I’ve heard such good things of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, but it took me a long time to finally pick it up. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might know my summer holiday reading didn’t go according to plan when the heat in Germany was so terrible I had no energy to pick up a book. I went back to Germany for a weekend at the end of October, and I finally managed to pick it up! Here’s my spoiler free review.
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.“
Daughter of Smoke & Bone had been on my TBR for a while. I finally decided to pick it up and I’m SO GLAD I did! My first impression was that it was just written especially for me. It’s dark, funny and whimsical, and Karou – our main character – is so peculiar! Prague as a setting was super original, unusual and lovely, just like Laini Taylor’s writing style. It was quick and easy while containing the magical-ness of the book. Basically; Me + Daughter of Smoke & Bone = Match Made in Heaven. It honestly felt like it a bit of a dark fairytale, and those are my absolute favorites.
I love Karou. First of all, her name is so unusual! But it stuck, unlike some of the other names in the book. It starts with her walking to school with an art folder on one arm and a cup of coffee in the other. Kind of how I used to walk to college
minus the art folder, plus the laptop and we just instantly clicked. Then it turns out she has blue hair! Wonderful. Epic. Awesome. And she lives in an apartment in Prague and it’s just… Perfect. I also feel like Karou stays the herself throughout most of the book and that made me very, very happy.
The book started out dark, but then… I don’t know. Something unexpected happened and I was like ‘Oh’ and it hasn’t been the same since. I also didn’t really care for or like the romance. Probably because I didn’t like the love interest at all. I was honestly more interested in Karou’s life in Prague and her “family”. The book just spun 360 degrees and everything was different. I’m still undecided about whether or not I liked it. It was still dark, but it also lost a bit of it’s darkness to me when we left Prague.
In the end, I didn’t love everything, but it’s still really good. Everything was new and original, unlike anything I’d ever read before. I didn’t ever lose my interest and the writing was consistent all throughout the book. The story wasn’t always chronological which was confusing sometimes,but it also made sense and wasn’t weird or ‘interrupting’ the present. Also, I just have to mention the realism of the book. Magical flying in Prague? Of course that’ll attract people with camera’s and phones AND POLICE?!
Also, this was basically a war story, and I so did not expect that! There are angels, and CHIMAERA!? Like… Omg? I’ve never really read about them in YA! I found it a bit difficult to picture, as all I know are the creatures from Narnia, but I absolutely loved it.
I didn’t love all of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I have to be honest about that. I can’t, however, deny the fact that it was a very well written book. Laini is an incredible author but I’m undecided about wether or not I’ll read the next books in the trilogy. Since the story suddenly changed so much, I’m just not sure! Most of the book was brilliant, though. I really enjoyed reading it!
About Daughter of Smoke & Bone
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a book unbounded by genre but located at a magical crossroads where THE PASSAGE meets PHILIP PULLMAN and TWILIGHT meets PAN’S LABYRINTH.
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.
‘Remarkable and beautifully written . . . The opening volume of a truly original trilogy.’ GUARDIAN
Have you read Daughter of Smoke & Bone? What did you think?
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