Saturday, February 11, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone has had a lot of positive feedback, so much so that I found myself thinking, OK, it can't possibly be that good, right? Wrong! It really is that good, in fact it's better!
Ms Taylor writes so lyrically and with such feeling that time just flies away while you are reading.
'As she walked, clock towers across Prague started argueing midnight, and the long, fraught Monday came at last to a close' (p56)
The two main protagonists, Karou and Akiva fit together - there's just something about them that seems right.
'Only for a split second did his mask slip, but Karou saw some urgent pathos surface, a wave of feeling that softened his rigid and ridiculously perfect features.' (p97)
It is very hard to pigeonhole Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It's not paranormal in the regular sense of the word. alternate universe - maybe, fantasy - possibly, romantic - definitely, but, however you define it, it is a beautiful read. Everything else has already been said about it, and said well, so I'll just say, give yourself a treat and try Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You may be surprised, as I was, but I doubt you'll be disappointed.