Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Four and a half stars/ five
I was very hesitant to read this book. The blurb was strange, and it didn’t sound like something I would like. A few months ago, Click Frenzy happened (it was a total fail, by the way). Bookworld (formerly Borders) was one of the stores participating in the online discounts and my mum said I could buy some books. One of the books I bought was Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It was reasonably cheap and I figured I’d give it a go. I eventually got around to reading it because I was going away and I could sit and read a lot of it on the plane. I’m definitely glad I read this book. I enjoyed it but I did have a few issues with it. But overall I thought it was a beautiful book.
Karou lives half in Prague and half in ‘Elsewhere’. In Prague she is a seventeen year old art student, but in Elsewhere, Karou is an errand girl for the monstrous creature that is Brimstone, the closest thing she has to a father. Karou travels all around the world (via portals) doing errands for Brimstone’s work that she does not at all understand. But, whenever Brimstone calls, Karou never says no. When mysterious hand prints are burnt on to portal doors all around the world, what could that mean for Elsewhere? And what could it mean for Karou? Without Elsewhere she is simply nothing.
“The doors to Elsewhere are closing”
I thought this book was absolutely brilliant. It was something very different, something that you wouldn’t often see in the YA genre. The descriptions were amazing; so detailed and real. Everything in this book felt so real. I was sure I was in Prague, in Brimstone’s shop, in the markets. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was really a remarkable book that will be imbedded in my brain forever.
Karou was definitely a different character. She was unusual and shrouded in mystery. She was also very likable, strong willed, brave, kind, yet harsh, loyal and trusting of her “family”. Karou was such an intriguing character, exactly like the book itself. I think the writing made the book, but Karou’s character definitely helped. In all of her twisted, mysterious ways, Karou has become one of my favourite YA character.
I really loved Akiva. I loved his chapters; occasionally being allowed inside his head. He was so strong and beautiful, honest and loyal. I thought he was absolutely perfect. I especially liked the fact that Akiva fell in love with Karou, not only because of who she was, but because he actually liked her. I loved that he was honest with Karou about… things… even though it could potentially ruin the relationship between the two of them. He did it for Karou, because she deserved to know. Akiva was mysterious and way too cool and I totally love him.
The only thing I can fault is the fact that this book occasionally confused the hell out of me. It was beautiful and well written, but sometimes I felt it was too good and it just left me behind. I found myself re-reading things because I just couldn’t understand a sentence or a paragraph. It could’ve just been me, but I don’t know. Maybe the book was just a bit above me. Either way, I totally loved it.
This book was so wonderful that I could only fault one minor thing. Other than that very minor thing, I fell head over heels in love with this book. I’m definitely glad I bought the second one for myself for Christmas. I’m looking forward to reading it and I certainly hope it is as wonderful as Daughter of Smoke and Bone.