Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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? (Goodreads)

It’s so difficult to put my love for certain books into coherent thoughts and words.  If I really told you exactly how I felt about some of them, this is what the reviews would look like:


and then maybe:


So when it comes to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I don’t want to be a babbling idiot and say “You guys, this book is pure awesome.”

But you guys, this book is pure awesome. There’s no other way to say it (or, I’m sure there is but I have no idea how to communicate it as I’m still in the spazzing phase). So forgive me if I slobber all over this one or if I ramble incoherently. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I don’t want you to walk away without being convinced that is book is worth your time.

Here’s why:

1. Karou- She’s our protagonist. She has blue hair. Blue, because one day she wished it would be that color and thus, it was. Also, she’s mysterious and passionate a a total butt-kicker while still wanting to be a seventeen year-old girl who goes to art school (oh yeah, in Prague) and hang with her best friend.  It’s just that she also has access to a door that leads to magic and creatures—those who would be considered monsters by most standards—and strange errands and adventures.

2. Akiva- There isn’t alot I can reveal about Akiva the seraphim, so I’ll go with the obvious one—he’s Hottie McHotpants. Not just in the way his physical beauty is described, but in his brokenness and in the way he once again finds the desire to follow his heart regardless of the cost.

Doesn't he look sad? Like his heart is weighted?

“Everything was between them, everything he’d felt suffuse the air while they faced each other over the rooftops. Being near her was like balancing on a tipping world, trying to keep your footing as the ground wanted to roll you forward, hurl you into a spiral from which there was no recovery, only impact, and it was a longed-for impact, and a sweet and beckoning collision.” pg 199

3. The Creatures and Mythology– Brimstone, I love you and I want to hug you for what you’ve done for Karou. Don’t you wish you knew? Maybe you should read the book and find out.

4. Freaking World Travels- Karou lives in Prague. She travels to Marrakesh and Paris and Idaho (um, so that’s not so exciting but they can’t all be winners). She’s lived everywhere, learned the languages, learned their fighting techniques and bought the t-shirt. The door that leads to Brimstone can open to any place she wants to go or any place he needs to send her. And these locations are described with lush detail. It made me want to get on a plane—or find my own magic doorway.


5. The Writing- This is the first book I’ve read by Taylor. It was beautiful and poetic, written with such creativity and mind-blowing visual images. It flowed so perfectly and easily that I didn’t want it to end.  This book had me at hello, goodbye and every moment in between.

“Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable with solitude, serene.  But she wasn’t. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and…cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on a balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.” pg 71

Crush Intensity: 5/5 Fantastic. Major crush here. Huge.

Big thanks to my friend Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks for encouraging me to read it!