Friday, May 24, 2013

Review - A Daughter of Smoke and Bone

by Lani Taylor

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've been wanting to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone for ages and after making my book jar I was happily surprised when this was the first title I pulled out to read! Even though I've heard great reviews about this book and wanted to read it forever, I didn't know a whole lot about the plot or anything about the characters. I was going into this story rather blind and I think it made me love this book even more. I don't want to give too much away in this because the mystery is an awesome part of this story.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the amazing word choices and writing style by Lani Taylor. I was instantly drawn in by the style of her writing. By the end of the first chapter I knew I could sit down and tear through this book in an evening. However, I purposefully slowed myself down so I didn't. There is a lot of description in this book, and Lani Taylor's writing made me want to savor every line of it. Too often I get impatient with authors who describe everything in their world and leave nothing for the reader to imagine. To me that amount of description disrupts my reading and bores me because I have nothing left to be surprised by or really imagine myself. This book never felt like that too me. There are many different settings in this story and the descriptions are fantastic and well written which made me sit up and really read them rather than skimming them. The writing is just fantastic and I was drawn and I believed this story.

One of the cities that I am in love with for no particular reason is Prague. It is on a short list of places I have never visited but am already in love with (Dublin, Prague, Istanbul...there are a few more). So I loved the original setting for this book. Each setting is interesting and vividly described. While Karou's life in Prague has enough secrets for a lifetime, she travels the world and other worlds in this book. I loved the mythology that she used and it worked perfectly seamlessly throughout the book in my opinion.

Karou is an amazing character. She is strong, witty and brave with the right amount of caution and fear mixed in to be able to relate to her and understand her. She has great mystery surrounding her. I love her approach to her secrets and her artisitc talent was so well described and meshed into her character! Even she doesn't know all of her own secrets so the story is very engaging. While Karou works to try and save her friends and family, others are trying to discover her secrets. The writing brings her alive and makes her an amazingly complex and engaging character.

I already know this is going to be one of my favorite books of this year! I loved this and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. It is a fantastic story and completely captured me. After I read the next book I want to get my hands on more of Lani Taylor's writing as well because her writing style is simply fantastic.

Rating: 5/5

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