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Daughter of Smoke & Bone [Hardcover]

Laini Taylor
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 2011 Daughter of Smoke and Bone
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?

Frequently Bought Together

Daughter of Smoke & Bone + Days of Blood & Starlight + Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Price For All Three: CDN$ 44.92

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Review

YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
A New York Times Notable Children's Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Selection of the Year


* "National Book Award finalist Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times) again weaves a masterful mix of reality and fantasy with cross-genre appeal. Exquisitely written and beautifully paced, the tale is set in ghostly, romantic Prague, where 17-year-old Karou is an art student--except when she is called "home" to do errands for the family of loving, albeit inhuman, creatures who raised her. Mysterious as Karou seems to her friends, her life is equally mysterious to her: How did she come to live with chimaera? Why does paternal Brimstone eternally require teeth--especially human ones? And why is she "plagued by the notion that she wasn't whole....a sensation akin to having forgotten something?" Taylor interlaces cleverly droll depictions of contemporary teenage life with equally believable portrayals of terrifying otherworldly beings. When black handprints begin appearing on doorways throughout the world, Karou is swept into the ancient deadly rivalry between devils and angels and gradually, painfully, acquires her longed-for self-knowledge. The book's final pages seemingly establish the triumph of true love--until a horrifying revelation sets the stage for a second book."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "[A]long with writing in such heightened language that even casual banter often comes off as wildly funny, the author crafts a fierce heroine with bright-blue hair, tattoos, martial skills, a growing attachment to a preternaturally hunky but not entirely sane warrior and, in episodes to come, an army of killer angels to confront. Rarely--perhaps not since the author's own Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer (2007)--does a series kick off so deliciously."—Kirkus, starred review

* "Taylor crafts both her world and her romance with meticulous care, building the first on a wealth of thought-provoking details and making the second equal parts tender and antagonistic...Fans of torturously star-crossed lovers a la those in Marr's Wicked Lovely and Black's Tithe will find much to enjoy here, but those who flock to innovative, character-driven fantasy with thematic depth will be equally enthralled."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"Author Taylor has created a variety of worlds, time frames, and creatures with such detail and craft that all are believable...Readers will look forward to the suggested sequel to this complex, exciting tale."—Booklist

"Wow. I wish I had written this book."—Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Wise Man's Fear

* "Lush description of a gothic and ghostly Prague beckons readers from the first page and fulfills its promise, leading to a star-crossed romance that spans worlds and transcends death...[Leaves] the reader both satisfied and eagerly anticipating a forthcoming sequel."
The Horn Book (starred review)

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that rare beast: a novel that takes the familiar and makes it appear startling and new. Taylor has embraced the mythology of angels and reworked it in an extraordinary form, so that by the end of this lyrical, haunting book, I wanted to believe in the existence of these violent, tormented beings. I can hardly wait for the next installment."—John Connolly, author of The Book of Lost Things

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a lush, sweeping, romantic marvel of a book. Taylor's writing is a revelation, masterfully blending an intricate fantasy world into our own, with an artist's flair for exquisite details. Funny, devastating, delightful, unforgettable. Pure storytelling perfection."—Kiersten White, author of the Paranormalcy series

* "The suspense builds inexorably, and the philosophical as well as physical battles will hold action-oriented readers. The unfolding of character, place, and plot is smoothly intricate, and the conclusion is a beckoning door to the next volume."—School Library Journal (starred review)

"[A] breath-catching romantic fantasy about destiny, hope and the search for one's true self"—The New York Times Book Review

"Thrillingly fresh and new"—Entertainment Weekly

"An adventurous story of self-identity, "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is written with high-stakes flair and a touch of humor...[It is] well-told and well-paced, raising intriguing questions about notions of identity, expectation, trust, betrayal and belonging."—The Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Laini Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of Days of Blood & Starlight, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter, Clementine. Her website is www.lainitaylor.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery girl Oct. 2 2011
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Fiery handprints, mythical beasts, magical tattoos, wishes and teeth -- all these things have a major part to play in Laini Taylor's otherworldly, bittersweet "Daughter of Smoke and Bone." Her third full-length novel reads like a punky collaboration between Holly Black and Charles De Lint, sprinkling mysterious items and haunted characters across the world.

Blue-haired, tattooed art student Karou studying in Prague. But as if that didn't make her odd enough, she was raised by a pair of monstrous "chimeras" named Issa and Brimstone, who run a shop that buys teeth. And Karou is regularly sent (via magic portal) to various parts of the world to retrieve various kinds of teeth, from elephant tusks to human children's baby teeth.

But then winged strangers appear across the world, leaving scorched handprints on every doorway to Brimstone's shop -- and causing destruction for the chimeras. Soon Karou finds herself adrift in the world, being stalked by the mysterious Akiva -- but when she fights back, she learns of an ancient war that is still going on to this day.

While the book talks about "angels" and "demons," Laini Taylor really doesn't base her book on any kind of Judeo-Christian beliefs. She came up with her own fantastical mythology for this book -- we have beast-human chimeras, winged seraphim from some kind of celestial empire, beads made of wishes, and a girl whose origins are a mystery even to her.

