Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2012.
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780316224352
Call Number: TEEN LT FIC TAY
Characteristics: 609 pages (large print) ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Daughter of smoke and bone


From Library Staff

November 2019

From the critics

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Apr 07, 2020

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.,

Mar 31, 2020

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.

Sep 11, 2019

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.

Jul 31, 2019

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 :)

Apr 17, 2019

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.
3 stars

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)

Jul 11, 2018

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.

Jul 05, 2018

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.)

Jun 21, 2018

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.

Apr 15, 2018

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.

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Add Age Suitability
Jan 23, 2018

manjari825 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

PimaLib_KimB Dec 16, 2015

PimaLib_KimB thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 16, 2014

OliviaF2020 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

May 24, 2014

burgundy_dove_26 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 21

Nov 14, 2013

DarcieC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 07, 2013

violet_human_30 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 02, 2012

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

ZoeBoe Apr 15, 2012

ZoeBoe thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Quote
Apr 04, 2019

"Was there any fate more bitter than to get what you long for most, when it's too late?"

Apr 04, 2019

"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."

Jul 19, 2012

Mik was sandy-haired and fair-skinned, with sideburns and a goatee and the kind of knife-blade eyes that hinted at ancestors invading across the plains from Central Asia. He was handsome and gifted, he blushed easily and hummed when he concentrated, and he was soft-spoken but interesting – a good combination. He actually listened, rather than pretending to listen while waiting a suitable interval before it was his turn to talk again . . .

Jul 19, 2012

She kind of wanted to take off her boots, but that was something you didn’t do if there was any chance you might have to quickly flee or kick someone.

Jul 02, 2012

"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? Is there any such thing as an essential one?"


Add a Summary
ZoeBoe Apr 15, 2012

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is about this girl named Karou who lives in Prague. Karou is very mysterious and doesn't know where she came from, but knows that her only family, are half humans called Chimera. She soon finds out that there are other worlds beside her own, and that if she wants to keep her friends and family alive, she might have to go and explore unknown places.

I think that this book is for ages 13+. I am 12-13 but I read adult fiction daily... Just the concept of it, the inside story, would need an older mind to keep straight what's happening. Some of my friends read it, and they got lost, and didn't end up with the same conclusions. It's all just a matter of how experienced a reader you are.


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