Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Length: 418 pages
In the human world of Prague, Karou is a talented art student with bright blue hair who creates fantastical drawings of monsters and storylines to go with them. She’ll tell you with a quirky smile that they’re real, and you won’t believe her. But the monsters are real, and they’re her only family. When scorched hand prints start appearing on doors all over the world, Karou is drawn into a brutal other-worldy war. Who is Karou, and what side is she on?
Everything about this novel is utterly gorgeous. The European setting, the characters- from chimera made of different animal body parts to winged angels- and especially, the writing. Beautifully crafted from the first sentence, I occasionally got lost in the words, but was scared to get too lost in Karou’s world, where there is no exact line between good and evil, and dangerous beings spilled from another world, pulling Karou into their battles.
Karou, more than anything, desires is to know who she is. She feels like part of her is missing. The story is artfully constructed backwards, so that all is revealed as Karou discovers it- much like a mystery. One must read at least two-thirds of the book before the significance of the title and cover alone are revealed. Even though Karou and the reader don’t know who she is, we still love her. She’s smart, tough, funny, and flawed because nothing of the other world has been explained to her.
I WANT MORE (yes there will be a sequel). By far the best book I’ve read yet this year, and would have definitely been included in the Top Books of 2011 had I read it in time. Seriously, treat yourself and go read this book.