And her prose is absolutely luscious, filled with sensual gestures and vivid imagery. Fire, feathers, eerie old buildings and otherworldly creatures, all of whom are dangerous and sad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let down... Nov. 3 2011
By Avery Greaves TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book knowing little about it, aside from the fact that it had HYPE- it seemed to be extremely well received by the vast majority of reader. While I truly want to be one of those people who LOVED this book, I unfortunately am not. That is not to say that it is a bad book by any means- it isn't, it is one of the most creative and dynamic books that I have ever read before (seriously, Laini totally blew me away with her world building ability), but after finishing it, I just don't find myself feeling anything (I think that I should feel satisfied after reading it, or at least something, but I don't).

I think that my largest complaint about the book were the characters. While I adored Karou (she was so gosh darn snarky and strong- traits that, in my opinion, make a successful female character), I just couldn't connect to Akiva. I am very much the sort of reader that needs in-depth character descriptions (from their appearance, to their personality, to their background and history) and I didn't get that with Akiva whatsoever (I couldn't, for the life of me, picture him in my head- cropped black hair, tiger eyes that are rimmed with black kohl, and burning wings?- nor could I picture any of the Chimeras). Furthermore, I think that in the vast majority of the book he was lacking in personality- he seemed way too perfect, to the point of being unapproachable and entirely unrealistic.

Furthermore, I found myself flying through the first half of the book, and dragging my feet in the second half of the book (the first half was much more interesting than the second half in my opinion- which is somewhat strange as most of the action occurred in the second half).
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By Hailey
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this book but for some reason it took me longer to read it than it normally takes me to read I am not sure if its slow or if its just something to do with me but I bought and am reading the second book already and am having the same problem but still an interesting read. It just doesn't hook me and reel me in like books normally do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth the read! May 27 2014
By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Oh my. It’s been a while since I’ve read an excellent book. Then you pick up a giant tome like this one and it just sweeps you off your feet. I fell in love with this book in the first few 50 pages. It had an interesting fresh look on fantasy for YA without your standard monsters (ie: dragons - not that there’s anything wrong with dragons, but we’ve all seen and read about them dozens of times).

The idea of the chimeras and thee seraphims with a Romeo and Juliet twist is what I found the most appealing in this book. Now it may not be entirely different when it comes to the starcrossed lovers theme, but putting that theme with something different and fantastical is always a good thing and refreshing to see. Also, I loved the setting. Not many that take place in Europe, so that also makes the book all the more worth reading.

The characters are all memorable. Loved all the chimeras they each had their own personality and you couldn’t help but love them all. Zuzana made the perfect sidekick with Karou, I loved her and how much she supported Karou through it all. Thiago is horribly slimy and makes your skin crawl. The plot goes back and forth between what’s happening now, and in a different fantastical world, but it’s weaved together and it’s so well done you don’t notice any hitches. It’s a beautiful plot, and although the size might intimidate some, don’t be. You’ll be surprised at how fast you fly with this book because the plot is so engaging and will draw you in.

Definitely recommended. It’s something different, and the cliffhanger ending will make you scream.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars **4.5 stars**
My Thoughts:

1. Before, I've always held myself back from reading this book because of the mixed reviews but now I'm so mad at myself for not reading this earlier!! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandra L
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy read
Although this is labeled as a young adult novel, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you are looking for escapist fiction with romance, betrayal and a unique storyline, look no... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Bring on the chimaera
Daughter of Smoke and Bone captures its readers interest with an orphan girl named Karou, whose cheating ex-boyfriend tries to win her back by posing nude in her life drawing... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Book Cupid
4.0 out of 5 stars Audio book reels you in
This is one of those stories that reeled me in, the longer I listened to it, the more I wanted to just sit there and listen. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Heather Pearson
3.0 out of 5 stars Good potential, but sinks into generic fantasy
At first, I was completely engaged in this shadowy, otherworldly version of Prague, where demons lurk behind doors that lead Elsewhere and wishes can be worn on necklaces. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Cerus Corporation Representative
5.0 out of 5 stars Young adult fantasy
This book had been sitting on my "to read" shelf for the past year. It sounded like a good story but I had read too many mediocre YA novels to get excited about it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Is it too much to say this book is amazing? This is beyond your normal young adult story that unfolds just as you'd expect. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mindy Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Breathtaking. Masterfully Written!
Wow. I barely know where to begin in attempting to review this book; everything I write down seems to pale in comparison to how beautifully this book was written, how utterly... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Miss_Mimz
5.0 out of 5 stars So good! SO GOOD.
It just blows my mind that some authors can so skillfully weave such an incredible, imaginative, and original tale like Laini Taylor just did. Read more
Published 17 months ago by lola171
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars
Okay, so I know that I'm a little late on reading this fantastic book. And there have been so many rave reviews about it already...well, here's another one! Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sam
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