Genres: Young adult, paranormal – angels and demons, fantasy.
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 otherworldly war. Read more…
Spoiler note: This review does not contain spoilers.
If you were instantly put off by the words “paranormal” and “fantasy” written above, hear me out; I was too. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is something different.
Karou is a fairly normal seventeen-year-old art student living in Prague. She doodles inhuman creatures and her friends probe her. They want to know more about these fascinating, fictional characters that Karou has conjured up. But Karou has another life. She runs errands for Brimstone and is surrounded by the characters she draws, who are anything but fictional — her family.
Here are two main reasons why I would recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone:
1. The world-building
World-building is term I only came across this year but I’ve realised through reading fantasy, paranormal, and dystopian novels, how important it is and how difficult it must be. I couldn’t fault the fantasy world that Laini Taylor has managed to create. It has meaning, depth, and history. It never felt like Taylor only created sections of the world as and when it fit the storyline. I did not question that the characters would be living their own lives even when the focus was not on them, in a world where seraphim and chimera live, separate from the human world.
2. The writing
It was quickly apparent that Taylor wasn’t just going to be satisfied with an interesting, meaningful, otherworldly plot; it had to be well written too. Taylor writes beautifully and poetically (without being cheesy or contrived). Daughter of Smoke and Bone is probably one of the most impressive young adult books I’ve read this year.
I realise that this is not a very detailed review, but I do not really want to give anything else away. I started reading not knowing anything about it and I think it’s the best way. Just jump in and let the story take you to another world, where you’ll be burning to engage with the characters and unravel the mystery.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone will be released 27th September in the US and 29th September in the UK.
Thank you Hodder for sending me this book to review!
My Rating: ★★★★½