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Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke…

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) (edition 2012)

by Laini Taylor

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2,7593602,123 (4.15)243
Title:Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Authors:Laini Taylor
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. 31
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Showing 1-5 of 356 (next | show all)
Heard this was an awesome, well-written book, read about it, and decided that it likely wasn't for me. But I continued to hear such amazing things when the third book came out, including from [a:Marissa Meyer|4684322|Marissa Meyer|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1357318852p2/4684322.jpg], whom I really enjoy, that I decided to read it. My response is therefore mixed.

I don't dislike Taylor's writing, but it wasn't what I was expecting. It's not bad, but it's more ostentatious, like [a:E. Lockhart|173491|E. Lockhart|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1399077200p2/173491.jpg]'s, whereas I prefer the subtle, simple elegance of [a:Shannon Hale|49177|Shannon Hale|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1299093233p2/49177.jpg], [a:Lois Lowry|2493|Lois Lowry|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1348162077p2/2493.jpg], and, most recently, [a:Maggie Stiefvater|1330292|Maggie Stiefvater|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1384827512p2/1330292.jpg].

The book is really sexual--was I the only one who thought so?--and I didn't have any real sense of plot or character until probably close to 100 pages in, where I was prepared to give up but decided to continue. I thought it was trying to tackle too much by including a romance when clearly the novel spans such a short period of time. And the romance feels so superficial, too, mostly dominated by physical attraction. I also felt like the word "beautiful", and even "ache" and its variations, were beginning to lose meaning from overuse.

By the end, I wasn't sure whether I liked the way Taylor addressed it, but it made a little more sense, and there was a bit more of a payoff, though I was still mostly able to predict what had happened. So, whereas I had firmly believed that I would not be reading on, there's a chance that I might want to. But again, I'm not that sure; I don't particularly love it. ( )
  elephantine | Nov 27, 2015 |

Originally posted here

I am utterly lost for words.

I didn't really know anything about Daughter of Smoke and Bone before I decided to read it. I was unaware of the hype when it was released, the author was unknown to me so I just leapt into the world sort of blind. Mind is so totally blown right now.

Karou is this 17 year old awesome blue haired, tattooed, badass main character. As far as Karou is aware, she has been raised (in a magical workshop that can be accessed by a magical doorway) by a few otherworldly guardians - a collection of strange half human and half beast individuals, the boss of which is Brimstone. She knows many different languages and has been schooled in martial arts, and she also spends most of her time residing in the human world doing normal(ish) things.

Karou was just so cool - she goes to art school in Prague but she also runs errands for Brimstone, helping him collect teeth. Karou doesn't really know who she is or why she has to go between the magical workshop and the regular human world to run errands for Brimstone. It is all a bit of a mystery and it sounds super weird and initially when I tried to picture Brimstone as this ram headed, half beast/man I just was a little confused. Being dropped in Karou's world was a little disorienting but the masterful way the author builds the world made me become quite comfortable and familiar with it in no time at all.

I loved the Brimstone's magic. Like Karou, I was mystified by the idea of teeth (human and animal) being exchanged for wishes. Why does Brimstone want teeth from the human world so bad? What is going on here?!

Enter Akiva: this beautiful, damaged, tortured angel with fiery wings. He and his 2 comrades have been burning handprints into all of the doorways in the human world that lead to Brimstones magical shop. Why are they doing this? Why is Akiva suddenly obsessed with Karou? So many intriguing questions arise whilst reading this book and it motivated me to become engrossed in the world and try and find the answers.

By the time all is revealed and the reader has been thoroughly drenched in the realities of the world of 'Eretz', there is just no going back. This book offers so many different, interconnecting layers and to just describe it as a simple fantasy romance does not give it justice. I would recommend it for anybody who is familiar with and loves the fantasy genre. ( )
  KittyBimble | Nov 26, 2015 |
I agree with Cat from Beyond Books, - this book is pure poetry. It's beyond amazing. The writing is so rich, so delicious, you gorge yourself on words and images, you fall in love with Karou's blue hair and cafe Poison, beautiful views of Prague and spiciness of Marakkesh...

