Daughter of Smoke and Bone: A Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor, is the first book of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It follows Karou, a teenage girl living in Prague raised by four monsters belonging to another world. Her guardian, Brimstone, conducts an unusual trade, teeth for wishes. Karou runs errands for him until an encounter with an angel-like being causes everything in her life to change.

 

This fantasy novel is an exciting read. It pulls you in with interesting characters, unique and funny relationships between characters, and keeps you interested with a lovely writing style and amazing world building. The way Karou mixes her normal life and her fantastical life is one of the many ways her character adds to the book. Rather than lying, she tells the truth, but with a wry smile, so that everyone believes her monsters are part of her imagination. Her relationship with her best friend, Zuzanna, is one that is funny and relatable and serves to lighten a plot that can at times grow dark. The author’s writing itself creates an air of fantasy in which snake women and angels fit right in without a second thought. Finally, the world building is extraordinarily creative. It breaks the medieval rut in fantasy, basing its setting on both modern and Roman elements while at the same time seamlessly adding in completely new ones into the environment. Magic in the story is intriguing and unique and works perfectly with the plot.

 

Although a good read, this book is not for everyone. It features a romantic plotline that at times can seem a little bit Romeo and Juliet-esque, which may turn away some readers. Despite this, the book, with its action and fantasy elements, may still appeal to those who dislike romance. Additionally, the book often jumps around between flashbacks of the past to the present in a way that can get confusing and a little annoying. Though this book is on the more mature end of the young adult genre, it may not appeal to adults as much simply because a younger protagonist can seem annoying to older readers, though there are plenty of adults who would enjoy this book immensely. This book may be one of the less popular books of its genre, but that does not mean it is not worth reading.

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