Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Social Media: Blog, Facebook and Twitter,
Publisher: Hodder
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Book supplied by Collins Booksellers – Bacchus Marsh

About The Author:
“Laini Taylor is a writer of fantasy books for young people, but her books can be enjoyed by adults as well. Laini Taylor’s ‘Dreamdark’ books, Blackbringer (2007) and Silksinger (2009) are about faeries — not dainty little flowery things, but warrior-faeries who battle devils. Her first young adult book, Lips Touch, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award. It’s creepy, sensual supernatural romance. . . about kissing. Laini Taylor is also an artist with a licensed gift product line called “Laini’s Ladies.”

About The Book:
“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.

Things I Liked:
~Relevant Title: I’ve noticed this reoccurring trend with books that the title usual has nothing to do with the book, which I find frustrating, but the title of this book completely relevant.

~Good Hook: I loved this book, devoured it quickly and I was constantly itching to get back to it.

~Brilliant World Building: Laini Taylor has employed an interesting use of back-story, some readers might think of it as info-dump, but it worked for me and it was fascinating to read about these two different worlds and how they connected to Karou. It’s a little depressing because it reminds me of how far I have yet to go as a Writer, but still it’s reassuring to know it can be done.

~Intriguing Characters: Although I would consider Karou an acceptable Female Protagonist thus far, Brimstone is my favorite character.

~Honesty Is The Best Policy/Poor Communication Kills: A lot of problems in this book would have been solved if Brimstone had just been honest with Karou from the beginning. However, unlike with most novels that use these tropes for conflict, I think Laini Taylor managed to strike the appropriate balance between guiding/helping Karou to figuring out the truth and keeping her ignorant for her own protection, which is tough combination to pull off and usually I don’t like keeping a character ignorant for the sake of plot, but it worked with this one.

Things I had Problems With:
~Akiva: While Akiva manages (for me) to come across reasonably well as a child-soldier whose been fighting a war for centuries with a lot of justifiable psychological issues, can we stop with the loner-broody love interests who are ridiculously good-looking with tragic back-stories? There’s enough of them in the Fantasy genre already.

~Folly of Youth: I understand that Karou is seventeen and I’m sure most people do dumb things at that age (I know I did), but flying in the air whilst in the middle of modern-day Prague (what with modern technology of phones and the internet) was a stupid move, especially since Brimstone taught her and warned her of the dangers of drawing attention to herself.

~Mayfly-December Romance: Akiva is CENTURIES older than Karou, who is seventeen and Human, it’s an uncomfortable common trend in Young Adult genre and it needs to stop.

Overall, a great book in the Fantasy genre I’m happy to recommend.

Book Trailer:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy:
01. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
02. Days of Blood and Starlight
03. Dreams of Gods and Monsters

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