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OMG!! An absolutely enthralling fantasy that can't be put down. Can't wait to read the rest of this series. A delightful world, fantastic characters. I lost myself in this book and never want to be found!
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters - the chimaera who form the only family she has ever known. The first in a trilogy that includes Days of Blood and Starlight (2012) and Dreams of Gods and Monsters (2014).
This book started off a bit slow to me and then suddenly exploded. It has a strong female protagonist and many strong female characters. The writing is descriptive and makes you feel like you are right there with them. It includes everything: love, lust, murder, action, fantasy, etc.,
The word that comes to mind when reading this book is lush. Lush and magical and mysterious. This book made me think of cold winds and pouring rain. I don’t normally think things like that when reading a book, but there you go. This book was truly enchanting.
The book starts off kind of confusing because the characters aren't described in detail. There are some blank spots that left me confused and making up the characters looks and mannerisms on my own, especially the chimera. That gets evened past the middle of the books and things start to come together and questions from beforehand are answered. by about two thirds of the way through things get really rich and it starts to feel as you are in all of the parts of what is going on and remembered.
The thing that really put this book off for me was the ending. The biggest question was left unanswered until the literal last sentence. Then the Epilogue completely dismisses the last chapter except for one sentence.
It left me reeling from how it was left and I couldn't get myself to read the second book because of it.
I've heard many good things about it so my expectations were pretty high, but from the beginning I was hooked and my expectations were exceeded, good book :)
This started out very strong and I was hooked from the very first page. I knew this was going to be a 5 star read and I burned through it. I was curious, excited and extremely happy that even though I am very late to the party, I am glad that I picked up this book. But soon all that excitement started going out the window and my curiosity started to turn to extreme eye rolling and my happiness turned towards anger.
Karou was this kick ass female lead who need no man. She has this secret foster family where she feels at ease even though she does run dangerous errands for them. She's flawed and she admits it but she isn't sorry for that and I loved it.
In the first half, we are introduced with her family and how she was raised by them and she runs these errands for them. This mysterious person appears and burns all the access points from our mortal world to Karou's family and she is determine to find access to them and find out what's become of them. I absolutely loved this. The world building was amazing. I couldn't wait to turn the pages.
But then halfway through the book she instantly becomes attracted to this angel and forgets all about her foster family. All she is thinking of the guy's eyes and how he is there to protect her and she's very happy about it even though she is perfectly capable of protecting herself and the guy did try to kill her in their first meeting. I just couldn't from that halfway through. I was constantly rolling my eyes and thinking really, seriously and things like that.
I don't know how I feel about Akiva, the Angel. Yes, he's an Angel and he has orange fire eyes and he's built very strongly but I just couldn't come to either like or dislike him. I have not been able to make up my mind about him. Let's see how he comes across in the next book.
Overall I did enjoy reading this book for the most part and I am still curious to find out more.
Karou lives a seemingly normal life as an art student at a prestigious school in Prague. Secretly, she has been raised by chimaera, demons with monstrous and animalistic-features. Travelling through portals to collect teeth across the world for her “family,” Karou is mysteriously drawn to a stranger, Akiva. There seems to be some history between them, but to find out the truth behind their past, Karou must first examine her own. Who, and WHAT, is she? I couldn’t put it down. Loved it! Starting the sequel now… (submitted by EM)
Real rating: about 3.25 stars
The writing was probably my favorite aspect of this book. I could almost perfectly visualize Prague and all of the other mystical settings throughout. The world building and the mythology that came along with it were also very creative. The characters and creatures were very well designed, and, like the settings, I liked to visualize them in all of their quirkiness (Karou especially). That being said, many of the characters, though beautiful to envision, fell a little flat in some areas. Most of the Chimaera and Seraphim were rather bland in terms of personality, seeming to exist only as plot devices. I also thought that all of the scenes involving Madrigal dragged on WAY too long. There was a little too much skipping around, and most of it could have been shortened and summed up in a little bit less detail.
Overall, though, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” was a pretty decent read. It didn’t quite live up to my expectations in some areas, but I liked the originality of it. I’m unsure of whether or not I’ll finish the trilogy.
The book is a work of literature: A girl unknown of her past- If she even had one! -Goes working for her apparent father, collecting... Teeth?! What doesn't help the fact that her father...is..is... A Monster! A Chimera! How could a monster- A devil! -Possibly be a father to this unknown girl with blue hair growing unnaturally out of her scalp, with tattooed markings on her. Who is she? 𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘦? Later, she discovers a hidden love for a murder, A corrupted man, A war which she never wanted, and... The Truth.
However saying all this, the book was great in the beginning and dulling-out in the end. If you're a fan of long backstories, magic, and piecing together mysteries to form a puzzle with pieces still missing (It's a Trilogy) Then this book is for you. (I like a puzzle to complete, but long backstories- not so much.)
First in a trilogy about a girl who lives in "our" world, but has ties to a very different reality - one where angels and chimera are commonplace. The characters are engaging and unique, and I loved the banter between Karou's best friend Zuzana and her hapless crush Mik. The world-building is very intricate and atmospheric - I loved this series.
