May 5, 2014

DeeJay Reviews: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of
Smoke & Bone

by Laini Taylor

Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Source: Purchased

DeeJay's Rating
Absolutely Enthralling!

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 hairactually 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

Yes, I'm one of the late ones. I just read this book like a month ago and I'm not sure why someone didn't kick me in the head and make me read it earlier. Even though the characters weren't to die for, the rest of it was amazing. I loved it. It's as simple as that.

The story takes place in Prague (mostly) which was an interesting concept in itself. I've never read a book that took place in the Czech Republic.

Karou was a likeable MC, but she wasn't extraordinary. What I DID find extraordinary was her situation. She was raised by monsters...literally. They were called chimera and they were freaking awesome. I love monsters and beasts in my fantasy books so this was just a great thing. But back to Karou. She was a complex individual, but kind of boring. At least until you get about halfway through the book. Then it gets interesting. VERY interesting. The first half of the book you are left in suspense as to how Karou came to be and who she really is. When you find out, you're like "DUH!"but the story will still amaze you, I think.

Enter Akiva, the seraphim soldier and enemy of the chimera. Beautiful and deadly, he and Karou both feel they are supposed to be enemies. But they are connected in ways neither of them know and when the truth came out, it was fantastic. Changed my entire perception of Karou and the insta-love budding between her and Akiva. Akiva himself didn't have much personality but once you learn about his life and how he too came to be, his seemingly stoic nature will make much more sense to you.

Zuzana, Karou's quirky best friend, was a character I always enjoy reading about. Sarcastic and blunt, she lit up the pages with her antics, which I thoroughly appreciated.

Now for the reason why I REALLY loved this book. The chimera. Brimstone and Madrigal (and the white wolf! OOH!) being my faves. Let me just say the imagery in this book was awesome, but the chimera did it for me. Just the idea of them, beasts created from other beasts. The chimera were made up of different "animal parts" though some were of a human persuasion with beast parts as accents. Weird way to say it, but it's true. The description of them and their world just set my imagination on fire and anything I read that dealt with them kept my eyes glued to the pages. I love beasts! The continuing war between the chimera and the seraphim is sure to be awesome as it unfolds in future books. We were introduced to why the two kinds are enemies in this book and the hand Karou and Akiva have played in fueling the hatred. I can't wait to read more!

Taylor's writing style was descriptive and often times, poetic. It could get a bit annoying but overall it gave the book a very unique voice. Honestly, haven't read anything like this ever. It was engrossing and crazy romantic and I'm too excited to find out what happens next. This is most definitely recommended for YA readers who enjoy a fantasy story fueled by forbidden romance. And who doesn't love a fantasy store fueled by forbidden romance?

Amazon  |  Barnes&Noble

Next book in the series...


  1. I have yet to read this. I bought it last year while still juggling my obscene TBR list. Nice review!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I had it about a month before I couldn't take the pressure of that lovely cover staring out at me from my bookcase anymore. So glad I caved!

  2. I listened to this as an audiobook and really enjoyed it. I agree that some things were overly descriptive, but I thought the story as a whole was wonderful. Thanks for sharing!


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