Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

22 October, 2011 Reviews 10 comments

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Pages: 418
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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 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?

You know that book you’re reading right now? How about all those books on your “To be read” list? FORGET ABOUT ‘EM!

I first stumbled across Laini Taylor when I was encouraged by several of my GoodReader friends to read Lips Touch. So, I read it and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t blown away. However, I think it was a “It’s not you, it’s me” situation because anthologies and I don’t really get along. I went into this book thinking it was just another PNR, Angel style. I couldn’t have been more wrong. If Romeo & Juliet and the story of the Trojan War had a literary baby, that in turn grew up, rebelled, and decided to have paranormal creatures in a fantasy sort of world, it would be Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Okay, that makes almost no sense. Here, let me simplify it for you:

Laini Taylor





Karou is just your ordinary 17-year-old girl living as an art student in the beautiful city of Prague. She has blue hair, collects languages as birthday gifts, and runs errands collecting teeth. Okay, so maybe she’s not so “ordinary.” But one day, while running one of her “errands,” she runs into a mysterious stranger named Akiva who attacks her. After that moment, her life forever changes and she finds herself on the cusp of unraveling the secret behind her most burning question:“Who am I?”

There are some stories that make you say, “Wow! That person’s imagination was going into overdrive.” Harry Potter, Star Wars and the Pendragon series immediately come to mind. While reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone I was mesmerized by Taylor’s vivid descriptions and she easily fits in the above category as well. As with the first time I read a Laini Taylor novel, I had to get adjusted to her unique writing style. Karou and the mystery surrounding her past are so interesting you just sucked into the story. I literally could not put the book down and it took over my life for a few days causing me to abandon a few of my responsibilities.

Internal dialog:
“I’ll just read one more page then I cook dinner.”
“Well, I might as well finish this chapter since I’m halfway through it.”
“Darn. I forgot to feed the kids, but I’m hitting the climax…”

Thanks to crafty little plan of mine, AKA take-out, no one starved. That just shows you how addictive this book was for me!

And let’s talk about the love interest, Akiva. *sigh* Where do I begin with him?! Oh, ya! Hey Stephenie Meyer, this is how you write a tortured character. Akiva has a very real painful past that he carries with him. When he meets Karou, he’s drawn to her for some unknown reason and she to him. Wait, what’s that you say? Isn’t that insta-love? Preposterous! Laini Taylor is so above that. Don’t be fooled young padewon like I was.

The first half of the book is so full of mystery it will have you begging for answers and Taylor does not disappoint. You’ve heard of that little rule “show, don’t tell?” Well, Laini is the freakin’ queen of doing just that. She shows you everything and by the end you’re like:


I can’t say anything more about this book. I refuse to spoil anything. Just go read it now!

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

10 Responses to “Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor”

  1. Ari

    I loved this book as well.
    If I had kids they would have had their dinner the very next morning.. I simply couldn't put it down, LOL.

    • cuddlebuggery

      At the rate I was going we all would have starved until I finished! The story just sucked me in.

  2. Holly

    😀 This sounds awesome. I just won a free copy of this book in a competition last night and now I cant wait for it to get here! 😀
    If its addictive as it sounds then maybe I should hope for it to come on Wednesday (When my holidays start and im free :D)
    Anyway, I've just found your site and I've read alot of your reviews (the midnight sun one cracked me up)and they are all amazing :P.
    I found your site in a funny way actually, im a member on wattpad and one of the story's I was reading on there was accused of being a copy of one of the story's you have reviewed. Funnily enough, the story was being accused of copying Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon. This led me here and I was soon struggling to breath through my laughter.
    So thank you so much for amusing me and hopefully I wont become too addicted to Daughter of Smoke and Bone that I forget to eat ^^

    • cuddlebuggery

      Thanks for reading and commenting Holly! I'm glad you enjoyed the reviews and I hope you love Daughter of Smoke and Bone as much as I did.

      That's really funny and ironic about someone copying off Carrier of the Mark. Lol.

  3. Claire

    I really want to read this… but i was wondering if it has like a really intense/bad cliffhanger in the end? not that it will stop me from reading it, i just want to be prepared in case 🙂

    • cuddlebuggery

      Yes, unfortunately, it does have a cliffhanger. The book leaves you right at the peak of an emotional roller coaster.

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