Daughter of Smoke & Bone

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
By Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0316134023
Pages: 418
Genre: YA Fantasy


Book Blurb:

Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?


My Thoughts:

I am admitting that Daughter of Smoke & Bone has sat in my massive TBR pile for a very long time due to one simple word: romance. I tend to turn around and walk away when I hear this word heavily associated with titles. I accept love when added to a good book as flavoring. While there have been exceptions, I rarely embrace stories solely centered on love or romance. And the term just kept popping up too often when I asked other fans of this series about their thoughts. I was afraid. Hesitation lingered like a massive shadow. Fortunately, I decided to muster up my courage and give this one a go. And guess what?! I have been led astray all due to one single word. My own preconceptions have finally caught up with me.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone is no simple love story or romance. It pushes boundaries, becoming so entirely different. I was amazed to discover a book brimming with magic, fantasy and mythology! My bookish heart squealed in delight, and I was immediately drawn in. There was no turning back.  Fangirl sequence initiated within several chapters. I want blue hair!!!

That last sentence makes more sense when you learn that the female protagonist Karou (which I read as “kuh-ROO”) has blue hair. She fits comfortably into her leading role. Trying to sum up her characteristics in a few words is a challenge. There is nothing simple about her. She is resilient. She is courageous. She is beautiful with her blue hair. And she is shrouded in a mysterious past. What really pulls her together though, is the fact that we watch this silent art student (who only draws what she sees) develop into all of the above and discover her own potential and strength. She grows as we read, removing that cliché familiarity we see too often in heroines . And did I mention she was raised by Chimaeras?! Currently, I am placing her in the higher end of female leads for obvious reasons. I am eager to see how she progresses in future books.

The entirety of character development and world building in Daughter of Smoke & Bone is complex. While I feel that word is overused, it truly could not be more accurate. The author has established a compound mixture of elements. Fantasy, mythology and love come together in a fantastic way, exposing the reader to intricately detailed races including Chimaeras and Angels within multiple realms containing superb aspects of magic and darkness. The two races have fought an ongoing war for years to rid the world of one another. The overall result is engrossing read and that is difficult to put down.

The story comes together effortlessly in such a cohesive and appealing manner. I felt the history and back story were inserted throughout with flawless timing. The love story does exist. I will not tell a lie. And as I choke down my own coffee, I openly admit to you all that I enjoyed every moment of it. That love story that held me back for so long was a welcomed addition and I embraced it. This is not your run of the mill, hot and heavy, nice to meet you, drop your pants, love story. Avoiding spoilers, but highly recommending that you do not make the same mistake I almost did and pass this one by if you are not a fan of romance in books. I will also proudly point out, there is no love triangle trope. Bonus points!

There is some serious stuff happening here. Again, everything falls back on the author’s incredible ability to weave a tale with enticingly rich background and development while avoiding the dreaded superfluous droning that can often happen when too many elements are added to a story (kind of like this review because I am so excited). Pieced together and written elegantly, Daughter of Smoke & Bone allows for a well paced read that concludes in a rewarding yet open fashion. While I was left anticipating book two, which thank goodness this series is complete (lesson learned GRRM), I did not suffer the terrible cliff hanger syndrome.

Everything about this book screamed to me. It called my name, took my hand, and ran away with me. Sorry Wicked, but you have to wait! I am in love with the Chimaeras and the dark, rich lore that the author is building here. I am slapping 5 yellow stars on this one with no regrets!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) on Amazon.com


Daughter of Smoke and Bone on Barnes&Noble.com

49 thoughts on “Daughter of Smoke & Bone

  1. I don’t think you were led astray due to the word. I think the word misrepresents the book. I never read past the first book, and yes there was a romance, but the book itself should never be described as a romance book. It’s waaaay more Magical Realism or even UF, with a romantic aspect. I’d say it’s more so about Karou’s relationship with her family (which was my favorite part) and her history, and the history of all the Chimaera.

