Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
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?
2012 Has been a busy year. I’ve been fortunate to read many books this year but one in particular stood out. Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone is gorgeous.
Taylor brings a singularly unique interpretation of the oldest subject in man’s repertoire, the battle of good versus evil. The book is written in two parts each part’s voice and style markedly different from the other. Part One is solid Urban Fantasy/New Adult told with the blase affectations of Karou, a teenager straddling the lines between a fantastical otherworld she can’t explain and the mundane predictability of the human world. I almost stopped reading at the end of the first part because while interesting the story lacked real passion or truth.
The second part transports the reader to another time and place told from the perspective of a different Karou. Highly Gothic and filled with bizarre creatures and rich imagery, the second part is draped in passion and love. Laini’s narrative is thoughtfully constructed each word carefully chosen for full impact. Unlike the restrained passion and cerebral images of The Night Circus, which was released roughly around the same time, Taylor’s work is unabashedly emotional and straight forward. Borrowing heavily from Dante’s Inferno including the chimera as keepers of hell, angels as heavenly armies, and true love as the one means of salvation, Taylor has created a romantic ode to the Divine Comedy in her trilogy.
I read the second part of the book with growing despair; I did not want this book to end. When I did finish, I was left completely depressed and unable to pick up another book for weeks. I would rather wallow in my funk than ruin the connection I had felt with this book. It’s been months since I finished this book; other novels have been read; but, I still feel the pull of this story almost on a daily basis. I have not re-read the book because I want to leave my experience intact in its original state. I haven’t read the sequel for much the same reason, fearing the unknown developments that might ruin my blissful feeling of perfection. Eventually, my infatuation will lessen and I will read Book Two, Days of Blood and Starlight. Till then I am resigned to hold on to this feeling as long as I can.