Wednesday, December 17, 2014

REVIEW: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor 
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Guest Reviewer: Doris aka La Chiquita
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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 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 a 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 violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

What is in a wish? We do it every day without giving it a second thought. I wish this traffic would clear up. I wish the speaker would just finish the presentation. I wish I hadn’t worn the same ugly sweater as my arch nemesis (who has those any more).I wish I was taller, skinnier, tanner, lighter, prettier, less intimidating, more aggressive. What if you found out that for the price of a few teeth these desires as small or large as you’d like could come true?         In the world Karou lives these thoughts are not fiction but stone cold truths, and though she cannot tell anyone about them directly, the two worlds find a way of meeting.
Karou is a slight teen with vibrant light blue hair who is on her way to art school for the day. In her messenger bag is one in a long series of sketchbooks she has collected that as soon as she gets to school will be viewed and looked over as just an extension of Karou’s imagination. Little do the observers know that within those pages there are sketches of real events, real traders bringing teeth for wishes and real creatures called chimera bargaining the wishes. So far Karou hides the truth in plain sight by ending her tales in a sly smile none are the wiser. Well that is until we meet Akiva.
I want you to imagine a tall handsome tan black hair muscular warrior. Got that image yet? Don’t worry I’ll wait. Now add tiger flame eyes and big 12 foot span of wings that are on fire; that my dear reader is Akiva. He’s the bastard son of the emperor and bad-ass member of the don’t- fuck-with-me club. Akiva comes to earth to hunt down the portals that the wishmonger uses to get his supply of teeth. Once a portal is found Akiva places his hand on the door and marks it to be burned later. Long Akiva has been waiting for this moment to come where he will exact his revenge on the very monster who has sustained the war that has taken Akiva’s love away from him 18 years ago. Driven by vengeance and empty to any remorse Akiva is confident that with the help of his brother Hazael and sister Liraz. The thousand year war between chimera and angel will soon come to a close.
Laini Taylor makes you root for both sides. That is until her little secrets start unraveling and you have that final AH-HA moment. Since the story is written in third person you are able to see understand the perspective of both main characters and the story couldn’t be layered better. You fall in love with the chimera because to Karou they are her family and all she knows. Then you get Akiva’s side of things and suddenly you’re wondering who is right? Who is the actual good guy? It really brings to life the adage that the right side is the side you’re on. This story is unique in that it also brings into the world the idea of the never ending soul. Karou, through the help of Akiva, finds out how she came to live with the chimera and why she feels this magnetic pull to this angry hostile angel.
Oh yes reader! In this tale the romance is HEAVY. Not Fabio hair in the wind heavy, but makes you want to cry heavy. The love story is one that quite literally has with stood decades to become once again and has been fought for by at least one person to be kept alive. Not that the other person hadn’t fought for it. It was just she didn’t know she was. Daughter of smoke and bone was a really good read. I laughed, I conspired, and I wanted nothing more than to get the second book ASAP once it was completed. I recommend this book for the fantasy lover since it really does incorporate two worlds really well.

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