The Compulsive Reader: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Friday, September 2, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou lives in two worlds: the human world, where she travels extensively and is an art student in the city of Prague, and the small world that is Brimstone's shop, with the chimaera that raised her from infancy. Karou goes about her days, an enigmatic artist whose fantastical drawings delight, and runs errands for Brimstone whenever he needs her, trading teeth for wishes. She knows nothing about her past or her origin, until she is brutally cut off from Brimstone's shop by the appearance of an angel. He is terrifying and strangely magnetic, and the longer Karou is around him, the closer she is to the truth about her past.

Laini Taylor has once again proved herself to be a truly magnificent writer. Her prose reads like poetry in this enticing and odd book. Karou is a splendid character: a bit peculiar, witty, and curious. She is a very capable person, but her curiosity and drive to learn where she came from do get her in trouble at times. She's a plucky and resourceful heroine, and someone readers will easily be able to look up to.

The imagery in this novel is exceptional; readers will happily lose themselves in the winding streets and curious nooks and crannies of Prague, the dark mysteries of Brimstone's shop, and the strange wonders of the chimaera world. The mystery of Karou's origin is most compelling, especially as each section of the novel is prefaced with little lead-ins such as, "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well." Theories about the truth will abound, but Taylor keeps surprising readers until the very end, as she shifts between Karou's perspective in the modern world to the worlds of angels and demons, where battle is constantly being waged. The imagination in this book is impressive and stunning. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is breathtaking, romantic, heartbreaking, and mysterious--there simply aren't enough words to describe it. All anyone needs to know is that this atmospheric and richly layered book certainly lives up to the hype.

Cover Comments: I love the font of the title and the bright blue of the mask. It's a neat perspective--I love how it appears to be too big and bold for the cover to fully capture. The shadows, the positioning of it all, the one eye visible--it's so precise and affecting. I love this cover.

ARC picked up at BEA.

This book will be available on September 27th, 2011, and it is also this month's pick for the Monthly Commenter Contest!


ZoeRainDasherBenji said...

Glad to know it lived up to the hype. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been on my TBR list for so long.

Beth S. said...

I am hugely looking forward to this one even though I'm normally not a fan of paranormal. I was so excited to see that Laini's coming to Ann Arbor on the 29th!

Eleni said...

Another raving review. Okay I really need to get this off my shelf...like now. Great review!

The book girl said...

Love this book! And the ending made it seem like there will be a sequel!

By the way, who won the last commenter contest?

sam said...

Looking forward to this book very much. I have heard nothing but good things and it started here with your review! Thanks! Good to know it's as good as it looks :o)

Liss Martz said...

I have to say, I don't like the cover. But your review makes me want to read it. =P