‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor has been on my radar for a long time and I’m glad I’ve at last read it.
Karou is an art student in Prague as well as an errand girl for Brimstone – a beast who deals wishes for teeth. Having not known anything other than this life she’s been dealt, it is a shock one day to come across an angel who seems intent on ending her life. Curious, Karou wanders where she shouldn’t and sets herself on a path which she hopes leads to Elsewhere.
Well damn, get me on the next plane to Prague, stat. Taylor has described this place so beautifully that I’ve already scratched it onto my Bucket List. Prague shall not escape my gaze now that I have had such a languid brush with it. Elsewhere on the other hand was a little harder for me to imagine. Perhaps it’s because so little time was spent there in this book but it does sound very interesting to say the least.
Karou is instantly identifiable. I could connect with her on so many levels that half way through the book, I was experiencing all the same emotions as her. I understood her childish whims on silly wishes and her love for Brimstone – the only father she’s ever had. I understood her pain and grief at the end mixed with yearning. After 17 years of loneliness, she’s found Akiva (has the term ‘soul-mate’ ever fitted better here?) only for the truth to rain cold tears over her. I feel for Karou as well as for Madrigal.
Akiva reminds me a little of a puppy. Don’t get me wrong, I totally got the sexy, bad guy vibe from him but underneath it all I saw a lost puppy dog who just wanted to be loved and petted. Which kinda makes his revelation at the end all the more shocking and upsetting. I liked him though, sometimes he was a little too sweet but I could easily look past that. His background and magic will make for an interesting sequel I hope.
War is ever present in this book and so it is in our lives. Peace is an idea these days and the correlation between reality and this book did not go unnoticed by me. I can never tell if it was the authors intention to make connections such as this but even if it was subconsciously done, I appreciate the touch of realism in such a genre. There were so many aspects of this book that I could talk about and I like that it has that quality. You know you have a gem in your hands when your mind is constantly wondering from one thought to another about a certain theme or scene.
I enjoyed it from beginning to end. It had me hooked from page 17 and after that I was loath to put it down! The premise is unique and I have never read anything like it before. Taylor’s storytelling is entirely something else and it was rich with colour and feeling and HOPE. Definitely going into my pile of favourites.
“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”
You can get it here