Thursday, June 19

Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

My reviews of: 
Days of Blood & Starlight 
Dreams of Gods & Monsters

I'm so angry with myself, I kept putting Daughter of Smoke and Bone aside because the blurb sounded rather strange and it didn't explain anything about the story. A week or so ago one of my friends read this and kind of blackmailed me into giving a chance to this novel by saying she'll read Cinder if I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and now here I am, loving it and disprove all my prejudices of the novel. 

This book was something else, it was wonderfully amazing, I loved every minute of reading it from the first page to the last, I was frustrated, sad, happy, once or twice I even laughed out loud because I felt such a connection to these well-written characters and to their story. But (like always) I did find some mistakes (or they were to me) because there are very few book without a sin. 

"Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters? "
First I'd like to point out how beautifully and expressively Laini Taylor writes, no matter how bizarre and extraordinary the creatures were I had no problem imagining them, every little detail what was necessary to make a picture was told so even more complicated places, such as Brimstone's shop were easily picturable. 

The author slowly introduced us to Karou's world, at first through drawings thus we had a little time to get used to the idea of the "monsters" and even after I felt like there was always a little time left for us to cope with the newly found out things. 
"It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him."
The romance was the kind what you start to ship before anything happens between the two characters. It was an insta-love which I usually hate but their love for each other was so clear I accepted it and as time went by I even started to love the idea of their love story.

I know I've just said I was totally okay with the romance but it was a bit creepy-ish... Akiva followed Karou around, watched her while she was sleeping and like after one meeting they were in love... I see they were in a special situation but this happened before (if you read the book you know what I'm talking about). Most love at first sight stories still leave a small amount of time for the reader to cope with the insta love... meanwhile in this book what did Akiva do? Stalked Karou around town... in one moment they were fighting, the next they opened up completely to each other... umm, what? 

Karou's 'family' was something I couldn't like at first because they were extremely strange and you know how it is, in the stories the monsters are supposed to be the bad guys so honestly I was prejudicial of them but as the story went on I started to understand everyone better. 

The friendship of Zuzana and Karou was something I'd like to see in the other books too because their relationship was more like sisters than anything. I liked how Zuzana stood next to Karou even in the hardest times but unfortunately I couldn't like her boyfriend, Mik. While the insta-love of Karou and Akiva was somehow acceptable I would wanted to see a slowly developed love between Mik and Zuzana and it kind of disappointed me... it was so unbelievable and makes me question if Laini Taylor can't write a well-developed love story, two insta-loves in one story? A bit too much, don't you think? (Tell me in the comments your opinion.) Their whole relationship seemed like it was just a device to know something concrete from Zuzana's life. 

I had a huge problem with the characters: contradiction. Madrigal couldn't stand up for herself even to her friends, she was incredibly uncertain in this annoying way. Suddenly she's really wise and clever and says things to Akiva like they are the hope of their people. I don't think her sudden change was believable.

Karou: She was such an amazing heroine for a lot of reasons but in the beginning she was quite childish, she knew wishes cost something but anyway she used them for a lot of stupid reasons. She tattooed Kazimir's name on her chest when she knew that he was a jackass, she saw this even back when they were together. Meanwhile her character developed a lot throughout the story and of course she had a lot of virtue. She was really brave and she had hope, she never gave up on her family, not even in the darkest times so all in all she was a really good character, I just hope she'll develop even more in the next books. 
"Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."
Akiva: He suffered a lot in the past, that was clear from the beginning. Something horrible happened what broke him completely and made him the most closed off character I've ever read about. On some levels he hated himself and was ashamed of all the terrible things he did, of the murders he committed and I felt sorry for him all the time especially after learning more about his past. He was more open back then, he had hope and could fell in love easily, I think in the next books he'll get back some parts of the person he was. 
Something still annoyed me about him, in one moment he was a cruel warrior, in the next he acted like a lovesick puppy in a so not cute way... again contradiction. 

Brimstone: At the beginning he wasn't sympathetic at all, and he did some questionable things but all considered he wasn't a terrible person, there were people he deeply cared about even if he wasn't really good at showing his love. I'm not sure how old he was but he was wise, he never used any of his wishes and tried to teach Karou not to use them for foolish things, actually he taught a lot of things to Karou.
“You were true to her, even if she was not to you. Never repent of your own goodness, child. To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength.”
The other characters were well-made and lovable as well, Issa was one of my favorites, it was clear from the very beginning that she loved Karou like a mother and she would prevent anything bad happening to Karou if she could. 
Zuzana was good friend and a very open-minded character, I liked her for a lot of things and I hope to hell nothing will ruin their friendship because Karou really needs some true friends. 
I'm looking forward to see if Akiva's friends will forgive him and stand by his side if he'll need them, the girl was pretty antipatic but the boy seemed nice enough. 

Favorite characters: - 
Least favorite: Mik

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 3,5/5 
The characters: 3/5
The cover: 4/5
All in all: 3,8/5 

I want to give more stars because I loved it but.... but I found so many mistakes... I can't believe myself... Why am I so critical? Dammit!


  1. Great review!! I read this book last summer so thanks for the refresher ;) I need to finish this series... I agree, Laini Taylor is a great writer, and I like her descriptive nature.

    1. I'd like to finish it soon, too. It's really amazing how she writes down every little detail but still all those descriptions never made the story boring, I hope I'll be able to give 5 stars to the next books in this trilogy. :)

  2. This was a pretty amazing book and I did the same thing.. I kept putting off reading it and I was so mad at myself when I finally read it.


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