November seems to have been the month where I made my way through a lot of books I’d been meaning to get to for nearly a year. Example number 4 (after Stars Above, Between Shades of Gray and After You): Daughter of Smoke and Bone!
I GET IT. I FINALLY GET IT.
I get why everyone seems to know this book. Why it’s surrounded with hype.
And finally, I can be a part of that.
Let’s talk about Daughter of Smoke and Bone!
Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Series Status: The 1st book in the DoSaB trilogy
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 418
(Found on the back cover and Goodreads)
“Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came.”
In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
*Angrily facepalms self with said book for ignoring it for so long*
Well well well, what do we have here?
Only the weirdest and most wonderful book I’ve come across for a while.
Well, it’s not THAT weird. But there’s chimearas that are mixed animals and people dealing in teeth and graveyard cafes and broken angels and a girl with blue hair. So you know, pretty weird.
I’m just going to say it right now, I love this book.
For one, I adore the main character – Karou. She’s loyal, curious, artistic, and most importantly…flawed. Gotta have those flaws in there somewhere for them to feel real, right? She lives an unbelievable life, and yet it’s so easy to believe because yes, that’s Karou. Not only is she part of this fantasy world, she’s also part of the real one, living in Prague, studying at school and completely devoted to art. In fact, her passion for art is my favourite thing about her, because I don’t think you see enough art in books.
Though this book itself felt like art most of the time. The writing was lovely, somewhat lyrical, but not too much as to distract you from what’s actually going on. Don’t want to be fawning over how beautiful that landscape looks while missing a vital conversation now, do we?
Through a lot of this book, you don’t actually know what’s going on. There’s a lot of questions, and a lot of clues left around for you to try and guess what’s happened. Normally, I’d be annoyed if it were left so long without any real answers, but this book is sort of separated out enough between clues and answers for it not to get irritating. Plus, there’s a lot of new developments to Karou’s life that we see her adjust too, and everything feels a bit in turmoil. So there’s plenty to keep you hooked until you have your answers.
I loved seeing snippets into different cultures – both real and not – and would actually like to see some more. I really hope more travel is included in the next couple of books, because it was really nice to see. Along with this, the different myths, legends, and magic theories that came along with each new place were completely fascinating to me.
To be honest, I only had one niggling issue when reading this book. The main pairing of the book, I shipped them. A lot. And yet…without saying too much, their first meeting was through violence. And it really bothers me when a character falls in love with someone who harmed them. HOWEVER, by the end of the book the situation is completely different. If you haven’t read it you might not believe me, and while it doesn’t cancel out what happened, it DOES explain a lot more. So…while that still bothers me slightly, I don’t feel as bad for shipping them at the same time. I don’t know.
As soon as I got halfway through this book, I just binge-read the rest. It gets really intense and answers start revealing themselves, and honestly you can’t help but be sucked in. It’s not common at all for me to read 200 pages in one go – not even in a day – and yet this book made me do it. And it was such a great feeling.
I feel like this has been a real hopscotch attempt at a review. My thoughts are all over the place with this one, with there being so many things I want to point out. But, to sum it all up: I loved this book. The settings, the history, the art, the characters, everything was weird and wonderful and I’m so glad I finally read it.
Rated 4.5/5 stars!
Share your thoughts!
Have you read this book? What did you think?
If you’ve read the rest of the series, did you like them just as much? (no spoilers please!)
If you haven’t read this book, is it on your TBR?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
Come and visit me!