Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Love: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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?

When I read this summary I thought, wow, this book is so, so, SO not my thing. Winged strangers? Human teeth? Otherworldly war? No. Just, no. 

It's not that I have anything against fantasy, it's just that I don't have a fantasy brain. I just don't get it like I want to, so I don't read it very often. My brain just does so much better with real life. 

But everyone kept telling me how good this book was and how amazing the writing was. So good, they told me, that the brilliant writing would trump the fantasy world. I would love it, they all promised. 

So, yeah, they were right. The writing in this book is amazing. It's so amazing it will make you curl up in a ball and dream of setting your own ms on fire because you know it will never, ever be this good. (Well, maybe that's just me.) Beautiful, beautiful descriptions that will make you want to linger over them before you turn the page. 

Then there is this story. OH THIS STORY. It gutted me. I'm strictly anti-spoiler, so I don't want to say much more, but I was truly surprised by a lot of the twists and turns, and the ending had me, again, curled up in that dang ball, this time wanting to set fire to this dang book for taking me on such an emotional rollercoaster. 

I'm not going to say that I forgot it was fantasy, because with this story it's pretty much impossible. I mean, some of the character have hooves for goodness sake. But I will say that I didn't struggle with it, and it didn't distract me from the story like it to often does. (And, again, this is my issue, because fantasy doesn't really click in my brain.) I got so lost in Prague and Karou's world that it just didn't bother me. 

So, seeing as I'm not a huge fan of fantasy and I adored it, I can only imagine how much fans of fantasy will just gobble this book up. I couldn't put it down. I loved it. I can't stop thinking about it. 


  1. I'm not interested in fantasy either but your review really made me want to read this. Another book for the to-read list!

  2. I love that you loved this book despite not being a fan! I read it back in June (?) and to this day, I still think of it. The writing! Oh, dear, the writing! I wanted to wrap the words around me like a blanket and snuggle, I loved it so much! ^_^
    Usually, a book like that would have made me feel less than worthy, but this time, I was just happy that something so beautiful graced this world, that it renewed my faith in YA fantasy.
    It's easily my favorite book this year.

  3. One of the only books that has ever made me question my own writing. It's just so dang beautiful, so well crafted. I loved this story too much to even review it, to be honest. Not sure where to even start.

  4. I'm so glad you loved this book! I could not stop talking about it after I read it. Aside from the beautiful writing, the story itself is so amazing. I can't wait to see what she does with the next one!

  5. Eeep! I'm halfway through so I'm glad you're a spoiler-free blogfriend. It is really great so far, glad the ending meets expectations :)

  6. I can't wait to read it! I love fantasy, so your review only amps the tension up for me even more!


    it's on my to-buy list when my friend and I go bookshopping tomorrow.

  8. I totally get you - I used to love contemporary YA when I first started reading YA/MG, but now I just don't have the "contemporary mind" :) I won this book and I'm thrilled to death

  9. I'm so going to have to get my hands on this book! (Although I'm not exactly looking for a reason to set my own MS on fire any more than normal...) I've heard such awesome things I am simply going to have to buy it!

  10. Ok, this sounds totally up my alley-you know I love creepy and spooky and well-written. Thanks for the rec girl!!

  11. Wow love it! Sounds wonderful! I'd love to read it!

    By the way, I've 'Tagged' you on my blog, so stop by and pick it up whenever you can!

  12. Okay, I'm trying to decide whether to read this, or HOURGLASS next... I'm not sure if SMOKE AND BONE will do my difficult mid-revision any favors at this point, but I'm not sure I can resist! Thanks for a fabulous review!