I went into this one completely blind- I had never read any of Laini Taylor's works, and I didn't know what this novel was about. I was blown away. The story was so deep and rich and different than anything else I've read in a long time. Technically it's urban fantasy, but it's so complex and multi-leveled that you forget that it's actually set in the real world and in the current time period. Karou is selfish, but also caring, and brave, headstrong and loyal. She is a real person with many layers- not like so many other manic-pixie-dreamgirls you find in YA nowadays. She speaks many languages. She's got multiple tattoos. She has blue hair and runs errands for a Chimera. Taylor throws us right in the deep end in this novel, so quickly that I needed to slow down to absorb the world she was weaving. Her story is punctuated with reveal after reveal, and I was just along for the ride. I was so enthralled with the characters that even though I was on vacation, I was waiting for downtime in the evening to get back into it. Akiva is a boy angel with a tortured soul. Yes, it sounds cliche. But Taylor takes this trope and builds on it- she fleshes him out so well that we aren't sure whether we love him or hate him, even though he's the main love interest. Taylor made me feel like I wasn't sure which side should win the war that has been raging between the Seraph and the Chimera- they are both made out to be relatable. They both have their strengths and flaws, their right causes and wrong. No one side is 'the bad guy', which is normally how things go. There are sympathetic characters on both sides, and that makes it harder for us to choose who we want to triumph. Daughter of Smoke and Bone leaves us on a doozy of a cliffhanger- and I'm so glad that I have the next one in my hands, ready to go.
Stunning first novel in a fantastic series.
So, I came to this book after reading Strange the Dreamer, and maybe I just shouldn't have. Taylor is at the top of her game in that book, and unfortunately, that means that Daughter of Smoke and Bone suffers in comparison. Taylor plays on some of the same ideas, a race of "angels," someone finding a hidden side to themselves, but it does't play out nearly as cleanly here.
Karou has grown up in a small shop with her family, creatures that trade teeth for wishes. Now in college in Prague, she is still called back to spend time with her family, and collect teeth for them. The door that lets her enter the shop of teeth can let her out wherever she needs to be, until she finds the shop empty one day and sneaks out the other door, the forbidden door. When she's found by Brimstone, her "father" he promptly ejects her onto the streets of Prague.
It's difficult to build a world when the only part of it we see is a single room. Taylor is most successful at portraying the "normal" side of Karou's life as an art student in Prague. She makes the city come alive, a mixture of fairy tale charm and punk aesthetic. The action is interesting, as Karou travels to try to find a way back into the world of her family, but all of it felt like it could have been compressed and been the first half of a really good novel.
Everyone loved this but i personally did not. I felt bored and the world described wasn't interesting enough for me to remember and understand how this world worked. The reveal at the end was so dramatic it annoyed me. Plus, this whole book lead up to something that took a totally different tone the next book. This book describes her live in the real world and then it gets into the magic world for the second half and it was so predictable who Karou was going to be. I didn't particularly like her either and I was barely invested in her or the side characters. I didn't like her friend and it annoyed me that her friend believes everything. I also didn't care for the ex-boyfriend. His entirely personality revolved around being desperate.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone out there craving for fantasy, action, and romance. The way this book twists and turns really captivated me and the intriguing way serephim and chimaera were portrayed really got me thinking. And yet, despite all these strange and magical things happening, this book managed to keep me rooted to "normalcy" and then slightly eased itself more into the magical realm of Angels and Demons.
Truly is a spell bounding book
After reading Strange the Dreamer by the same writer, I had very high hopes for this series!
This story is unusual and wrapped me into it quickly. I enjoyed that the book's first chapter reminded me of a teen angst novel, but quickly turned into something much more intriguing.
I am in love with the lyrical way Taylor weaved her tale, but I have to agree with a few of the other reviewers about this book having one-dimensional main characters. Though I love the way that Karou is characterized (being mysterious and in the dark about her own past, leaving the readers in the dark the entire 3/4 of the book), I felt like, even after the big revelation toward the end of the book, Karou had not undergone any serious character change. The same goes for Akiva-- it is like he started the way he ended, with some changes through the middle. Karou is strong and independent throughout the book, with sudden emotional upheavals being dealt with more calmly than a reader would have expected, which was kind of disappointing.
I enjoyed that I had no idea what was going on at some points, but I did not feel completely lost; I just wanted to keep reading! I would recommend this book for the world it opens up, with lots of political issues arising, and the tug and war of love between two different warriors that is not so sappy you have to stop reading.
I was supposed to enjoy this. Everyone else enjoys it. But...no. The book is as beautiful as expected, with lovely and lyrical worlds. But the characters are flat, and disgustingly perfect, and the plot drags on for huge periods of time, even going so far as to make the end just one giant flashback. Secrets are intentionally hidden from the readers, but the payoff is too predictable, and the romance is dull because our protagonists are basically flawless. There's too little intrigue and too many cliches. Pretty prose does not make up for some serious issues. Had this book been half the length, it's possible it would have survived...but there's too much stuff for these cardboard protagonists to carry, and it quickly wilts.
An art student in Prague, blue-haired Karou delights her friends with images of curious, otherworldly creatures she draws in her sketchbooks. How would they react if they knew the beings were in fact real, and that they frequently send her on errands through magical doorways? While on one such assignment, Karou is viciously attacked by a winged human in a Moroccan market, extinguishing the possibility of ever returning to her "normal" life.
I was captivated from beginning to end by this rich fantasy tale, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
Lush writing. Vivid imagery. Incredible worldbuilding. Characters who are easy to adore. I'm crying a little just thinking about how great this trilogy is. Why are you still here. Go pick up this first book.
Despite this whole book being a glorified introduction I did have trouble putting it down in the final 100 pages. I'll probably continue with the series.
I LOVE this book and trilogy. I don't usually reread books, but this one I do. I recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy, love, war, art, reading ;)
Easiest 5 stars I've ever given. 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.
Great story, characters, and plot until about halfway through. I got really confused with how the romance just seemed to happen and didn't have a great amount of buildup coming from both sides. Other books soon drew my attention and I had to put this one away. I'd love to give it another try, but I may have to "suspend my disbelief" a bit farther.