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ProductsMore About Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorOverviewSeventeen-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.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-07-25
- Reviewer: Staff
National Book Award finalist Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times) again weaves a masterful mix of reality and fantasy with cross-genre appeal. Exquisitely written and beautifully paced, the tale is set in ghostly, romantic Prague, where 17-year-old Karou is an art student—except when she is called "home" to do errands for the family of loving, albeit inhuman, creatures who raised her. Mysterious as Karou seems to her friends, her life is equally mysterious to her: How did she come to live with chimaera? Why does paternal Brimstone eternally require teeth—especially human ones? And why is she "plagued by the notion that she wasn't whole.... a sensation akin to having forgotten something?" Taylor interlaces cleverly droll depictions of contemporary teenage life with equally believable portrayals of terrifying otherworldly beings. When black handprints begin appearing on doorways throughout the world, Karou is swept into the ancient deadly rivalry between devils and angels and gradually, painfully, acquires her longed-for self-knowledge. The book's final pages seemingly establish the triumph of true love—until a horrifying revelation sets the stage for a second book. Ages 15–up. (Sept.)BookPage Reviews
Searching for identity in a war of angels
Seventeen-year-old Karou is an unusual girl. She speaks foreign languages without any effort, is handy with a knife and sports naturally blue hair. By day, she is an art student in Prague, but during her off hours, she runs questionable errands for Brimstone, the father-like demon who raised her. Traveling through portals to the underground markets of Paris and Marrakesh, she buys human and animal teeth, which Brimstone strings together into necklaces in his magical shop. Despite her downworld upbringing, Brimstone is the only family Karou has, so when she is suddenly locked out of the shop, she resorts to dangerous tactics to get back home. Then she meets Akiva, an angel in the middle of an otherworldly battle. Fated and forbidden, Karou and Akiva struggle to be together when their sides are at war.
Laini Taylor’s beautifully written novel features a well-drawn cast of characters. From Karou’s serpent-bodied nanny to her arrogant actor ex-boyfriend, each character is alive in the reader’s imagination. Even the city of Prague feels personified, as Taylor describes it: “The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Mozart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.”
The first in a trilogy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a romantic, incredibly imaginative and gripping story; readers will find themselves heavily invested.