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REVIEW: The Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor

September 27, 2011
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?

About the Author

Laini Taylor is the author of the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch, as well as the novels Blackbringer, which Kirkus said "belongs at the top of everyone's fantasy must-read list," and Silksinger. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter, Clementine.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316134023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316134026


If you haven't noticed before, there is a quote from this book at the top of my blog:

You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor 

So if you are a follower of my blog, you know that I insist you adore wiener dogs and thus Zuzana stole my heart.  She is a supporting character in this book but, oh so important, to give comic relief and after attending an author appearance at my local Barnes and Noble, I equally fell in love with the author who explained her writing style and thoughts behind the characters.  I have to agree with her that the way the story unfolds in a circular timeline is the only way it could be told.  So, my thoughts on this book are not the normal format. That adorable feather mask above was a gift from the author at the signing.

Karou grows up believing she is an orphan and that the life she has become accustomed to is normal that she can open doors and find herself in a new location within seconds or that she helps out her foster father by collecting teeth, or that he is also a wishmonger who grants wished for these teeth.  Every birthday she is bestowed with a new language and her natural blue hair, well, that was the one wish she was granted unlike the others she might have thought about.  As the story unfolds, you easily believe this world in which Karou tries desperately to be normal, attending art school with her best friend Zuzana while drawing fantastical pictures of demons and creatures that should only exist in her imagination.  But those creatures are real. 

To say this book is exciting is an understatement.  There are breathtaking fights, a true romance that you will never see coming, bits of angels and demon lore, and characters that truly jump off the page and are suitable for an action movie.  The story starts out in the presents and then flashes back to Karou's past, while again going forward.  I know it sounds really strange, but it all comes together perfectly.  I wish I could put into words how much I enjoyed Taylor's writing but I am at  loss.  It is just such a magical place that she takes you to and the way it is written is completely fabulous! 


Ends 12.24.11

You will win this awesome mask as well!  Cute Dachshund model not included!


  1. totally entering! I've heard such amazing things about this book and can't wait to read it. I'm glad you liked it!

  2. Great review I really loved this one too it was so imaginative. Nothing like I've ever read before. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I just ordered this book last night! Really looking forward to reading it. It was great to read your very positive review Mary :-)

  4. omg, what a fun book to read. So interesting.

  5. I'm very pleased everyone is raving so much about this book. I think it's next week that it's up for review by Elaine Charles and the Book Report show. I'm pretty sure it'll get the report there the same it has everywhere else...AND it's going to be a movie now. Good one!!


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