You imagine Karou's tiny little flat with angel wings on the wall over her bed, her wishing beads and sketchbooks with drawings of Brimstone, Issa, and her gorgeous best friend Zuzana.

Even Akiva is absolutely stunning like a force of nature although I didn't find that the love story added anything vital to the plot, it was more of a sub-plot.

I can not stress high enough how much you need to read this book! It's definitely another one of the most memorable reads of 2012 for me.

I won't go into any details because there are way too many reviews around and you probably heard it all before... Hewever here is my favorite piece of advice from Brimstone which i thought was one of the best quotes from the book:

" I don't know many rules to live by", he'd said. "But here's one. It's simple. Don't put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles - drug or tattoo - and... no inessential penises either."

"Inessential penises?" Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase despite her grief. "Is there any such thing as an essential one?"

"When an essential one comes along you'll know," he'd replied. "Stop squandering yourself, child. Wait for love."

Aint's that true, peeps. And I'm going to Prague now. It's decided. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |

I am not really a fan of this particular genre.

I tend to avoid hyped books and Daughter of Smoke and Bone was definitely one of those.

I would be so wrong if I didn't start reading it.

It has one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking story of star-crossed lovers. It has one of the loveliest protagonist with a likeable friend (considering the whole story, Karou definitely deserved Zuzana). If that isn't enough, you get Akiva. My plan was to read a bit and continue the next day, but then Akiva was introduced into the story and I blinked and I was half way through it.

The world building is not neglected. Although the first book only sets the stage for the future conflicts, most of the relevant points are perfectly presented. From the characters' personal histories to the folklore and myths of the opposite sides, you get enough to love it all.

There is one thing I hate and this book has it in abundance. There was too much foreshadowing. I don't enjoy reading a story waiting for that thing to happen. It happens so many times here and it was painful. Note the I here. It is just my personal preference. It didn't manage to ruin the story though. You probably won't mind a cliffhanger in the end either. ( )
  Irena. | Nov 17, 2015 |

[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]


Karou is a seventeen-year-old girl living in Prague, and she has a secret. By day, she’s a student at a special school for the arts. But when a tiny flying “monster” summons her for “errands,” Karou descends into a world of chimaera, teeth gathered for mysterious purposes, and wishes in coin form.

Karou has been raised since birth (as far as she knows) by Brimstone, the “wishmonger,” who trades wishes for teeth. Brimstone and his assistants live in a shop that appears to exist between universes. Accessible by many, many doors around the world, the shop is a hub where less-than-savory people exchange teeth (obtained from less-than-legal sources) for their dreams comes true.

Karou’s errands frequently involve getting these teeth. And though she’s questioned what Brimstone is using the teeth the for for much of her life, she’s never gotten an answer. She just accepts her chimaera family, a gaggle of beings that look like several animals mixed together, as being part of her strange life.

Then handprints start appearing on the doors to Brimstone’s shop, and in an instant, Karou’s life is shattered. A regular errand to collect teeth from a man who made a wish-gone-wrong, Izil, and got a fallen angel strapped to his back for life, ends with a battle Karou didn’t anticipate. An actual angel, who’s been following Karou, attacks her, and she barely escapes with her life.

Unfortunately for Karou, her curiosity finally gets the better of her — she was attacked by an angel after all — and she sneaks past Brimstone’s assistants and into the “other” door that leads to a place Karou has always been forbidden from visiting. A whole other world…full of chimaera.

Thing is, she gets caught there. And Brimstone, in his fury, kicks her out of his shop and refuses to let her back in.

And the next thing Karou knows, the doors are burning. All of them. All over the world. The wishmonger’s shop is severed from the Earth.

Confused and hurt and alone, Karou can’t figure out what to do, until the angel that attacked her tracks her down in Prague. This time, he doesn’t try to kill her, and after Karou nearly knocks him out using her palm tattoos of mysterious origin — hamsas — she agrees to a ceasefire and questions the angel about what’s happening.

