Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
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?
Karou is an enigma, not only to those around her, but to herself. A childhood in Brimstone’s shop, where small wishes can come true in a second, and larger wishes are not too far, Karou has grown up with everything except an understand as to who she is, or where she’s from. How did she end up with Brimstone? Who are her parents? Why does Brimstone like to collect teeth? All these questions bounce through Karou’s mind everyday as she doubles as a normal teenager at her art school in Prague. As the demand for teeth increase, Karou begins to question more and more the why in all of this. In Morocco, she gets her answer in the form of Akiva.
However, sometimes, the truth hurts more than the lies, and sometimes, the truth reveals itself a little too late. And actions, once executed, can not be taken back.
This book hit me like a whirlwind. I first picked it up, not really comprehending what this book was even about (I didn’t read the synopsis… and the book doesn’t really come with one…). It started out fun, a normal teenage girl wishing she could catapult and ex-boyfriend into the next country, but then the layers began: the secrets, the varying perspectives, the mysteries. It also had a “Pocahontas” kind of feel to it. There were a number of strings that were weaved through the book, leaving you enthralled and trapped within the pages.
One thing I especially loved about this novel was the fact that even though there was a lot of things going on, Taylor managed to still put in humour throughout the novel, adding to her characters, who already pop out of the page. I also loved the mystery of the novel and how she put it all together. The novel, told from a third person perspective, had chapters where they’d just be little snippets of things, that, even though short, added greatly to the story, every layer, every string weaved through the novel, adding up to the end, where everything comes together. The whole story is breathtaking, heartbreaking, shocking, mysterious, shocking, and then a little bit more shocking (’cause we didn’t have enough before).
Amazing book ! I can’t wait for the second one (But I will…)
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.08/5
She came straight to the table and stood facing Akiva. She was fierce, ready to scold, but when she saw him, really saw him, she faltered. Her expression warred with itself — ferocity with awe — and awe won out. She cast a sidelong glance at Karou and said, in helpless amazement, “Oh, hell. Must. Mate. Immediately.”
She had only a string of scuppies and her charm, neither of which proved sufficient to persuade a cab driver to hand seven-foot-long elephant tusks out the back of his taxi. So, grumbling, Karou had to drag them six blocks to the nearest Metro station, down the stairs, and through the turnstile. They were wrapped in canvas and duct-taped, and when a street musician lowered his violin to inquire, “Hey lovely, what you got there?” she said, “Musicians who asked questions,” and kept on dragging.
“We didn’t break any laws.” She turned to Zuzana and switched to Czech. “It’s not like there’s a law against flying.”
“Yes there is. The law of gravity.”
-Karou and Zuzana