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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Average Rating 4.5
( 463 )
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5 Star

(293)

4 Star

(103)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

30 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

Absolutely perfect

This is a rich, imaginative tale of magic and monsters, war and heartbreak. The world-building in this novel is breathtaking, the backstory a tapestry woven with strands of legend and otherworldly secrets. Laini Taylor's style is beautiful and intelligent, bewitching in...
This is a rich, imaginative tale of magic and monsters, war and heartbreak. The world-building in this novel is breathtaking, the backstory a tapestry woven with strands of legend and otherworldly secrets. Laini Taylor's style is beautiful and intelligent, bewitching in its elegant flair. The pacing is perfect with never a dull moment, whether the intensity comes from the heat of battle, the awe of discovery or the mystery of Taylor's monsters.

Taylor's imagination knows no bounds. This is the most creative, original story I have ever read. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that cannot be easily defined. It is a long history of war and senseless hate, otherworldly races and ancient magic. It is a fantasy and a tragedy and a romance. It is all these things and more. The descriptions are lush and vivid, the characters terrifying and oddly compelling, the lines between good and evil hopelessly blurred. It is a tale of self-discovery and irrepressible love, a coming-of-age story like no other.

Karou is such a compelling heroine, the kind of girl that shouldn't be crossed. She is quirky and mysterious -- from her naturally blue hair to her bullet-scarred belly -- a complex character who is alive and engaging from page one. Her mental life runs deep as she struggles with a lifelong sense of emptiness, and the constant frustration of vague answers from the only family she's ever known. Karou is smart and skilled, and she knows there's more to the story than she's been told. She is fearless when she needs to be, but vulnerable at heart. It's impossible not to fall in love with this one-of-a-kind heroine.

Her relationship with the chimaera who comprise her family is a complicated one -- full of loyalty and love, but also the betrayal and pain that plagues every family. Yet their deep-rooted bond is one of the most heart-warming aspects of the book, and is crucial to the impossible decisions Karou must make. Though they are repeatedly called "monsters" or "devils", Taylor takes care to show that nothing is so black and white. Karou's unconventional family fiercely loves her, and even when it's not always clear, they're acting with her best interest at heart.

A major part of what makes this tale so engrossing is the setting. Prague is a beautiful, enchanted place with cobblestone streets and macabre pubs -- anyone who reads this book will want to hop on a plane immediately. Taylor brings the scene alive for readers, making them feel the majesty of the city's beauty and the sting of the wind's sharp bite. Prague is timeless, full of hidden nooks and dusty secrets, the perfect setting for a tale of star-crossed love and forbidden magic.

Taylor perfectly balances drama and action with wit and passion, the kind of read that tickles the imagination and seeps into the soul. Readers will delight in the mystery of the devil's teeth, the brutal war between worlds and the truth of Karou's identity, never knowing where this colorful saga will take them next. Taylor's storytelling is stark and exquisite and lyrical, but also haunting, dark and sometimes tragic. When the many strands come together to reveal a stunning and heartbreaking truth, readers will never know what hit them. This is a fast-paced and high-soaring adventure that spans continents and worlds, generations and families -- but ultimately it all comes down to one girl, one special, strange girl with a secret sadness and a forgotten past.

~Review from the

posted by The_BookishType on October 3, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Interesting, but incredibly "out there"

This book was poetically written and had me hooked for about the first 75 pages, but then the story grew increasingly bestial and weird. A good read for anyone who is into hardcore fantasy, but anyone who prefers more realistic and humanized forms of paranormal (aka. Tw...
This book was poetically written and had me hooked for about the first 75 pages, but then the story grew increasingly bestial and weird. A good read for anyone who is into hardcore fantasy, but anyone who prefers more realistic and humanized forms of paranormal (aka. Twilight fans) might find the characters difficult to connect with. Definitely more powerful than Hush Hush, Fallen, and Personal Demons, but too "other worldly" and "out there" to really be considered a portrait of the human soul.

posted by 9000215 on September 29, 2011

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely perfect

    This is a rich, imaginative tale of magic and monsters, war and heartbreak. The world-building in this novel is breathtaking, the backstory a tapestry woven with strands of legend and otherworldly secrets. Laini Taylor's style is beautiful and intelligent, bewitching in its elegant flair. The pacing is perfect with never a dull moment, whether the intensity comes from the heat of battle, the awe of discovery or the mystery of Taylor's monsters.

