Sunday, November 27, 2011

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Laini Taylor
418 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Karou is a young artist student in Prauge, but between classes, spending time with her friends, and sketching, she runs some special errands.  She collects teeth for the devil with trades her wishes for the teeth.  That's why her hair is blue, she knows so many languages, and how she gains the ability to fly.  But what Karou doesn't know is that there's a war going on, a war that she's about to be drawn into all while learning about who she really is.

This book started out really interesting to me.  I was drawn in by Karou's seemingly normal life, which was enhanced with her work collecting teeth for a devil.  She was a normal girl doing abnormal things, definitely an intriguing plot point.  The plot was immediately and wholly unique to me, which I loved!  On top of that,  no one can dispute Laini Taylor is a great writer.  Her word choices and sentence structures are beautiful and her novel is a real work of art because of it.  She's a great world builder and you can tell by reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone that Taylor was passionately dedicated to her story.  I love that in a book and an author.

But if you'll take a peek up at my star rating, you'll notice I didn't love this book as much as others have.  I kind of feel guilty about that, though I know I shouldn't.  This book had one of my bookish pet peeves in it,  which greatly deteriorated my enjoyment - too many made up names and places.  With names like Zuzana, Kishmish, Akiva, Liraz - these kinds of names are easily confused in my mind because I've never seen them before and I can't immediately associate a gender with them.  This is why I generally avoid the fantasy genre.  Towards the end of the book there were so many characters to keep track of and I was trying to wrap my head around what Karou really was.  I found myself a bit confused at parts, just waiting to get back to the interactions Karou had with Akiva so I would know what was really going on.

But if you're cool with things like that, you'll definitely love this novel.  I'm in the minority with my rating; out of 4414 Goodreads ratings, only a little over 500 people gave it three stars or lower.  I know a lot of other readers have fallen in love with it and I definitely think it's worth taking a look at.


  1. Wow, I thought I was the only one who didn't seethingly love this one! Nicely reviewed. I agree, I liked a lot of the book, but I had many issues with it, too.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I thought the book was beautifully written, but I need more than gorgeous writing to give a book five stars, you know?


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