Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone       
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
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?
(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Little, Brown, Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Kat's Review
Sometimes you read a book that draws you in completely, hooking you on the first page.  This is one of those books.  It's more than the plot, although the story itself is glorious.  For me, it was the way Laini Taylor is able to take the mundane and turn it into something otherworldly with the turn of a phrase.  That woman has a way with words that made me want to savor every last one. 
Karou, young apprentice of mysterious heritage goes through life with one foot in the mortal world and one foot somewhere else, somewhere she doesn't even understand herself because no one will let her in on the secrets behind what goes on in Brimstone's shop, or behind the secret door he refuses to open in her presence.  Karou attends art school while at the same time running errands for Brimstone, collecting various artefacts that he uses in his magic.  When Karou makes a dangerous mistake she finds herself locked out of the safety of Brimstone's workshop and left alone in the mortal world to fend for herself and try to find another portal back to Brimstone and those she loves. 
I hung on every word.  The description in this book is both lush and spare at once, evoking images so vivid I felt I could see everything as though looking through a window into Karou's world.  I fell in love with these characters.  Karou's braveness and curiousity, Akiva's guilt and shame, Zuzana's optimism and spunk.  I felt all the love, pain, sorrow, and guilt, and wanted to relieve these characters of what weighed them down. 
It's rare that an author can create a world so fantastical, yet so realistic at once.  Laini Taylor has done that with this book, and I can only say that I can't believe I waited so long to read it.  The only upside to this?  I can now go out and get the sequel right away!
Rating: All Consuming
Just when I thought I had things figured out, I was thrown for a loop.  My heart was lifted and then broken more than once while reading this beautiful story, and I can't wait to see what happens next. 

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