Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder
Pages: 448
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

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.

I am utterly lost for words. 

I didn't really know anything about Daughter of Smoke and Bone before I decided to read it. I was unaware of the hype when it was released, the author was unknown to me so I just leapt into the world sort of blind. Mind is so totally blown right now.

Karou is this 17 year old awesome blue haired, tattooed, badass main character. As far as Karou is aware, she has been raised (in a magical workshop that can be accessed by a magical doorway) by a few otherworldly guardians - a collection of strange half human and half beast individuals, the boss of which is Brimstone. She knows many different languages and has been schooled in martial arts, and she also spends most of her time residing in the human world doing normal(ish) things. 

Karou was just so cool - she goes to art school in Prague but she also runs errands for Brimstone, helping him collect teeth. Karou doesn't really know who she is or why she has to go between the magical workshop and the regular human world to run errands for Brimstone. It is all a bit of a mystery and it sounds super weird and initially when I tried to picture Brimstone as this ram headed, half beast/man I just was a little confused. Being dropped in Karou's world was a little disorienting but the masterful way the author builds the world made me become quite comfortable and familiar with it in no time at all

I loved the Brimstone's magic. Like Karou, I was mystified by the idea of teeth (human and animal) being exchanged for wishes. Why does Brimstone want teeth from the human world so bad? What is going on here?! 

Enter Akiva: this beautiful, damaged, tortured angel with fiery wings. He and his 2 comrades have been burning handprints into all of the doorways in the human world that lead to Brimstones magical shop. Why are they doing this? Why is Akiva suddenly obsessed with Karou? So many intriguing questions arise whilst reading this book and it motivated me to become engrossed in the world and try and find the answers. 

By the time all is revealed and the reader has been thoroughly drenched in the realities of the world of 'Eretz', there is just no going back. This book offers so many different, interconnecting layers and to just describe it as a simple fantasy romance does not give it justice. I would recommend it for anybody who is familiar with and loves the fantasy genre.

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