Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By: Laini Taylor
Published: September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown & Company;
Audio Version: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (September 27, 2011)
Read By: Khristine Hvam
417 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Sync Audiobooks, free download
Goodreads description--Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows 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?
I’m finding it hard to put words to this one. Daughter of Smoke and Bone came at a time for me when I desperately needed it. After finding myself struggling through one similar and average young adult novel after another, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a refreshing drink of cold water in the heat of a parched desert.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone tells a tale of a war that’s been going on for centuries between the Seraphim—angels—and chimaera. It seems that no one really knows why the two races fight. The war has been going on so long that those there in the beginning are long gone as are the histories. Each race has a different myth concerning the beginning of this war. One day after a battle, one chimaera (generally thought of as beasts by the Seraphim) saves a dying Seraphim with a simple act of mercy. That single act changes one man. It resonates within him and his savior becomes all he can think of until he shall meet with her again. Together, they dream of a different world, created by taking paths to pursue peace. Little does Madrigal know but that in saving that Seraphim, she’s secured the destruction of her race and all the ones she holds dear.
Years pass since Akiva was saved upon the battlefield. Having the only thing he ever cared about ripped from him, he finds himself drawn to Karou. Why is a human tattooed with the hamsas? What does she know of the world of the chimaera? Of the Seraphim? Of him? Why does she run errands for the evil sorcerer, Brimstone? These are the questions that draws his interest. Yet nothing is as it seems.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was unexpected. It’s filled with strong characters that fight for what they believe in—whether those characters have all the facts or not they fight nonetheless. Though young—only seventeen—Karou brings with her a level of maturity often found lacking in young adult literature today. She wonders and ponders, but doesn’t whine. She questions and doesn’t always like the answer but doesn’t throw tantrums. She might cry, she might hurt. But you understand her pain and she bears it well. I’m very interested to see what’s going to happen to her throughout book 2, Days of Blood and Starlight, which is set to release in November.
Akiva wont necessarily make my list of character crushes, but it’s no matter. He still stands in his own right. Making mistakes, breaking hearts, trying and trying again. To be a better person. To seek peace. Having his heart broken. Then to seek revenge. All to realize the damage he’s done and the pain he’s caused. Revenge never brings peace and, no matter how appealing it is, never erases pain. He has just learned that lesson, and I’m afraid Karou has a long road filled with pain before she learns it too.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone makes my MUST read list for 2012. Add it to yours. 4 Stars. Have you read it? What did you think of Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Let me know.