Friday, September 7, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by: Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Format: Kindle
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Description:
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?

My thoughts:
I get super-excited when a book I expect nothing from makes it right into my favorites! Suggested by a friend, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of those books, and it was a great surprise. When I saw that it belonged in the YA genre, I hesitated for a minute, but I'm glad I didn't let my prejudgement get in the way.

 I really liked how author Laini Taylor brought together her imagination, mythology and reality, and very vividly passed that onto the reader. In addition, I loved that the book takes in a magical place like Prague instead of a forgotten town in the US. The main character even goes to Morocco and Istanbul is also mentioned as one of the places she visited.

The main character is a blue-haired girl called Karou. She goes to art school in Prague. One of the things that makes her different from her peers is that she has to disappear once in a while to take care of mysterious errands. I don't want to ruin the surprises of the book, which is why I'm having a hard time summarizing what happens. In short: chimera (in mythology, they're monsters that have the body parts of different animals) and seraphim (the meaning of the word is 'burning ones') have been in war for a very long time. As the war gets to yet another boiling point, the angel names Akiva whom Karou meets in a deadly situation follows and finds her.

In the first part of the book, we read about Karou discovering herself and her powers. Later, we find out her past as she does, and we learn about why the chimeraand seraphim went to war in the first place, and why Akiva is so obsessed with Karou. Even though a certain amount of light is shed to certain events, the war still continues as the book ends, and we'll be reading more about Karou and Akiva's adventures in the upcoming books. I'm going to be very impatient waiting for this one, but Taylor's imagination tells me it will be worth it.

The second book of the series Days of Blood and Starlight will be out in 6 November 2012, published by Little Brown & Company. The book covers are very pretty, no?