The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Book Review

The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou is an artist, blue haired and mysterious to all her friends in Prague. How does she speak so many languages? Where does she go on her errands? And why does she draw monsters in her sketchbook?

What Karou chooses not to tell them is that she is the foster daughter of monsters, raised by Brimstone, a chimera magician who exchanges wishes for teeth. Despite her fear of him and desperate desire to know what Brimstone does with those teeth, Karou is happy with her life until she meets the beautiful, winged Seraphim, Akiva. With her world falling apart around her, Karou must delve into a past she has never known, even if she may come to regret it.

Crafted with hauntingly beautiful prose, Laini Taylor has created a Romeo & Juliet story just as passionate and fearsome as its muse. Taylor has created not just one but two worlds, the first, Prague, familiar and yet different enough for the setting to feel unique. The second, a world full of angels and demons, magic and pain, slowly unfolds throughout the book, and despite it being so alien Taylor deftly handles her world so that it too feels as real and slid as Prague.

When I began this book, I had my reservations and admit to some eye rolling when the "angels" were introduced. After all, isn't that the new thing? Angels and demons becoming almost as popular as vampires and zombies, right? Never mind that these angels, or Serpih, aren't exactly the biblical, winged creatures that tradition would have us believe. As a ardent activist against frivolous romance, I readily admit that although I thought this book was exceptionally well-done, I did find some of the romance cloying. Let me make it clear though, I hate romance stories in my action flicks so obviously a story that is taking its cues from Romeo and Juliet is not going to be that appealing to someone like me.

I would have like there to be a little less flashback/backstory. The final third of the book is almost all flashback and although I recognize its importance, I wished there had been a different way, but this in no way impedes the beauty of the book.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is dark, sensual, stunning, terrifying, beautiful, and Just wait until you find out what they do with all those teeth.