Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Page count: 420 pages
Released: August 5th, 2012
Genre: YA, Fantasy/Paranormal
“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.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that I’ve continuously looked over for years. I hadn’t heard too much talk of it, but I see it on Goodreads lists and recommendations all the time. Recently I’ve seen it pop up in so many places and on so many blogs, so I added it to my TBR, and bumped it right to the top!
Because I went into this book with really high expectations, I knew deep down that the chances of me also finding it brilliant were pretty low. But the book started, and it started well. My initial reaction was that it was lacking on the fantasy aspect – I mean, the main character, Karou, starts off spending most of her time in a school, and I was worried that’s how the entire book was going to go. But it doesn’t take long for the “proper” story to kick in, and when it did, I loved it!
The overall premise of this book seems incredibly original and authentic. I’ve seen a lot of people compare it to The Girl At Midnight, and I definitely see the relation. I read The Girl At Midnight first, and while I enjoyed it a lot, I do prefer this! I found the world building incredibly easy to understand, which is something I usually struggle with. There weren’t too many characters, but the few that are included are distinct, hearty, and completely full of life.
My favourite thing about this book was that I had no clue where it was going to go. I didn’t figure out what was about to happen until right before it did. The only thing knocking the last star off this is I felt the ending was very rushed. Another 30 pages and it would have been perfect!