint in the street.
    Yes, it is that good.
    I would so love to visit it, although I would probably have to just contend myself with Prague, which is even more magical emerging from the author's pen, seeping with romance, mystery and theatre.