Daughter of Smoke and Bone {5* Review}

Daughter of Smoke and BoneDaughter of Smoke and Bone
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
by Laini Taylor
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 27th 2011
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 424
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
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?

I know I’m probably a few years behind the game on this book, but in my defense, it came out before I started blogging and therefore before I had such a wonderful network of bookish friends to make recommendations to me. That is now rectified and I have an awesome group of blogger friends that enjoy the same types of books that I do! :) Yay me! Daughter of Smoke and Bone was at the top of their recommended reading list for me. I mean they were practically yelling at me to read this one. See for yourself.


So, yes, I caved. And I am so glad that I did! Daughter of Smoke and Bone was……well it was……..WORDS FAIL ME! It was Awesome, Epic, the absolute Freakin’ Best Book Ever! Ok, give me a minute while I catch my breath.

The book is set in Prague, which is fun because I am quite sure I have never experienced this setting before. I imagined small cobblestone alleyways and brick buildings that have weathered time and remained standing. And for some reason, in my mind the city has a rather drab, grayish hue everywhere.

Something like this.

And living both in this world, and outside of it, is Karou. I fell in love with her from the very beginning. She is confident but reserved, finding it hard to make friends because of the secrets she must keep. But she strikes me as the type of girl that once a friend is made, they are a friend for life. I want to be friends with Karou. She is artsy in personality, persona, and activity. She is covered in tattoos, has a slender build, and long azure hair. Yep, blue hair – I love it! (And I gotta tell you, the first time I saw a picture of Laini, I was like, Yep. Totally fits.)


Karou works and plays in the world of humans, but her real home is through a magic door that can only be opened from the other side. A door that leads to a small shop of teeth run by an other-worldly chimeara named Brimstone. The chimeara are a race of hybrids, made of various animal and human parts. Although the book is very high fantasy because of this race of beings, they are described in such wonderful detail and given such realistic human/animal characteristics….it was just so easy to see them in my mind and believe they could be real.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.

I have read tons of books about angels falling in love with humans, or vampires with humans, or other-worldly creatures with humans. But it’s about time someone wrote a good book about a devil and an angel falling in love. The romantic encounter was so sweet. I was rooting for them all along, even before I knew what was really going on. Their love grows slowly, most obviously because they are supposed to be sworn enemies, but it is just so heart wrenching when you learn the whole truth of their relationship.

Oh I forgot to tell you about Akiva! How could I possibly forget him?! Akiva is the angel that is sent to earth to close all of the portals to Eretz, the world in which the chimaera and angels live. He is broody, strong, and gorgeous. :) He can cloak his wings while on earth, which is a good thing, because his wings look like feathers alight with fire. As if embers were carved into wings, never fully extinguishing. God, I want to see those wings!

This book was large, and yet I still felt as if the story ended too quickly. I wanted more. More of the characters, more of the world, more of Karou, more of Brimstone, more of everything! If you have been putting off reading this story because of the high-fantasy, I am here to tell you it is extremely well-done and does not read like a high fantasy book. Everything is completely believable – STOP WAITING! Go pick it up now. You will not regret it.

We give this one…
5 Stars

About Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor

Hi! I’m Laini Taylor.
I am a writer-artist-daydreamer-nerd-person, and simultaneously a mom-wife-sister-daughter-person. I can do a lot of things at once, like for example: I can sleep and dream and also lie very still, all while also breathing and ever-so-slowly growing ten distinct toenails.
I write books for youngish people, but they can also be read and enjoyed by oldish people, aka grown-ups. You know grown-ups? They tend to be a little bigger and hairier than kids. But not always.
I live in Portland, Oregon, USA, with my husband Jim Di Bartolo, who is an amazing illustrator and who I’m always begging to draw me things, and with our wee droll genius, Clementine Pie, age three.
Connect with Laini on Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

About Meagan

Meagan is a Reviewing Wonderland founder and featured reviewer. Because reading books does not go far in paying the bills, Meagan is also an established certified public accountant (I know, right) and spends most of her time working or spending time with her family.
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7 Responses to Daughter of Smoke and Bone {5* Review}

  1. Shannon M. says:

    Laini is one of my favorite authors! I know exactly what you mean when you say “WORDS FAIL ME!” I was the same when I tried to write my review (if you’re interested in seeing my thoughts, you can go here http://maechs.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/daughter-of-smoke-and-bone-by-laini-taylor/) Oh! And if you haven’t subscribed to Laini’s blog yet, you simply MUST do so! Earlier this week she posted the cover for the third book Dreams of Gods & Monsters! And she also posted a hysterical cartoon that one of her fans drew! I hope to meet her one day :)

    Oh. One more thing…

    Did you know that Daughter of Smoke and Bones will be coming to the big screen courtesy of Universal Studios with Stuart Beattie to write the adaptation and Joe Roth producing!!!

  2. Octavia says:

    YAY YOU LOVED IT!!!! I know I’m super late in seeing this review but I’m so happy you truly did love it!

    *now I just have to finish DoB&S and I can fangirl even more with you*
    Check out Octavia’s most recent post! – Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

  3. Amanda says:

    You’re not the only one that’s behind on this one! It’s been on my to-read list for quite awhile and I just keep forgetting about it. I may have to pick it up sometime soon. :)

  4. Roxy says:

    AHHHH! What can I say? When I read this book a couple of months ago, I was in LOVE with it. Right now, Days of Blood and Starlight is in my reading pile and I can’t wait to dive into it. I probably should do that soon, but I think I’ll start in July. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed this book!(:
    Check out Roxy’s most recent post! – Roxy’s Review: InsurgentMy Profile

  5. I am also behind on reading this book, which was recommended highly to me by my daughter. I never got around to it and forgot about it, but maybe I should make an effort now to obtain it, since you have praised it so highly. Thanks for the informative review!
    Check out Rita (My Home of Books)’s most recent post! – Another Book Challenge You Can JoinMy Profile

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