Book Reviews – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Spoiler Free and With Spoilers)

Hello everyone! For those of you have read my posts from before, you might have come across a post where I listed the books that I wanted to re-read and write reviews on. Here’s the link for the post in case you’d like to see it.

I’ve already done a post on Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and I’m so excited to present the next one!

Title – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author – Laini Taylor

Publisher – Hachette Book Group

Genre – Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

My Rating – 4/5

GOODREADS BLURB

Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

SPOILER FREE

This book was a very interesting read for me. It belongs to many of my favorite genres and has an interesting plot.

Lets talk about the protagonist first. Karou is a very immersing character with striking character traits. My favorite bit was the blue hair (it would be fascinating to have blue hair!) and her name is also quite different and attractive. As a character, she had a certain complexity which I did enjoy.

Akiva, the male protagonist, on the other hand did put me off a little. Even though he is an Angel and is supposedly perfect, I just didn’t enjoy reading about him as much.

The overall plot and writing, however, was fabulous and captivating. I enjoyed reading the book quite a lot.

SUMMARY

Daughter of Blood and Smoke follows Karou, a 17-year- old art student living in Prague. Her life is seemingly normal, with her best friend Zuzana while doing her best to avoid her self-aggrandizing ex-boyfriend Kazimir. Soon it is revealed that Karou’s life is far from normal. She was raised by four Chimaera living in a workshop in another dimension outside our Earth. The head of the Chimaera is Brimstone, a collector of teeth from around the world. Karou helps him with this and in return receives beads that can be used to grant wishes.

Karou is summoned by Brimstone for another assignment and when she returns to the workshop via the portal doors that can be accessed from any part of the world, she finds a black handprint scorched into the door.

Across the world, more of Brimstone’s doors are marked with the same print. It is revealed that they were placed there by angels Akiva, Liraz and Hazael. On her next assignment when Karou refuses to visit Brimstone when she is summoned, she is shocked to receive a message from him saying it was an emergency. Brimstone reveals that Karou would eventually get fed up of all the illegal tradings she does and would leave them to themselves. Putting his fears at ease, Karou departs for Morocco to obtain teeth from Izil. Izil is an old grave-robber who is forever bound to the fallen angel Razgut due to a wish gone wrong. During their meeting Akiva finds them too and attacks Karou, who barely escapes and reaches the workshop.

While she is recovering from her wounds at the workshop, she finds herself alone and decides to use this chance to explore – an activity that was forbidden by Brimstone. A door leads her to the world of Eretz, though she doesn’t know this at the time. Before she can continue exploring, Brimstone finds her and is consumed by anger. He drags her back to Prague and seals the portal behind her. Unbeknownst to them, this is when the seraphim choose to burn the portal doors and Karou is forever left on Earth.

Determined to find her family, Karou travels back to Morocco in a hunt for the trinket-wishes from the dealers Brimstone conducted his business with. There she meets Razgut again who strikes a deal with her entailing that he would take her to Eretz given that she took him along with him. Karou agrees and begins looking for 2 wishes enabling her and Razgut to fly.

Just before leaving Prague after her last goodbyes with Zuzana, she encounters Akiva again. The confrontation takes place publicly and in mid air (since Karou can now fly after the use of the wish), and Karou eventually defeats Akiva although she realises that there seemed to be done hesitation on his part. She takes Akiva back to her apartment and he tells her all about Eretz and the war between Chimaera and Seraphim that has lasted centuries. Slowly, Akiva and Karou become unlikely allies.

On their way to Morocco, Karou is confronted by Akiva’s siblings. She is saved by Akiva, who stands up to his own siblings upon realising Karou’s real identity because of her wishbone necklace that was given to get by Brimstone.

As Karou flees and Akiva stands in the way between her and her siblings. Brimstone’s workshop’s real purpose was to use teeth to build bodies for the Chimaera soldiers who had died in the war. Their souls were then incorporated into these bodies. Karou is the human reincarnation of the Chimaera Madrigal Kirin.

Madrigal had been executed when it was discovered that she had been having an affair with Akiva, a Seraphim. Brimstone had defied the orders of the royalty and resurrected her secretly. Upon realizing this, Akiva returns to Karou and asks her to break the wishbone, which promptly returns her memories of her past life. Karou is slated when she is reunited with Akiva but in the end, Akiva reveals that in a rampage for revenge, he had killed almost all the Chimaera and was responsible for the death of Brimstone and the other Chimaera who had raised her.

Despite his regret on his actions, Karou is unable to forgive him and leaves him behind.

MY OPINION

I didn’t quite enjoy the love story between Karou and Akiva because it felt a little too much Insta love. The whole flashback with Madrigal and Akiva, however, was a very interesting read.

The story had me captivated throughout because you always wanted to know Karou’s past. The moment she describes the Chimaera, there is an immediate curiosity to know just how the Chimaera came across her and why Karou is linked with them.

I was really absorbed with the story line to the point where I kept thinking how terrible it was that the last conversation Karou had with her Chimaera family was a fight, and Brimstone had abandoned her.

Overall the story is great and deserves the 4 stars I’ve given it.

That’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed this review.

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3 comments

  1. I’m a little confused…is the spoiler-free area just the paragraph before the summary? Bc I was thinking the whole review was spoiler-free and then I read it all and it gave away everything. I read the book already but for future reviews, where do the spoilers start?
    Excellent detail btw!

    Liked by 1 person

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