Amanda's Reviews > Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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Sep 29, 11

bookshelves: ya, buy-on-kindle
Read in January, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor has received a great deal of pre-publication buzz - trailers, limited proofs and plenty of information. This often makes me a little concerned about whether the book can possibly live up to all my expectations. With the case of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I am pleased to say my expectations were absolutely surpassed - this is an exceptionally special book.

It tells the story of Karou, blue-haired artist living in Prague - ward of Brimstone, a chimaera who creates wishes in the world of Elsewhere. Karou has always felt as though she doesn't belong entirely in either world, and only comes to find out why when she meets akiva, one of the seraphim - and her mortal enemy.

From the very first page Taylor opens up a world of folklore and fairytale. The winter location of Prague feels 18th Century and very mystical - a perfect setting for the otherworldly Karou. She - with her tattoos and blue hair and artistic ability - is one of the strongest female protagonists I've seen in a YA novel for a while. She is strong yet vulnerable, talented, sardonic and brave.

Taylor's prose is exquisite. It is whimsical and delightful, playful and wistful by turn and kept me enthralled from first page to last. I just can't emphasise enough how beautiful it made this book to read.

The story feels a little like the weaving of a tapestry - thread after thread pulling together to create a glorious whole. I really enjoyed the unveiling of some of the mysteries - and I'm glad that some of them have been left to discover in the further two novels of the trilogy.

For me, one of the areas that most YA fails in is the way the romance develops and the manner in which the two protagonists fall in love - but here is was completely believable and organic, especially thanks to some of the reveals later in the story.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is something incredibly special. While watching it I felt the same way as I did when I watched Pan's Labyrinth. It's an Event and deserves the capitalisation. This really is not to be missed.
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