For What It's Worth

Monday, May 28, 2012

Must Read Monday: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Must Read Monday is a meme hosted by Jen from What's on the Bookshelf to showcase a book or series (old or new) that we recommend.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter od Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor 
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Published: September 27, 2011
Source: ARC from BEA 2011
Amazon: Daughter of Smoke and Bone | goodreads
Author: Blog | Twitter

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?

Why you must read it:
I've had Daughter of Smoke and Bone sitting on my shelf for almost a year. Everyone kept telling me that I MUST read this book but I was reluctant. I've learned not to get get caught in the hype machine. I rarely love what everyone else is raving about.

I'm glad I waited on this one. Not because it's not good. Quite the opposite. But because it has a slow meandering style that takes a while to build. I might have rebelled against the hype and given up back then and that would have been a shame. Laini Taylor's writing teases the senses, revealing small glimpses of magical worlds and characters with an astonishing number of layers.

By the time the plot really starts to thicken I was salivating to know more.

When I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone I realized I've read this basic plot a dozen times before and hated it; forbidden, transcendent love, warring worlds but it was written in such a beautiful, wholly original way. This is a world of Angels and Chimaera, death and hope, beauty and ugliness and magic portals to worlds Elsewhere. I guarantee that you haven’t read anything like it before.

The book isn't perfect. Just when you're swept up into one storyline, Taylor will take a detour into past lives, myths & legends, but your patience will be richly rewarded as all these seemingly unrelated passages collide into an ending that will have you on the edge of your seat begging for the sequel: Days of Blood and Starlight.


“But there was no help for it’s emptiness; its closed air was stirred by no breath but her own. When she was alone, the empty place within her, the missingness as she thought of it, seemed to swell.”

“It was like stepping into the pages of a book – a book alive with color and fragrance, filth and chaos – and the blue-haired girl moved through it all like a fairy through a story, the light treated her differently than it did for others, the air seeming to gather around her like held breath. As if this whole place were a story about her.”

“Love is a luxury”  “No. Love is an element.”
”An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.”

Do you have a must read book recommendation for me?


  1. Ooh I loved this book and like you I had put off reading it because of the hype. I read it a little earlier this year and it's definitely a favourite. I've been putting off my review though because I have no idea what to say about it other than the writing is beautiful and it is definitely the way forbidden romance/angel versus demon books should be written.

    For you I recommend, if you like books filled with action and witty humour, Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. I actually recommend the whole series but that's the first book unless you get a US edition then I recommend Sceptre of the Ancients. It's awesome!!

    1. I didn't really think there was anyway that I could describe the plot and the writing without rambling on forever so that's why I did this as a Must Read Monday rather than a regular review. I copped out lol

      I think I'm happiest with the angel mythology. I so desperately want to read a good angel story but it always ends up just being about a bad boy and a girl - no more. Taylor really explores it in a way that I loved.

  2. I read this before I got into blogging so luckily, I didn't really have any preconceived notions of it! I agree about the familiar plot but with unique writing, it's why I enjoyed the book so much. My co-blogger actually hated the book though because of the ending and what she calls beast sex, haha. I'm excited for its sequel!

    1. Beast sex?? lol
      I didn't mind the ending but I can see how it would bother people. I knew it wasn't going to be tied up so I was prepared.
      I rarely start series anymore so the few that I do - I'm in in it for the long haul.

  3. I agree with everything you said. However, I didn't mind that the author took me away from the story to reveal some mysteries. I also didn't mind the start because I got to know Karou. Taylor's writing is exquisite. Thank you for inspiring me to read this.

    1. I loved the start. I just thought it was a slower pace and had I read it during all the hype I probably would have expected to be wowed with action right out the gate and put the book aside.
      I also liked the background and world building with the added mythology but I did feel like it kept taking me further and further from Karou especially. But like I said you're richly rewarded in the end when it all comes together.
      I'm glad we finally got the read a book at the same time!

  4. I haven't read this yet because of the hype as well. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it though, and will now add it to my list of potential reads!

  5. Have you ever read Outlander ??

    I loved this book and Brimstone made me love this book more, and loved the whole chimera and angels too. I so want to see what happens next in the series with Karou

  6. I loved this one too although I'm one of those who thought there was a little bit too much of the romantic stuff towards the end. I'm sure it will end up being one of my favorite reads of this year.

  7. This is one of my most highly anticipated reads! It just sounds like something I'd really, really like. I'm also a little worried about having too high of expectations though. Sometimes I work myself up so much about a book that it's hard not to feel disappointed when I finally read it! lol. One of the downsides of being a book blogger and avid reader, I guess!

  8. Hi,
    I really like your blog and we seem to have similar tastes in books. I hope you can check out my new blog and maybe even follow it, too!

  9. Oh, how I love this book. Laini Taylor truly is a master of her craft. It's funny b/c (like you), I'm not really a fan of angel books, yet easily fell in love with this book.

    AND YOUR QUOTES! Love IS an element! :D


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  11. I read this book, but didn't care enough about the characters to read the second. That and I had a hard time imagining what Chima look like.

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