Series: Trilogy TBA
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a rich, imaginative tale of magic and monsters, war and heartbreak. The world-building in this novel is breathtaking, the backstory a tapestry woven with strands of legend and otherworldly secrets. Laini Taylor's style is beautiful and intelligent, bewitching in its elegant flair. The pacing is perfect with never a dull moment, whether the intensity comes from the heat of battle, the awe of discovery or the mystery of Taylor's monsters.
Laini Taylor's imagination knows no bounds. This is the most creative, original story I have ever read. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that cannot be easily defined. It is a long history of war and senseless hate, otherworldly races and ancient magic. It is a fantasy and a tragedy and a romance. It is all these things and more. The descriptions are lush and vivid, the characters terrifying and oddly compelling, the lines between good and evil hopelessly blurred. It is a tale of self-discovery and irrepressible love, a coming-of-age story like no other.
Karou is such a compelling heroine, the kind of girl that shouldn't be crossed. She is quirky and mysterious -- from her naturally blue hair to her bullet-scarred belly -- a complex character who is alive and engaging from page one. Her mental life runs deep as she struggles with a lifelong sense of emptiness, and the constant frustration of vague answers from the only family she's ever known. Karou is smart and skilled, and she knows there's more to the story than she's been told. She is fearless when she needs to be, but vulnerable at heart. It's impossible not to fall in love with this one-of-a-kind heroine made of fire and glass, smoke and bone.
Her relationship with the chimaera who comprise her family is a complicated one -- full of loyalty and love, but also the betrayal and pain that plagues every family. Yet their deep-rooted bond is one of the most heart-warming aspects of the book, and is crucial to the impossible decisions Karou must make. Though they are repeatedly called "monsters" or "devils", Taylor takes care to show that nothing is so black and white. Karou's unconventional family fiercely loves her, and even when it's not always clear, they're acting with her best interest at heart.
A major part of what makes this tale so engrossing is the setting. Prague is a beautiful, enchanted place with cobblestone streets and macabre pubs -- anyone who reads this book will want to hop on a plane immediately. Taylor brings the scene alive for readers, making them feel the majesty of the city's beauty and the sting of the wind's sharp bite. Prague is timeless, full of hidden nooks and dusty secrets, the perfect setting for a tale of star-crossed love and forbidden magic.
Taylor perfectly balances drama and action with wit and passion, the kind of read that tickles the imagination and seeps into the soul. Readers will delight in the mystery of the devil's teeth, the brutal war between worlds and the truth of Karou's identity, never knowing where this colorful saga will take them next. Taylor's storytelling is stark and exquisite and lyrical, but also haunting, dark and sometimes tragic. When the many strands come together to reveal a stunning and heartbreaking truth, readers will never know what hit them. This is a fast-paced and high-soaring adventure that spans continents and worlds, generations and families -- but ultimately it all comes down to one girl, one special, strange girl with a secret sadness and a forgotten past.
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this novel at BEA for an honest review.
ARC GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]
I have an ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to give away to one lucky reader!
- You MUST leave a comment on this review (with your email address!) answering the following question:
If you were a chimaera, what would you look like?*
- +10 for drawing/photoshopping/making a collage/creating a costume/etc of your chimaera design! (Upload it to a blog post and link to it in the comments, or email it to me if you don't have a blog -- but be sure to leave a comment here letting me know you sent it)
- +1 for sharing this giveaway (via Twitter, Facebook, etc -- must leave a direct link in your comment)
- Following is not required, but greatly appreciated
- US/Canada Only (I will be hosting an international giveaway for this book soon!)
- Ends 10/7/11 at 11:59 pm EST
- One winner will be chosen via Random.org
- Please review my giveaway policy
*For those who don't know what a chimaera is, you can check out this page on Laini Taylor's website or this trailer which shows some pictures or the first 5 chapters of the book which give more detailed descriptions. If you have any questions, just email me.