Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date:  September 27, 2011
Series or Standalone: First of series
ISBN: 978-0316134026
Format: Hardcover,  432 pages
Source: ARC from BEA
Cover thoughts: love this cover, actually.

 Rating: A++++++ (I really loved it, okay?) 
  First line: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.
Image by FlamingText.com
Once upon a time…

Imagine a world where wishes hang around necks on a string. Where teeth can be traded for wishes.

Imagine a world where chimaera—demon creatures that seem to be woven together from spare parts—collect teeth.

Imagine a world with portals to other lands, and a girl with blue hair who was raised by demons.

This is the world of Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Laini Taylor has built the most incredible world I’ve ever experienced in a book. Ever. Thinking about how fantastic this book was just gives me chills. If you’re around the internet at all, you’ve probably heard people talking about this book. It’s for a good reason. The book is utterly fantastic.

a demon…

The novel is split into four sections and each one opens with a short fairy tale. The first section, we learn all about Karou and her unusual life. Karou is a girl who has blue hair, eye tattoos on her palms (called Hamsas), no family and a talent for art. She wears wishes around her neck and spends all her spare time running errands for a chimaera named Brimstone, a demon creature who raised her and trades wishes for teeth.

Karou doesn’t know much about the chimaera world—a place called Elsewhere that is only a portal away. Aside from the four who raised her and the few who come into Brimstone’s shop to trade teeth, she doesn’t encounter many chimaera. It’s almost as if she is a secret. Of course, she doesn’t know just how much that is true. Brimstone keeps Karou busy and away, sending her on errands to gather teeth and giving her wishes—usually scuppies which she wears on a necklace—as payment.

Wishes are powerful things in this world—ranging in size from a scuppy (used for small, meaningless wishes) to a bruxis (a powerful wish that requires the wishmaker to extract all his teeth in exchange.) We get to see the effects of every kind of wish there is and I must say, some of them are haunting.

and an angel…

“The angels are coming.” That’s a line from Doctor Who, but oh, so appropriate here. The angels in Daughter of Smoke and Bone are all sorts of terrifying—in their beauty, in their power, in their hatred of chimaera. This is no ordinary good vs. evil, demon vs. angel story. No, these angels are trained for one thing: killing the chimaera.

And one certain angel named Akiva has a personal vendetta against the chimaera. One in particular…

So when he sees a girl blue hair running around the city, gathering teeth, he knows she’s the key to find that one chimaera. The one who took everything from him. He follows the blue haired girl, and soon, they both find themselves trapped. Akiva is trapped with this memories and Karou in the mortal world with no way to get to her family. All that’s left of the portals that connected them are gone, charred with black handprints fitting angels.

fell in love.

 Taylor does this fantastic job at picking all this moments to tell these seemingly insignificant things and you don’t really know their purpose. And it happens so much that there are more questions than there are answers, and they keep building and building and building…

Just when you think you can’t take any more questions, any more trails of these random things—they all come together and Oh. My. Gosh. It’s more than you dreamed. This book is so layered. Every hing builds. Every thing matters. Everything is not what it seems.

The characters—everyone from Karou to Brimstone to the graverobber Karou takes teeth from—are so well-rounded. I’m in awe at how Taylor did that so well. The way she can take a simple emotion and these simple words and make these sentences that dance off the page….I can’t even fathom it.

There’s humor in this book, romance, an intricant level of plot, characters, writing, history and details that develop together to build this fantastic book. I wish I could tell you all the reasons I loved this book without ruining it. But there’s just no way to that. You will need to read it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is not a book that you can zoom through. It’s too layered, too build, too descript for that. It’s one that you have to read when you have nowhere else to be, nothing else to do and long for escape. It’s a slow race, a slow story because there are so many things that are being developed—but I promise it’s worth the wait. It’s 400 odd pages of amazing.

It did not end well.

But it did. It so, so did. I am waiting on bated breath for book two.

*all quotes are from ARC form and subject to change in final version

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1 comment:

  1. What a very lovely review. I actually have a preview (first 12 chapters) sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read. I think I might get to it sooner than I thought. :)

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