    Taylor's imagination knows no bounds. This is the most creative, original story I have ever read. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that cannot be easily defined. It is a long history of war and senseless hate, otherworldly races and ancient magic. It is a fantasy and a tragedy and a romance. It is all these things and more. The descriptions are lush and vivid, the characters terrifying and oddly compelling, the lines between good and evil hopelessly blurred. It is a tale of self-discovery and irrepressible love, a coming-of-age story like no other.

    Karou is such a compelling heroine, the kind of girl that shouldn't be crossed. She is quirky and mysterious -- from her naturally blue hair to her bullet-scarred belly -- a complex character who is alive and engaging from page one. Her mental life runs deep as she struggles with a lifelong sense of emptiness, and the constant frustration of vague answers from the only family she's ever known. Karou is smart and skilled, and she knows there's more to the story than she's been told. She is fearless when she needs to be, but vulnerable at heart. It's impossible not to fall in love with this one-of-a-kind heroine.

    Her relationship with the chimaera who comprise her family is a complicated one -- full of loyalty and love, but also the betrayal and pain that plagues every family. Yet their deep-rooted bond is one of the most heart-warming aspects of the book, and is crucial to the impossible decisions Karou must make. Though they are repeatedly called "monsters" or "devils", Taylor takes care to show that nothing is so black and white. Karou's unconventional family fiercely loves her, and even when it's not always clear, they're acting with her best interest at heart.

    A major part of what makes this tale so engrossing is the setting. Prague is a beautiful, enchanted place with cobblestone streets and macabre pubs -- anyone who reads this book will want to hop on a plane immediately. Taylor brings the scene alive for readers, making them feel the majesty of the city's beauty and the sting of the wind's sharp bite. Prague is timeless, full of hidden nooks and dusty secrets, the perfect setting for a tale of star-crossed love and forbidden magic.

    Taylor perfectly balances drama and action with wit and passion, the kind of read that tickles the imagination and seeps into the soul. Readers will delight in the mystery of the devil's teeth, the brutal war between worlds and the truth of Karou's identity, never knowing where this colorful saga will take them next. Taylor's storytelling is stark and exquisite and lyrical, but also haunting, dark and sometimes tragic. When the many strands come together to reveal a stunning and heartbreaking truth, readers will never know what hit them. This is a fast-paced and high-soaring adventure that spans continents and worlds, generations and families -- but ultimately it all comes down to one girl, one special, strange girl with a secret sadness and a forgotten past.

    ~Review from the

    30 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Breathtaking and Heartbreaking

    I'm at a lost to describe this book. Is it a fairy tale? A twist to the old Romeo and Juliet story? A tale of war? A tale of prejudice? It's all of these things and more.

    Karou is an artist whose imagination creates the wonderful hybrid creatures on the pages of her art-book - which is popular among the other art students at her school in Prague. The creatures are so realistic and Karou even has stories about them, telling it all with the wry smile that hides the fact that her imaginative creations and fantastic stories are real.

    I was transported.

    Laini's descriptive writing style printed such an impressive image of Prague in my head that I'm ready to call a travel agent and book my flight. If only Brimstone's shop could be reached via plane.

    I was enthralled.

    Karou, Zuzana, Issa, Twiga, Yasri, Brimstone and the rest, leaped out of the pages. Laini's characters are so well developed that I can picture them, right now, almost as if they are crowding my room, vying for my attention. The story was constantly moving, shifting, twisting; but never overwhelming or dull. I practically devoured it.

    I was mystified.

    One of the best parts of this story was the reveal in the end. In the back of my mind I knew what was happening, I knew where the story was going - because of the clues that were hidden along the way - but it wasn't until the reveal that everything became clear. I love when authors can achieve that balance, giving just enough for you to think you've got it, but leaving just enough out for you to be surprised in the end. This was the case with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It was a perfect blend of romance, adventure, and suspense. I cannot wait to read more from Laini!

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011

    Interesting, but incredibly "out there"

    This book was poetically written and had me hooked for about the first 75 pages, but then the story grew increasingly bestial and weird. A good read for anyone who is into hardcore fantasy, but anyone who prefers more realistic and humanized forms of paranormal (aka. Twilight fans) might find the characters difficult to connect with. Definitely more powerful than Hush Hush, Fallen, and Personal Demons, but too "other worldly" and "out there" to really be considered a portrait of the human soul.

    11 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read

    I enjoyed reading this book. couldn't put it down.

