Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By: Laini Taylor
Karou is a promising young art student who fills her sketchbooks with imaginative drawings of monsters, demons, and otherworldly things. Only they aren't from her imagination. Karou is the courier for Brimstone, a demon who collects teeth, and Karou's only family. When Karou meets Akiva, all the things she thought she knew about her past and her world are about to be torn apart.
Ah, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I got my copy at BEA last year and was almost afraid to pick it up. When I finally did, I only got a chapter and a half in and put it down. The beginning of this novel is about the worst introduction I've ever read. I only say that because after I got past the first scene or two, what followed was an incredibly intricate story and world that was so unlike those first two chapters as to be unrecognizable.
The setting is unique for most of today's modern fantasy, as much of the story either takes place in Prague, or another realm completely different from our own. So, even the sort of mundane earthly setting has a unique flavor to it, being set in a European country that is full of mystery to a very ordinary American like myself. And I really think that the world building is what shines in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Each species of demon and each setting is so carefully thought out, which makes it so much more engaging. I expect this book could have been much longer with its glorious descriptions, but as it is, there is just enough to make the entire book feel well-formed.
And, the love story. Karou and Akiva's first meeting isn't pleasant. But, they very quickly discover that there is some sort of connection between the two of them that is incredibly compelling. And mysterious. In fact, Akiva just might hold some of the secrets that Karou has been longing to know her whole life. But, when it comes down to it, does she really want to know?
This is a great book for older teens. There is a good deal of mature content, mostly sexual, and the general tone of the book is a little more mature. This is a good example of what I'd like to see with the New Adult genre. With that said, I'll definitely continue on with the series.
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