Daughter of Smoke & Bone

In YA Book Reviews on April 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm


by Laini Taylor

YA Fantasy/©2011/448 Pages/First in a Trilogy/Recommended for age 12 and up

Publisher Overview:

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?

First Sentence: “Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

My Thoughts:

This book has been out for three years and has generated major acclaim. I kept considering it, rejecting it, reconsidering it until someone just handed me the book (thank you, Katy Johnson!). Let me just say, the book is completely worthy of every wonderful thing ever said about it. The characters are fascinating and well developed. Karou (the double life leading, blue-haired, martial arts trained heroine) is my favorite. She had me hooked from the beginning with her hilarious way of dealing with an ex-boyfriend, but I also liked Brimstone, Issa, Twigga, Zuzana, Yasri, and Kismish – all incredibly unique characters with creative and interesting relationships with Karou. The plot is complex and engaging, filled with twists and turns, and the writing is stellar. Ms. Taylor creates quite the fantasy world with precision word building and details. The cliff hanger ending leaves you wanting more. I may be a little late to the party on this one, but at least I timed it well so the second and third in the trilogy have been released. No wait time to find out what happens. Win-win!

Great Quotes:

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews – Best Young Adult or Starred Review
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults

More Detailed Reviews:



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