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    You will become obsessed until it ends

    This book is honestly one of the best I've ever read. It leads you to be intrigued with Karou the minute you begin reading. A mysterious and beautiful blue haired girl who feels entirely empty and alone. And on the opposite spectrum, an angel whose soul is broken beyond repair. POSSIBLE SPOILER...sort of......although the story does end up mostly being a romance, it doesn't i any way take away from the amazing imagery and fantasy elements that drive the story. the main characters are both complex and realistic. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone really. From young adult to adult. I cried while reading it and also laughed. This book will take you on a journey through all emotions on the spectrum and leave you gasping for breathe at the end wanting more. An absolute must-read.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 18, 2012

    This book was amazing! I've been kind of wary of the fantasy gen

    This book was amazing! I've been kind of wary of the fantasy genre lately, because most stories are stereotypical and redundant. But the cover caught my eye, so I decided to check it out. And I was not disappointed. While the basic idea of an angel and demon falling in love is nothing new, Taylor wrote it in the way it always should have been: dark, intriguing, complex, and unique. The plot had plenty of twists and turns without being overly confusing. The setting was clear and distinctive.
    But the best part were the characters. Karou is what every teenage girl wants to be: witty, mysterious, dangerous, and lovely, without being too perfect. Brimstone and the other demons so embody what you want them to be that you can practically see them, sitting in your living room and drinking coffee. While Akiva is described as beautiful, he's not even close to a sparkle fairy. Instead, he's got enough of the avenging angel aspect to be formidable.
    I would definitely recommend this story for anyone who's fed up of the average fantasy/paranormal romance but isn't ready to give up hope on the genre.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    One of the BEST books I've ever read! This book deserves the hype!

    I LOVED this book. It is sheer perfection: from the gorgeous cover to the very last word. The characters, plot, world-building, mythology, and captivating prose.. all of it is superb! Karou immediately found her way onto my very elite "favorite heroines" list!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2012

    I thought that this book was extraordinary! It has been one of t

    I thought that this book was extraordinary! It has been one of the better books I have read in a long time.... The sense of romance waiting to be uncovered but is always put off just when they get to the good parts. I loved everything about this book.... That being said, there was one thing that I was very very upset with and that was the fact that it was to be continued and left me hanging at the end. PLEASE MAKE A SEQUEL!!! I would definetly read this book again

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Fantasy meets faith

    I loved it because it was an original spin of some ancient ideas.....creepy,, compelling and engaging. There was a twist that i did nit expect about midway....anxiously awaiting the sequel....

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    Meh . . .

    Because of all the hype this book is getting, I was expecting to be blown away!

    I wasn't.

    Angels and demons falling in love? Nothing new about that. The settings were unique, I'll give the author that, but after a while the description started to really bog down the plot. And then there was the ending. The author built up the whole story around these two creatures and right when it was about to get REALLY good, she throws in this huge, 60+ page flashback that I felt completely unconnected to--and then the book was over. So, overall, Meh.

    And one more thing!!! A male angel with flaming wings (totally cool) that wears guyliner??? I thought the eyeliner thing was totally dorky. Do they seriously make eyeliner in heaven? I don't think so.

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2012

    I only have three series that I absolutely love! Now, I have F

    I only have three series that I absolutely love! Now, I have FOUR! The
    twilight series, the mortal instruments series, the infernal devices
    series, and -NOW- Daughter of Smoke and Bone! I couldn't put it down!
    It's written so well! I LOVE THIS BOOK, AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SECOND!
    I dread having to wait until 11/06/2012

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about Karou, a young Art student i

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about Karou, a young Art student in Prague, with hair that grows out of her head an intense blue and a sketchbook full of monsters. Dealing with her sleazy ex-boyfriend was bad enough, but Karou is about to be caught up in a brutal war. A war that has something to do with what she collects for Brimstone, the strange being that raised her from a baby. A war that has something to do with teeth.

    I don’t have adequate words to describe this book. It was funny and fascinating and just plain good. But most importantly, Daughter of Smoke and Bone delivers that special something - the spark that diehard readers are always searching for. If you’re disillusioned by the quality of work in the YA genre you will appreciate this novel for how lovingly crafted it is. The premise is magnificent, and Taylor’s talent as a writer has seen it beautifully realised. Several passages were some of the most beautiful and honest that I’ve ever read. Others were some of the funniest. It hits every nail on the head.

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone also doesn’t fall into the trap of sacrificing reason in order to make a paranormal storyline work. Taylor follows the rules of the world she has created. I consider a failure to do this a serious writing sin, but many paranormal and urban fantasies get away with characters doing and saying things with no consistent reasoning at all. It is therefore a refreshing experience to read a book where the plot and characters are not only entertaining, but also stand up to basic scrutiny. It is the difference between ‘mediocre’ and ‘amazing’.

    What I Loved:
    Everything, but particularly the characters. They were unique and captivating, and I was actually able to invest in how their story unfolded. What I most enjoyed was the way that Taylor isn’t afraid to let her characters be a bit grotesque.