Turns out the other world behind Brimstone’s other door is at war — angel versus chimaera — and has been for centuries. The angel, Akiva, was tasked along with his siblings to destroy Brimstone’s access to the chimaera’s most important ability: resurrection. When they die in battle, Brimstone uses his magic, which rely on teeth, to conjure up new bodies and resurrect the fallen.

Karou, desperate to reunite with Brimstone and the rest of her family, wants to find a way to get to the other world, but Akiva tries to dissuade her. Karou feels oddly drawn to Akiva, but she remains determined to find Brimstone again. Her solution is to take up a fallen angel’s offer — Razgut, the fallen who bound himself to Izil, offers to show Karou a doorway to the other world in exchange for her helping him get back there, too.

Appalled, Akiva reluctantly agrees to help Karou himself.

Then Akiva’s siblings show up. They’ve been tracking him and watching his interactions with Karou, and they aren’t happy with what they’ve seen. When Karou reveals herself to have hamsas, a fight almost breaks out, but Akiva manages to let Karou escape and convince his siblings to leave him be. When he catches up to Karou again, he says it’s time for her to find out who she is…

…using the wishbone Brimstone sent to her as the doors were burning. When she breaks the wishbone, Karou’s old memories return, those of her life before she was Karou at all. Turns out Karou was the chimaera Madrigal, who fell in love with the angel Akiva and was punished for it with execution. Brimstone, Madrigal’s long-time friend and father figure, saved her from death and resurrected her as the baby Karou, intending to let her grow up and have a safe, happy, human life.

Happy that she finally knows who she is and very much still in love with Akiva, Karou is whole again.

Until Akiva delivers a deathblow — he didn’t know that Brimstone saved her until he saw the wishbone. And because he didn’t know, he slaughtered Brimstone and everyone Karou held dear.

Karou, furious and distraught, leaves with Razgut instead of Akiva and heads off to enter the world that turned on her for her love, a world still at war — a war the chimaera are now losing.

The End.

Cue Sequel.


My Take

This is the second time I’ve read this book, and I stand by my initial opinions.

First off, Laini Taylor has one of the most beautiful writing styles I have ever had the fortune to come across. Her prose is lyrical, and it gives the novel a “storytelling” quality that a more standard style would otherwise lack. Given the subject matter of the story, the style is a perfect fit.

Secondly, the plot of this book is pretty good, but there is one thing I have fault with — there’s a very large flashback that takes up most of the last third of the book, and though I knew it was coming this time around, I still think it’s a bit jarring. You’ve spent the entire novel getting used to a certain set of characters and circumstances, and the next thing you know, there’s a whole other set to learn about in a third of the time. Other than that, however, I found the plot of this novel well thought out, interesting, and engaging throughout.

Third, the characters are fantastic. Taylor’s colorful cast keeps the story interesting even in the gaps between action sequences, and many of the characters are just plain cool to learn about. Appearance-wise and personality-wise.

Like last time, I enjoyed this book immensely. I will be moving on to Days of Blood and Starlight next and then to the recently released finale, Dreams of Gods and Monsters.



See my notes on writing style above. I don’t have much else to say about Taylor’s style. It’s fantastic.


Is It Worth Reading?

Oh, definitely. It’s a pretty whimsical adventure, and I enjoyed rereading.



4/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laini Taylorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caplan, DaveCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hvam, KhristineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Impey, AllisonDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santen, Gert vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.
First words
Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.
Humanity, perhaps, that quality of benevolence that humans have, without irony, named after themselves.
She tastes like nectar and salt. Nectar and salt and apples. Pollen and stars and hinges. She tastes like fairy tales. Swan maidens at midnight. Cream on the tip of a fox's tongue. She tastes like hope.
Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it own magic.
If it's not chocolate, it's not breakfast.
Evanescence was not, in itself, a grim fate. It was the way of things, to be unmade; it happened in natural death, every day.
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Haiku summary
Karou leads double
Life: art student and errand
Girl for wishmonger.
A fantastic tale
Of teeth exchanged for wishes
And forbidden love.

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters--the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.

(summary from another edition)

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