July 19, 2014

Review | Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
Picture courtesy of Goodreads
Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Pages: 418
Review by: Tessa

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well."
Karou is an artist. Her extraordinary sketchbooks are filled with glorious drawings of angels, demons, and everything in between. Each day, students flock to her to hear the latest story of her creatures. Karou tells them of her creatures, the chimaera. She spins tales of the serpent lady with her pet snakes, the parrot-beaked cook who makes the best sweets, and the beast who has an affinity for teeth.
What the students do not know is that everything she draws and says is real.
Brimstone, the beast Karou knows as her father, makes her run errands for him, which are always collecting teeth. Karou does not know why she sees her creatures, or why they picked her to do these macabre tasks. But she does not ask questions -- until now.
Black handprints have been mysteriously appearing around the world. Bystanders in every country are claiming to have seen winged strangers place the marks there.

An unearthly war is coming to Karou's world and she might have the power to change it.

This is the best book I have read in a long time. I know, the blurb is all over the place and does not really say much. I did my best to explain the book without giving anything away, which was extremely difficult considering how many twists are in this book. The best way to go into this book is by knowing as little as possible about it. Believe me.

This book is definitely not going to be for everyone. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is far from the standard YA contemporary. If you are looking for something outside of your comfort zone, this is the best book to start that transition.

To start, the plot was extremely complicated, but not confusing. There is a fine line between suspense and disorganization. Taylor walked that line perfectly and brought out a few surprises along the way. She ventured into the depths of fiction and brought a brilliant and completely unique story that revolutionized the young adult genre.

The story mainly takes place in Prague. Not many YA books take place in Europe, or at least this is the first one I have read. I am currently trying to persuade my family to move there, that is how amazing Taylor's description is.

The characters were amazing. I felt Karou's emotions and I could relate to her constant feelings of self doubt and loneliness. Personally, I think it is hard to relate to most characters in fantasy because they are so different from me, but I can really identify with Karou.

I cannot say much about Akiva without giving anything away. All I will say is that he is amazing and reminds me of Patch from Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Enough said, right?

I love how even the secondary characters, like Zuzana, Brimstone, and Kaz, all have their equal spotlight in the plot. There are not many mention-once-then-forget-about characters. Every character has a three-dimensional personality that contributes to the overall amazingness of the book.

One of the few problems I had with Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the insta-love. There could be an argument that no, it is not instant, but this is just my opinion. Insta-love is one of my biggest pet peeves in YA, or any book for that matter. It is acceptable here though, considering the brilliance of the book.

The other problem I had was the transition between flashbacks. For me, there has to be a solid transition between flashback and the current timeline or else I will get horribly confused. I would have liked a definite start and stop to the flashbacks.

As a whole, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was an insightful and exciting read that I would recommend to everyone. Taylor has set high expectations for angel and demon books in the future of YA.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. It's truly unlike anything I've ever read before. I read it last summer, and now I'm interested in continuing in the series. I hear the rest of the books are just as amazing. The flashbacks were a bit hard to discern from what was happening in the present. I really liked the characters as you did. Great review!

  2. Thanks! I am still trying to get my hands on Days of Starlight and Blood. Even though the title is a little creepy, I am still excited to read it!

  3. When I first read the synopsis, I was completely confused! Good thing I listened to my fellow booktubers and bloggers, who raved so much about this series. All in all, I really loved the first book. BUT THE SECOND BOOK WAS EVEN BETTER!! OMG. So enjoy the rest of the series. Aren't the covers just so damn pretty?

  4. I really like this series. I read it for my Vaginal Fantasy book club, that is hosted my Felicia Day. at first I was apprehensive that it would be too YA but I was pleasantly surprised. I still need to read the last book in the series. Thanks for reminding me how much I enjoyed this book!