    What Was Lacking:
    Nothing, really. But I was surprised by the cliff-hanger ending – excruciating! I need to know now!

    Quote:
    “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 in spite of her grief. ‘Is there any such thing as an essential one?’
    ‘When an essential one comes along, you’ll know,’ he’d replied.”

    This book is a must-read. The YA market has been flooded with weak novels that ultimately blur together and fail to make a lasting impression, but Daughter of Smoke and Bone is vivid and engaging from the very first page.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    LOVED IT!

    I was hooked from the get go on this one. It was a definite surprise,not what I was expecting. Its the kind of book that even after you have finished it, you can't stop thinking about it. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to think outside the box!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    This book is a MUST read!!!

    I have to admit that I have never been much of a fan of fantasy stories. I prefer more realistic stories like those by Jodi Picoult etc. However,this book totally got me hooked! Laini Taylor is an author full of imagination and creativity who managed to bring out human qualities in the strange creatures in this story. The war between Angels and Demons is a popular topic in many books with a fantasy genre but Laini Taylor weaved a story around it and made her's so unique. Also certain ideas like having the Chimera possess the art of "reviving" the dead using teeth is very original and interesting. It did not matter that many things were unreal cause after all it is a fantasy fiction and the character of the characters were human-like enough and easy to relate with. The different point of views in this book gave it more perspective and allows the reader to explore each character. It is definitely one of the best books I have read in the year 2011. You have to read this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2012

    I love this book and I can't wait for the next book in this seri

    I love this book and I can't wait for the next book in this series.
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a great and original story that I'm been
    looking for to read for awhile. I love the characters and the mysterious
    past of Karou. It almost like a angels vs. demons story, but with a
    creative fantastic twist.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2012

    Interesting. Keeps you hooked, has it all: action, suspense, dra

    Interesting. Keeps you hooked, has it all: action, suspense, drama, romance, even some comedy. I would highly recommend this book to any fantasy lovers out there

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A must read for fans of urban fantasy and high fantasy alike.

    Black hand-prints are appearing on doors all over the world, burned there as if by magic by strange soldiers with winged shadows.

    In a dark shop that exists outside the realm of conventional doors, a Devil's supply of teeth is growing dangerously low.

    And on the streets of Prague an art student named Karou is about to learn the real cost of a wish and all of the secrets of her murky past--more, perhaps, than she wants to know in Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011) by Laini Taylor.

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first book in a trilogy (which is lucky since the book actually ends with "to be continued"). It also has a pretty website with information about the book, the characters and the world.

    Broken into four parts, this book has an interesting structure. Each section begins with a short phrase that almost tells readers what to expect even if what follows is never exactly what was expected. For instance, the book begins with "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love, it did not end well." Yet the story still entices and much remains to be revealed before the novel is over.

    The world Taylor creates in Daughter of Smoke and Bone is stunning in both its scope and its execution. In addition to evoking Karou's mystical life in Prague complete with a church that serves goulash on coffin tables, Taylor weaves an intricate story of angels and devils replete with history, myths and one very bloody war.

    Taylor artfully tells at least three stories in this one book as the focus shifts between angels and devils, Karou's present, and the near past. Though names and details come very fast in the beginning the density of the story eventually lessens as events resolve themselves into one clear, related narrative. At least until the shocking conclusion that leaves things up in the air in a very literal sense until the next book is available.

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a delightfully original addition to the ever-growing world of literature about angels (and devils) and a fine example of what the landscape of a fantasy should look like. A must read for fans of urban fantasy and high fantasy alike.

    Possible Pairings: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Dream Hunter by Elizabeth Knox, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Not My Cup of Tea

    A strange race of creatures implored with a disjointed plot makes for a difficult read. I am a fan of YA but I simply could not get into this book. It was a struggle just to drudge through the plot in its entirety. Even reading up until the last sentence, this book was strange and very underwhelming.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    Didn't like at all

    I thought the author went out of her way to make the plot line obvious. The story also reminded me too much of Lauren Kate's "Fallen" series just with new races and characters.

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Review

    This book is amazing! Laini Taylor did an amazing job with this book and I can't express enough how much this book has changed me as a human being. I just love this book so much; it's my favorite book I've ever read. My new favorite author is Laini Taylor and she always will be. This book automatically got five stars from me. I love this book! Oh and can I say I ship Akiva and Karou? Fchgcjhvkjbnlmbkjbljbkjbjkhvkhvkhvkjbkjbkhbkjbhvfewfgkvlkbjkbgg(4&59*-+1!':&-+()(*%#4
    *Hits head on keyboard several times*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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