[review] Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

In a small art class in Prague sits the blue-haired, tattooed Karou. She lives in two worlds: ours and one of monsters where wishes can be bought with teeth. But the thing she wishes she knew the most is as mysterious to her as it is to those around her: who is Karou? Where did the tattoos on her palms come from? And how did she come to be raised by the wishmonger Brimstone?

This. Book. Is. So. Good.

First, the cover is freaking gorgeous. Look at it! Look at how beautiful that is! And the prose is just as gorgeous. I felt so spoiled while reading it because it was SO GOOD. WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ THIS BOOK YET!

Second, Karou is AWESOME. She can fight! She can speak like a hundred languages! She can draw! (I’m seriously jealous; I would kill for artistic ability.)

Third, the plot has twists that I didn’t see coming. I should have! The clues were all there, but I didn’t, and then I gasped and jumped around a bit because yes yes yes of course that explains everything and I LOVE when authors pull a fast one on me!

Fourth…ly, the characters are so cool! Brimstone and Issa and all the other “monsters” are so fun to read about. I loved their storyline and I became super attached to all of them, which leads me to…

Dear Brimstone,

I realize you’re not the romantic hero of this story, but gosh darn it I have a thing for geniuses who use their powers to do good. Not only do you not back down, but you don’t have any expectation of success or gratitude. You do what you do because it is the right thing to do, in your mind, and that, my dear, is sexy. I know what I’d wished for given the chance to get in your shop…



Fifthly, this story broke my heart, which means Taylor must have done something right. I’m starting to think the amount of tears I shed while reading is a direct correlation to how good the book is.

 Books with similar aspects

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

recommended to those who like strong female characters and plot twists

not recommended to um…I guess if you don’t like realistic fantasy or cool characters you should probably stay away. Oh and violence. There’s some violence.

Don’t just take my word for it!

“Don’t borrow this book from the library or from a friend. Buy it. Trust me, you won’t regret owning a copy. (I’m sad that I can’t cuddle my own right now.) And if you can, buy multiples. You’ll want to put this book into the hands of every girl you know.” ~Angel@MermaidVisions

“This book is wondrous. But keep in mind, it begins a series. You may want to cry when you realize that you can’t pick up the next book right away.” ~ Jen@AlmostGrownUp

“So does it live up to the hype? Oh, yes! Amazing imagery, kick-arse heroine, sexy romance, plot that makes your head spin, amazing writing…. it’s all there!” ~Katya

Did I miss your review? Link me and I’ll add yours! Add me on goodreads (be sure to let me know in the comments that you’ve added me) to have your reviews linked automatically.
No discussion post planned, but if you have some spoiler-filled comments you need to get off your chest, let me know and I’ll make one just for you. 🙂

About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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14 Responses to [review] Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. Tamara says:

    When I bought the book, it had a sticker on it saying “Love it or your money back.” Seriously.

    • megtao says:

      That. Is. Awesome.

      I think all books should have that sticker.

    • Briana says:

      I’m still confused by these stickers. Someone I know got a copy of the first River of Time book that had a similar sticker, but I thought it had something to do with the fact the book was released by a small publisher. Apparently not.

      • tessabarber says:

        I’m confused and intrigued! Who will give you the money back? And will they hook you up to a lie detector?

  2. reutreads says:

    I loved this book! Such a breath of fresh air in paranormal romance.

  3. Briana says:

    On one hand, I thought Taylor’s imagination for her characters was really wonderful. It was really refreshing to see portrayals of angels and demons where they came across almost as mythical species, instead of something divinely-related. On the other hand, it made me a little uncomfortable that the angles weren’t really angelic. I think that’s one reason I really liked Unearthly–she combined the human and angelic really well.

    Obviously I’m not expecting a super-religious portrayal because that wouldn’t work really well in fiction, particularly with romance, but I had this moment where I was thinking, “SO ANGELS ARE ALL A LIE?!” It was a little sad, particularly when there were nuns caught up with the feathers and angel sightings, and you as a reader knew they were believing deeply in something that wasn’t real (not divine). So although I loved her species, I think I might have loved them even more if they weren’t supposed to be angels, if that makes sense.

    • megtao says:

      I’m agnostic, so the treatment of angels doesn’t really bother me. If anything I find it interesting because it’s like a commentary on how stories can be interpreted over time. Not saying that angels in the sense you’re referring to do not exist, I just like seeing the status quo being questioned.

      • Briana says:

        It didn’t really bother me personally. I guess I just found it sad that were there religious people (if not really characters) in the book like nuns who had essentially dedicated their lives to something that isn’t true. In real life, there’s this general sense that, well, maybe God/angels/Zeus/whatever does exist, even if I don’t believe in it. In the book, you know that Christianity is wrong (at least on that point), so I found it depressing that these people were all very devoted to a lie. Momentarily. I actually did really like the book! And I’m certainly not arguing that this should be offensive to Christians.

  4. Lauren H. says:

    OMG OMG OMG!!! I loved this book soooooooooo much! It was so freaking awesome in every way.
    The characters = awesome
    The setting = awesome
    The fantasy elements = awesome
    The writing = awesome
    The plot (especially the twists and how stuff came together) = awesome
    This book went straight to my favorites and will be there for a long time. I totally agree with you that Brimstone was a super awesome character, especially after we found out what he was doing with all those teeth! So cool.
    Gosh. I really hope the next book is equally awesome.

    Woot! So glad you liked it too! I got so excited when I saw you’d reviewed it this week that I went sorta crazy! 😛
    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

  5. arepg says:

    Yay, this book! I completely agree that it’s a buy, not a borrow—I originally got it from the library and then bought it because I loved it so much. We’re also doing a three-part discussion of the book (and YAngels) today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, here: http://crunchingsandmunchings.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/daughter-of-smoke-and-bone-one/
    I’ll link to you!
    —Rebecca @ Crunchings & Munchings

  6. Pingback: Too Old for Angels? – A Roundabout Discussion of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone « crunchingsandmunchings

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