Em: Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor – REVIEW

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Hachette, 418 Pages
Sub-genre: Fantasy
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1

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?

This story is easily one of the most incredibly written and beautifully excectued piece of literature I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The characters, settings, and plot are so original, riveting, and fast-paced that I never wanted to put it down.

I would describe this book as a fantastical adventure full of mystery, revelations, fluttering hearts, and forbidden love. The different worlds that Karou and Akiva are apart of have creatures and landscapes and histories that are beautiful and terrible…there is so much that you want to be real and other aspects that make you thankful that you don’t have to encounter.
Taylor does a fantastic job of keeping Brimstone’s work and Karou’s connection with Akiva shrouded in mystery…but the ending is really what got me. The point-of-views switch back and forth, but the time that the story is set switches from the past to the present. You get to see who Madrigal was and who Akiva used to be and tries to become again without him just spilling the beans about everything to Karou.

I plan on re-reading this book soon because it was just so gorgeous and flawlessly written that I felt a huge void in my reading life when I finished it. I can’t wait to see how the story of Karou’s pursuit for the truth and happiness progresses…and the fate of Akiva & Karou’s relationship…or lack of one?

It’s terribly difficult to write a review without spoilers, so I would just say…go grab this book ASAP! It’s worth a read, but I have to warn that after you read this book…it may be hard to fairly give ratings and reviews for other books. Just try not to compare them to this book!

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