Daughter of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor

Who: Laini Taylor
What: Daughter of Smoke And Bone
When: September 27th, 2011
Where: Little Brown
Why: Premise
How: For Review (BEA)
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?

The plot was astounding. The whole idea behind Brimstone's shop and the wishes and the teeth was so beautifully constructed and woven into Laini's writing that I find myself wanting to look for Brimstone's store myself even though it kind of sounds scary as hell! Maybe i'd just peek inside, I don't want to have to wear one of Issa's scary snakes around my neck. The hidden world in the back of Brimstone's shop was also completely unbelievable and everything that went into it: the chimera myths and the angels and the war? I loved every second of it. AND THE SETTING? Urgh, I want to go to Prague so bad. The whole time I was reading this, my sister knew it was set in Prague and she kept telling me stuff about the city when she'd gone and I was just like: I hate you.

Karou was so kickass, guys. She was funny and fierce but she was also vulnerable and, like Akiva once said, had this sad loneliness about her that made me just want to jump into the book and give her a bear hug. But when things get bad, she doesn't cringe in fear of it! Instead, she bursts out of her shell and becomes this total BAMF, determined to do what she needs to do to find Brimstone and find out that exactly she saw behind that door. I love her courage and also just the way she spoke to people. She always sounded so sure of herself and confident and you guys know I love heroines like that that take charge, even if they're feeling lost. Zuzanna was an awesome best friend and like a true best friend, stuck by Karou no matter how crazy things got! I thought Kaz was hilarious and so full of himself that he provided some funny moments, particularly the opening scene!

Laini's writing is one of those that speak to my soul (a la Maggie Stiefvater, Lauren DeStefano) and her prose was magnificent. The descriptions of Prague and the Other World (which has a name but it's escaping me) were lush and beautiful and seriously made me feel like I was there. Also: the book is divided into three parts by these little sections that give a taste of the story and I loooooved that. One example being:

Gorgeous! And finally, we have the love story. Karou and Akiva were...strange in a good way. They fell together in such a fashion that I didn't know how I felt about the two of them together. I felt the tension and the attraction but it was all rushed and random but THEN. Then everything is revealed. And when you find out everything you find out, their romance is beautiful and lovely and I want more!

Overall? Recommend!
Happy Reading!


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