Expected Publish Date: September 27th, 2011
Finished Date: September 16th, 2011
Publishers: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: ARC for review
The blurb from Goodreads: 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?
The Review: "He said,"I want you to know..." He swallowed. "I need you to know that I was drawn to you-to you, Karou-before the wishbone. Before I knew, and I think...I think I would always find you, no matter how you were hidden." He was focused on her extraordinary intensity. "Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens-" His voice cracked, and he took a breath. "I need you to remember that I love you."
Never has a book surprised me more than Daughter of Smoke and Bone. What Taylor has created is something far beyond mere fantasy. It's a different world, its creatures, it's the past in this book that links to the present situations. It's just immensely wonderful. I'll try and keep this spoiler free.
Reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone I found came very easy, Taylor creates such an imagination that you're instantly sucked into the life of our 17 year old protagonist Karou. Karou is easily likable and you instantly feel connected to her. She has a best friend Zuzanna, who I love too. She's that typical friend and girl should have who will see her through everything and when she finds things out about Karou, she doesn't freak out-she doesn't believe her-but she doesn't freak out.
The book keeps you intrigued and asking questions through out. Why all the teeth? Why isn't Karou allowed in that door? Why is a standard 'normal' girl coercing with monsters? All these questions arise, and all these questions are answered in the dramatic finale of the book.
The world building is incredible, shifting from modern day Prague and Marrakesh to the made up world of the Chimeara and Seraphim. All of these places are so brilliantly written that you feel like you're right there with Karou. It even made want to take a trip to Prague.
All the characters are incredible, from Karou, to Brimstone, to Issa the half snake, to Akiva the gorgeous seraphim who's fascinated with Karou from the moment he sees her. All these characters are well thought out and each have their part to play in the Chimeara/Seraphim war that is still waging.
Ok so, the ending was pretty awesome, however, there's a lot of back story that you're sort of thrown into, it's a lot of information on the Chimeara history and Karou's past, that sometimes it was a little hard to read all the way through. All the information was paramount to the story but I think having 6-7 chapters full of back history lessened the excitement...a little. Having said that, it was good to finally get the answers, and I came up with a theory and although it took a while to come it turned out I was right.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a wonderful read and beautifully written. Definitely a good change for anyone looking for something new and quirky. I'm hoping the next two books will be equally as thrilling and quirky. I look forward to more.