Nancy McKibben's Reviews > Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, reviewed
Recommended to Nancy by: my daughter
Recommended for: readers who love fantasy and The Hunger Games

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By Laini Taylor

My daughter has been recommending this book, so I obligingly checked it out of the library and was surprised to find it’s a YA novel. My daughter is thirty and I’m, well, older than thirty, so we are not the book’s intended audience, but I liked The Hunger Games trilogy, also YA, and I trust my daughter, so I plunged in.

It was quite a plunge. I was not expecting an epic struggle between angels (the seraphim) and devils (the chimaera) in the person of Akiva and Karou. Nor was I expecting that God (metaphorically speaking) would be on the side of the devils, as the heroine Karou was raised by the chimaera, and, in her world, the angels are the threat and the terror. Karou is a strong character, loyal to her unusual “family” and physically fearless, with an appealing vulnerability. Akiva is physically beautiful and ruthless, but Karou is drawn to him.

Of course, the two natural enemies fall in love a la Romeo and Juliet, and fireworks ensue, literally, metaphorically, emotionally - probably cosmically, too, although I suspect that more will be revealed in the second novel in the series.

The author has a lot to handle in this book, and she does it very well. Prague in the winter is an inspired choice for the opening. Its medieval, snow-covered streets are the perfect foil for a magic that starts small - Karou has some odd tattoos and wishes her hair blue - and grows monumentally as we get to know her and learn (with her) about her origins, and, perhaps, her destiny. I hesitate to say too much about the plot; it would be a shame to spoils the many surprises.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone will remind some of the Twilight series, but Taylor is a better writer, and she offers us much less teenage angst (thank you!) and a much stronger heroine - more in the line of The Hunger Games. I could not push myself past volume one of Twilight, and I’ve already reserved volume two of this series, so there you are.


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Reading Progress

December 12, 2012 – Started Reading
December 12, 2012 – Finished Reading
December 14, 2012 – Shelved
December 14, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy
January 4, 2013 – Shelved as: reviewed

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