The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by: Laini Taylor
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 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?
This book took me by surprise! But in a good way, of course. I really enjoyed the newness and uniqueness of this book.
Karou is a blue-haired, pale-skinned beautiful girl who has a hazy past. Living in Prague, she is an amazing artist who draws inhabitants of another world. Brimstone, Issa, and Kishmish are all part of the otherworld, and these chimaera’s raised Karou. Brimstone deals in wishes, giving them out in exchange for teeth. What these teeth are used for, Karou does not know, but she knows they are important. She runs errands for Brimstones to retrieve these teeth, and one day, she finds a burned handmark on the portal leading back to the otherworld. This changes her life forever.
I really like Karou. I thought she was a loyal friend and a fierce fighter. She was funny at times, but also curious about Brimstone’s work and the impact of it. Akiva was amazing! He was super sweet, and Karou and him really connected. I especially liked Zuzana. She was the comedic relief in the midst of a serious war. Brimstone is a really interesting character. He was really mysterious, but I enjoyed him a ton! The rest of the chimaera that helped raise Karou were motherly and loving.
I thought the instant connection between Karou and Akiva was written amazingly! It was life-altering and ever-powerful, but it seemed completely realistic and not overpowering. I felt really engaged in what they felt for each other, and it was beautiful.
My only complaint with this book is the plot. There was a lot of explanations and details, and at the beginning of the book, the plot was fast-paced and exciting. Towards the end of the book, when usually the plot picks up, I felt it slow down. I found it a little boring, because it was mostly flashbacks and explanations, which were pertinent to the plot, but that I found a bit dull.
Overall, I really loved this book, and I am definitely looking forward to the next book, Days of Blood and Starlight. Thankfully I don’t have to wait a long time for the next book, as it comes out November 6th!
Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: “Of course I’m coming with you. Karou…” His voice was still whisper-soft. “Karou.” He reached out and eased the hat from her head so that her hair spilled out in a splash of blue, and he tucked an errant strand behind her ear. He took her face in his hands and a sunburst went off in Karou’s chest. She held herself quiet, her motionlessness belying the rushing within her. No one had ever looked at her like Akiva was right now, his eyes held wide as if he wanted take more of her into himself, like light through a window.