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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

1 rating: 3.0
A book

Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2011:Karou is a seventeen-year-old art student with a most unusual family. From his desk in a dusty, otherworldly shop, her mysterious, monstrous father sends her on errands across the globe, collecting teeth … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
1 review about Daughter of Smoke and Bone

A must read for fans of urban fantasy and high fantasy alike.

  • Jan 30, 2012
Rating:
+3
Black hand-prints are appearing on doors all over the world, burned there as if by magic by strange soldiers with winged shadows.

In a dark shop that exists outside the realm of conventional doors, a Devil's supply of teeth is growing dangerously low.

And on the streets of Prague an art student named Karou is about to learn the real cost of a wish and all of the secrets of her murky past--more, perhaps, than she wants to know in Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011) by Laini Taylor.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first book in a trilogy (which is lucky since the book actually ends with "to be continued"). It also has a pretty website with information about the book, the characters and the world.

Broken into four parts, this book has an interesting structure. Each section begins with a short phrase that almost tells readers what to expect even if what follows is never exactly what was expected. For instance, the book begins with "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love, it did not end well." Yet the story still entices and much remains to be revealed before the novel is over.

The world Taylor creates in Daughter of Smoke and Bone is stunning in both its scope and its execution. In addition to evoking Karou's mystical life in Prague complete with a church that serves goulash on coffin tables, Taylor weaves an intricate story of angels and devils replete with history, myths and one very bloody war.

Taylor artfully tells at least three stories in this one book as the focus shifts between angels and devils, Karou's present, and the near past. Though names and details come very fast in the beginning the density of the story eventually lessens as events resolve themselves into one clear, related narrative. At least until the shocking conclusion that leaves things up in the air in a very literal sense until the next book is available.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a delightfully original addition to the ever-growing world of literature about angels (and devils) and a fine example of what the landscape of a fantasy should look like. A must read for fans of urban fantasy and high fantasy alike.

Possible Pairings: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Dream Hunter by Elizabeth Knox, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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