Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Release Date: September 27, 2011
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (the paperback in the picture published in UK by Hodder Paperbacks)
Age group: YA
Pages: 420
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came."

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.


I was kind of wary about reading this one because I am not the biggest fan on angel books in general. I've never just found them very interesting and I feel like the ones I've have read have only been so-so (expect The Mortal Instruments series). But since everyone has been hyping about this on book blogs, goodreads and booktube, I decided to give it ago and see for myself whether I enjoy it or not.

To begin with, let's just say that yes, I quite liked this book. But I am still not a big fan of angel books either. Since she can remember, Karou has been leading a double life. For some, she is a 17-year-old art student living in Prague who tells stories about Chimaera in her art books. But for others, to her "family", she is a girl who has been raised by monsters, a girl they can trust to do their errands. She has spent half of her life in 'Elsewhere', a magical portal and now that she has gotten older she has become an errand girl for Brimstone who collects teeth. She has traveled around the world buying teeth from grave robbers and hunters without really knowing why Brimstone needs the teeth. But as events start to unfold, she starts to learn more and more about Brimstone, the world she has inhabited and the things war between the Chimaera and the Seraphim, the angels. 

Akiva is a Seraphim, a soldier for an army of angels. He has been bred and raised to fight and for most of his life his only purpose to live has been to participate in the never ending war between the Chimaera and the Seraphim. He once felt happiness and love, but all that disappeared a long time ago. Until he meets Karou, a human with curious powers that fell almost monstrous. 

I am used to reading books set in completely fantastical worlds or in English speaking places. So reading a novel set in somewhere else was actually quite interesting. I've wanted to visit Prague for years and this book definitely made me even more curious about the city. Taylor definitely has done her research well because while reading this book, it actually felt like I was walking on the streets of Prague, breathing in the history of the city. 

At first, I was very confused with this book. I had no idea what Karou was, what Brimstone was and what was happening in general. But once I got more into the story I started to connect things and see links between the characters and the events. I feel like for a fan for mythology and angels and all that, this book is a diamond. As I said, I am not a big fan of angels, but I still fairly enjoyed this one and definitely want to know more about the world these characters inhabit via the sequels.

I had been warned about this book including some instalove. And yeah, it kind of does. But the connection between the two characters falling in love is established quite well and it all makes sense in the end. I did enjoy the romantic aspect of the novel quite a bit and I really want to see how the relationship develops between these characters.

All in all, I found Daughter of Smoke and Bone to be an interesting, intriguing, well-written and established young adult novel with well-developed characters and world building. A definite pick for fans of angel novels!

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