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ProductsMore About Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorOverviewThe first book in the New York Times bestselling epic fantasy trilogy by award-winning author Laini Taylor Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 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. When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
- ISBN-13: 9780316134026
- ISBN-10: 0316134023
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: September 2011
- Page Count: 418
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.45 pounds
Related CategoriesPublishers 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.