Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

Published: September 29th 2011, Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 420 pages (ARC)
Series?: Yes, this is book one. Book two (currently untitled) is due out in 2012
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger.

Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.

My review: Bloody hell. Honestly, I had to take a few days after finishing this one before I could write this review because my head was absolutely spinning. What a book!

I was excited to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I hadn't managed to get around it until very recently. I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it, maybe because it's a bit chunky and I'm enjoying flying through some quick reads while I'm so busy with work and writing, I'm not sure. Either way, it was only after I started playing Skyrim that I wanted to read something other than contemporary and my boyfriend chose this one for me off of my shelves. I was reluctant, I pouted a bit and then I started reading it. I was utterly addicted from page one.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most exciting and beautifully written novels of 2011. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any reader, whether they're a fan of YA, adult, contemporary or paranormal romance. I honestly believe any reader won't be able to stop themselves being seduced by Taylor's stunning, lyrical prose and the beautiful characters she creates.

Karou is brilliant, thoroughly unique without being annoyingly 'quirky', I loved her. Of course, I'm bound to love any YA heroine covered in tattoos but, still. She's tough as old boots and can kick ass in a fight but there's a vulnerability beneath the surface that makes her refreshingly easy to relate to, even though her circumstances are anything but every day. Her friends and guardians from Elsewhere (Brimstone, Issa and the others) are such wonderful characters and I'd love to see an illustrated edition of the book so we can see them all brought to life in Karou's sketchbooks.

I don't really want to say too much about Akiva or get into his and Karou's potential relationship but I'll just say this, he is bad ass and super hot and blatantly has really long eyelashes. That's all you need to know, trust me.

And the ending! Oh, God, the ending! I actually may have thrown the book down on my bed and let us an audible 'HURRUMPH', exactly that sound. Really? REALLY? We have to wait entire YEAR for the second installment? Honestly, I'm not sure I can wait that long. Normally I'm fine with being patient but, seriously, I need to know what happens next. Now, preferably.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a perfect novel, pure and simple. It's epic, it's wonderfully crafted, the story is top notch and the characters are memorable and so, so real. If you haven't read this one yet just do it, trust me.

First line: 'Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.'

Read if you liked…: Living Next Door to the God of Love - Justina Robson

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Total: 19/20

Alternative covers:


  1. Hehehehe!
    And it isn't contemporary! I am pleased you loved it too. It really blows your mind,doesn't it.

  2. I really don't know how to rate this book. It's wonderfully written and imaginatively creative. This world is different from any I have read about in any other book. On the other hand, I felt bored a lot of the time. It was just slow moving for me. Also, I suppose that I am not really into mythical creatures in the way that I'm interested in the paranormal. Sometimes I wonder, what's the difference? I'm not sure what line divides the mythical genre from the paranormal.


Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.