Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
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?
My Review: 5/5*
Well hello, I have officially found myself a new series! I absolutely love, love, loved this book. The italics are out and everything to emphasise exactly how much I loved it! I honestly don’t think there was a single aspect of the book which I didn’t enjoy. From the very first chapter introducing Karou and what she believes to be her world we are drawn instantly to her, she is one of the most likeable characters I have ever had the privilege to read. This is going to be one of the most difficult reviews I’ve had to write as I don’t want to include any spoilers for you lovely people who wish to read it – DO IT SOON! You will not regret it, promise :). It is one of the most original fantasy/ paranormal novels that I have read in a very long time.
Right, so the beginning. We are introduced to Karou and her current situation within Prague. She is still studying in school, nursing a broken heart and a very talented artist. We also have the misfortune to encounter the cause of her broken heart: the ever so ass-like figure of Kazimir. He pounces on her and begins to nibble her neck which leads to further discomfort as he tries to lure her into his ‘acting’ business as a ‘sexy’ vampire to scare the locals. Needless to say, his attempts to attempt to win her back are cringe-worthy and shameless as he even resorts to taking a trip down memory lane with her cape and how it was ‘black silk against [her] white skin’. Considering the heartbreak she is currently experiencing, this was a painful scene to witness as we see Karou’s emotions fly about wildly due to this ridiculous little ‘man’ who, let’s be honest, is faaaar to fond of himself! So, from word go we are aware that Karou is no push over, does not scare easily and is increasingly fed up of the hassle caused by Kaz. Clearly, being the wonderful character she is, she gets her revenge within the next few chapters…
Ms. Taylor’s introduction of Karou’s best friend, the pixie-like figure of Zuzana (I love the names given to these characters!) is wonderful, she is an amazing character and I think we all have a friend similar to her. She is a girls girl, feisty and hilarious. Her instant response to the reappearance of Kaz was to Taser the guy – let’s be honest, we were all thinking it! This remark in itself summarises her character perfectly (and it is my pleasure to say, during the next few chapters he certainly receives the payback he deserves). She is constantly there to support Karou and is unusually understanding of her various errands which she has to run needing almost no explanation. There comes a point in the novel where an explanation is required… but I am not going to go into that, don’t want to spoil the book! She is wonderful and I hope we see more of her throughout the rest of the series.
The novel is filled with various fascinating characters; from Karou’s mismatched adopted family of Brimstone, Issa, Twiga and Yasri to the ‘enemy’, Akiva and his military siblings Hazael and Liraz. I feel that this review wouldn’t be complete without the mention of the character Akiva. Akiva is a character who is initially portrayed as villainous but despite this I found that he wasn’t a character which was easy to hate. In fact, he is pretty much impossible to hate. I don’t want to mention an awful lot about him because I feel it would ruin the book for those of you who wish to read it but prepare yourself as Akiva and Karou’s lives and pasts holds a hell of a twist for the plot of the novel! Despite his character being hard to hate, his siblings aren’t as difficult, especially the figure of Liraz. The fascinating thing about the book is that there are no real villains. It is difficult to ‘take sides’ so to speak as both the chimaeras and the angels have their own stories, history and versions of events which so far, make it impossible to blame either side for anything which has unfolded. This makes the book so massively different from the usual as we are so used to having a team to support and a team to despise; Blackdagger Brotherhood vs. Lessers, Wizards vs. Death Eaters, Jim vs. Davina… the list goes on.
This book is unbelievably original. It was great to read and I cannot wait for the next book within the series! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have, and I hope this review has helped convince any of you which were on the fence about this book to jump off and straight into the book! November honestly can’t come quick enough :) huuuurry up!