    Excellent review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, but I still felt the “love story” was a massive part of Karou’s history. Obviously I cannot relate more without divulging spoilers 😉 Although I think “love story” and maybe not romance would be the more appropriate term if that makes sense. Yes, the family history and bond that is explored is fantastic ❤ agree with you so much!

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      1. You’re right, the love story was a big part of it. I just feel like it marginalizes the plot, calling it a ‘romance’, lol.

        I may have a small issue with the romance label anyway. So many times the stories are more than that, which is an odd gripe since I read a lot of actual romance novels, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha these are not traditional angels. Aside from the whole question of good versus evil (which the book does not even declare) there is no religious feel to this. At least not for me. So even thought they were “Angels” it did feel the same in that sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh YAY! I’m sooOO happy to find another lover of Laini’s Taylor’s lush & elegant writing *SquEeee* LOL that woman can write for days & i’ll be hooked from start to finish craving more which is why I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of Strange The Dreamer 😉 Karou is one of my all time favorite heroines & I’m sad that you were misled & sold on this being a romance. This was pitched to me by a friend who knows I LOVE mythology anything! book 2 is a bit slower but EPICALLY rewarding & the series wraps up wonderfully, you won’t be disappointed (at least I hope not haha). There’s also an awesome novella if you happen to luv Zuzana as much as I did called Night Of Cake & Puppets, should be read after book 2. AWESOME Review Danielle! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the novella info *jumps excitedly*. I thought Zuzana was great 😁 Did I read they are making a movie out of this?! I need to fact check that. I am seriously looking forward to book 2. I borrowed this on ebook. But I must buy. The covers are gorgeous! I am so happy you liked the review. I always ramble when I fall for a book 😂

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      1. Zuzana is one of my top fave sidekicks 😉 I haven’t heard anything about a movie but would welcome this whole heartedly lol. I’m only missing book 1 since I purchased books 2 & 3 in hardcover from BookOutlet. The covers are stunning🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 I didn’t find it to be rambly though, it was an EPIC & well deserved fangirl gush 😃

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  3. Danielle, I would’ve done the exact same thing if I had thought it involved some heavy romance. I’m so glad to see that it didn’t, though ;). This is an amazing review dear, you absolutely do not need to worry about not conveying enough enthusiasm or having ‘added too many elements’ to it. I loved it! And putting this one on my TBR now as well obviously because…FIVE STARS!!! Awesome! 🙂

    Oh, and I want blue hair as well! I wanted it for a long time but am afraid it will totally ruin my hair if I dye it blue. So I bought a professional blue wig 2 years ago (“for Halloween”) and now wear it while I’m moving my lawn when it’s not too warm. I like to mess with the elderly neighbours’ minds a little occasionally ;). But I also feel more glamorous while moving the lawn if that makes any sense :’). So yes, get a blue wig at some point! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anne! I seriously want a picture of you mowing the lawn with blue hair 🤗😘 I absolutely must have a blue wig now. And maybe purple also!

      Sometimes I just worry that I ramble on and on when I reviewing a book I love. And then there is that pressure tjat someone else will decide to read it and hate it. Haha then I remind myself feck that (as you would say), it is my review 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HAhaha, maybe someday! 😉 Ooh, purple wigs are also fab! Or hot cherry red! Too bad they’re super expensive if you want a good one. I love it when you ramble 😉 ❤ Ah yes, the excitement when you see someone reading a book based on your rec accompanied by dread that they will end up hating it. But feck it is a very good motto indeed 😉

        Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes, that’s definitely true. I had to give up on mine earlier this year as well because things became too unpredictable for me to be a reliable employee. I hope you can keep it up! But know there’s no shame in quitting either 😘

                Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you loved this book. I love the premise and the setting. It sounds like such a cool world and the characters also sound great. Awesome review! 🙂 I’m planning to read the series by the end of the year since I now own the last two in hardback and the first one on kindle. I’ve had the kindle book for ages. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to add it to my list.

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