Daughter of Smoke & Bone Hardcover – Sep 27 2011
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YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
* "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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The story starts with Karou, a seventeen year old girl who is attending art school in Prague who has a compelling encounter with a beautiful man on the street. Soon we meet her unique 'family', involving seemingly whimsical characters or Chimera we are told later. Then there is her father figure Brimstone, who is best described as a demon. Finally, there is Akiva, a too beautiful man, who casts aside reason and his most important task once he sets his eyes upon Karou.
With this intriguing assortment of characters, I had no idea of where this story might travel, and travel it did. Karou could move around the world through a series of magical doorways that all started at Brimstone's shop but opened around the world. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of Marrakesh, which evoked for me the feelings of the markets there.
I listened to the audio book which was read by Khristine Hvam, for which she won and Audie Award. She has read for over 100 audio books. The voices that she made for these varied characters really did bring them to life for me. This unabridged edition is 12 hours 33 minutes.
The end of this book does answer some nagging questions about Karou and her history, but it leaves many more open. The story continues in Days of Blood & Starlight and then in Dreams of Gods & Monsters which is due for release April 8, 2014.
At first I wasn’t too interested in the story or the main character, as Karou seemed like a fairly uninteresting blue haired art student. But the story picked up about half way through the book when Karou’s way of living was explained, and again when her real past was revealed. Soon everything Karou did captivated me – especially when she meets Akiva. The story of romance even captivated me as it “began” with Akiva trying to kill Karou. But truth after truth was revealed until I was completely shocked.
I have no idea how Laini Taylor came up with such an interesting story or how she came up with the idea for the vast host of different characters. Some of the characters were hard to imagine, but they were all described perfectly, and the world was created flawlessly too.
The combination of the interesting names (Karou, Brimstone, Zuzanna, Akiva, Chiro…), intriguing settings (Prague, Morocco, Paris…), and the completely new storyline made this book something I couldn’t put down. I stayed up until 5am to finish this because it was THAT good.
A fantasy world merged with the real world to create an unforgettable story of war, family, mystery, magic, and love.
If you enjoyed the Internal Devices series, I would highly recommend this. In both, I've experienced a really strong connection to the characters and became really invested in their lives and their story.
Most recent customer reviews
Exquisite writing, intricately-wovened plot, and a massive cliff-hanger that will leave you wanting to buy the next instalment.Published 6 months ago by Anna Geller
Great book! Such a unique concept of resurrection and striving for a world remade in the midst of war and chaos. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Alyssa-Chanel Rahemtulla
I liked it, the concept was new and interesting. I loved Karou and all the vividly fascinating characters. The world was well established and left me wanting to know more about it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Evangeline S.
I was mesmerised by the way Laini Taylor wrote this. Every character and setting BLEW MY MIND. It was all so original, a completely original take on angels. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Janice
This book took me a long time to get through. I was intrigued enough to keep reading it but I found it a bit too long (420 pages) to keep me riveted. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Geekgirl1969
Well written, clever and original. A page turner for sure. Love how the three worlds intertwine together to eek out the plot.Published 21 months ago by Lissa Gougeon
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... Read morePublished on July 14 2014 by Hails
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. Read morePublished on May 27 2014 by Karoline
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