Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Adults
A Young Adult novel
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
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?
Lani Taylor, I must say that for this being my first book of yours, you have definitely sucked me into your style of writing and your wonderful imagination. At first I was a bit skeptical about this book, with anticipation building up over the months of waiting, I was fretting that the bar of expectations was going to be raised to high, resulting in immediate disappointment. After getting over the shaky bridge of the beginning and easing my way into Taylor's style and format of descriptions, I was able to cross the bridge. Looking back, I enjoyed every step of the way.
With Daughter of Smoke and Bone you have to throw away reality and accept the universe that Taylor has prescribed. The city of Prague shelters Karou, our artistic prodigy whose past remains secret to both her and the reader. Sent around by the mysterious chimaera Brimstone in search of teeth, human specifically. An angel roams the streets burning portals and and leaving behind black handprints that are inextinguishable. Paths begin to intersect for better and for worse.
Third person, dual POV between Karou and Akiva looks deeper into emotions, background, and answers questions that are asked by the characters and the reader. Taylor gives her all as a master storyteller with these two characters, their background, and the descriptions that wrap you up in a blanket and keep your warm throughout the night. Reading back and forth between Karou's expeditions with Brimstone, the unveiling of her past, and Akiva's flight to find this mysterious blue haired girl; I was enveloped in a story that I didn't dare put down.
The relationships between the characters, the emotions that bubble and evaporate off Karou and Akiva left every fiber of be tingling for more. The dialogue was witty, adoring, and realistic. And my favorite part would have to of been the tale of Madrigal and Akiva: the love, the tragedy, and the sensations brought to life through a never-ending war. Everything was beautiful within this story no matter how dark the setting became, Taylor's telling had my on the edge of my seat, nearly falling right off.
First Line: Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.