Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Published: 29th September 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Goodreads description:

Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.

My thoughts:

I really don’t know where to start with this book; it truly is perfection. The setting of Prague was a great choice; it definitely added something to the atmosphere of the book, as well as being really original.

I loved how it started off fairly normally; girl on her way to school, problems with her ex-boyfriend, and then it developed some supernatural aspects, moved into urban fantasy and then BAM! Fully-fledged fantasy epic. It was amazing; you were eased into this novel exceedingly well meaning nothing felt too outrageous or extreme, it all just felt right. This also makes it a perfect read for someone looking to get into fantasy who hasn’t really read any previously. I loved how this book really makes you question good and evil, who exactly was in the right here? Who were truly the ‘angels’ and the ‘devils’ of the piece?

Karou was a fantastic heroine, she was brave and courageous but not stupidly so, or riddled with bravado. She was kept in the dark about so much, but really stepped up to the mark when she needed too. Her exchanges with all the characters felt really genuine, especially with her best friend. Their friendship was just so realistic and funny-they were quirky but in a way that didn’t feel like it was the author imposing her own personality on the characters, it felt like that’s how they were.  I felt all the characters were really well developed and they all felt so real and individual.

I really loved all the little things Laini Taylor added in, a lot of work clearly went into the worldbuilding in this novel. I loved the concept of wishes, how they varied in size, what they were powered by and how they were used. I loved the teeth mystery as well. Sometimes when things are kept secret in a book, but constantly hinted at, for so long the reveal can be anti-climatic but not in this case. I thought it was really clever, and I didn’t figure it out which I loved!

The writing style was beautiful, gripping and very individual. I loved the narrative voice, the descriptions and the choices of metaphors; they were all powerful and very creative.

As I mentioned above the plot was exceptional. This has to be one of my favourite fantasy reads ever. You need to read this book right now. I mean, right now. Drop everything except a copy of this novel. My only regret is that I read it so early I have even longer to wait for the sequel.
A well deserved 5/5


  1. Wow - love the sound of this one! It looks awesome! Great review! :D

  2. I'm reading this at the moment and really loving it! Nice review :)

  3. I seriously agree with everything you just said. This book is amazing! Amazing! Everyone needs to read this book. That's all I can say :P. Great review!

  4. I really want to read this one, but there are so many books in my TBR right now I'm actually afraid it's going to fall over :P

  5. "This has to be one of my favourite fantasy reads ever."

    "I really don’t know where to start with this book; it truly is perfection."

    Yes, yes. Laini Taylor has completely and utterly won me over with her writing. I'm definitely going to buy the next two books in the trilogy :). Great review!

  6. Great review! This is going on my TBR list (: Thanks for sharing!
    Magic is in Words

  7. I'm reading this one next- this looks fantastic!

  8. agree with everything you've said. Its bloody amazing! I love the epic fantasy of it, I havent read much fantasy of this kind and I really think I have to read some more!

  9. Love this review, Cait.
    I swear every review I read makes me want to re-read it!
    I must buy a real copy of this seeing as I borrowed my ARC. :(

    That final paragraph is so true. I want the next book NOW.

  10. I've seen this cover around a lot lately but hadn't read any reviews for it yet. It actually sounds really fantastic.

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

  11. I LOVED this book too by far my favourite of the year glad to see another fan! :-)

  12. I still don't know if i liked this book. I enjoyed it but took me ages to get though.

    Great review as always.


  13. Hey Cait, I just finished reading this book and I agree with you on every point is was a really awesome read. The ending killed me though, it will be a long wait for the sequel, Great review!


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