Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
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Source: Hachette Canada (Publisher)
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 420 pages
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?
Before I start, I need to say this: I will not do this book justice. I tried my best but my thoughts right now are more, "HEART HEART HEART LALALA." I am left amazed and inspired.
I like a lot of books. I would even say that there are quite a few books that I've loved. There are not, however, as many books that tug me in every direction, that lose me in the story, that win me over so completely that I spend all my time trying to sneak in an extra line or two. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of those books.
Karou is such a phenomenal narrator. She's tough and smart, seen as both fierce and mysterious to her classmates. She has blue hair and a sketchbook filled with only the magic of her own talent, but that's more than enough. Yet, she is not without her vulnerabilities. There was realness in her longing for companionship and the dull ache of what she feels missing from her life is hard to miss. I wanted to get to know her - I felt like I did to a certain degree.
Now, Akiva. Akiva, Akiva, Akiva. This boy is entrancing and sweet, sharp and stunning. As the book progresses, more layers are lifted from his past and present and you really feel like you can understand him. There is so much pain in him, but so much beauty as well, and I was just left feeling so drawn towards him.
Then there was the romance. It is a rare thing that I am so invested in a relationship. Karou and Akiva had my eyes glued to the page, pulse racing at the electrifying interactions between them and heart melting at their undeniable connection.
If romance isn't enough to get you interested, there is also a fantastical world that has been created. Alongside brilliant and diverse characters, there is an epic war. What seems crazy and out there is blended seamlessly with our own world, and you may even start wondering how possible the impossible could be.
Easily one of my favourite books of the year.
Cover Comments: I don't really know how I feel about this cover. On one side, I love the fonts that have been used. The contrast between the black and the bright blue grabs your attention, but then I'm not too crazy about the rest of the cover. I don't know, there's just something about it that seems off. To end on a positive note, I do think Karou looks kind of like a bird in that picture!