Daughter of Smoke and Bone Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1
published on September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
young adult | fantasy | romance

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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 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 actuallygrows 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?

Book Review


If you follow me on Goodreads or Twitter, you’ll know that I actually DNFed this book the first time I read it. Well, I actually gave it another shot and ended up liking it!

I LOVED the world-building in this book. Holy guacamole, did Laini Taylor create one of the most unique worlds I’ve ever read about. I was crazy interested in every. Single. Thing.

I LIKED the characters. Karou was a very different heroine, and I loved reading about the things she did, and the realistic way she reacted to things. I also loved her best friend, who I could TOTALLY relate to. But there were some characters (like her ex) who felt just slightly fake to me.

I LIKED the romance. I didn’t feel the spark instantly, but but the end of the book I just wanted these two to be together forever. Not because of their chemistry, really, but because they had a brilliant history together.

I APPRECIATED the writing, but personally COUDLN’T CONNECT to it. I guess that’s self explanatory. Taylor’s writing is wordy, descriptive and maybe flowery–not really my type, personally.

Overall, I’m still definitely going to pick up the sequels to this one!

Skulls 3


About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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59 thoughts on “Mini Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. I loved this book. It’s the first book that I like from this genré. I don’t usually read urban fantasy, but my imagination was fed properly when I read this book. I’ve yet to read the third book, though! (This book made me want blue hair.)


  2. We’re definitely books sisters. I rated it 3 stars too, but unlike you, I couldn’t connect with the characters nor the romance. I did love the writing and s¡world building, though. BUT, I DNFed the second one, lol. Hope it goes better for you.


  3. I think I also gave this book a similar rating! I didn’t seem to absolutely love it like everyone else, for similar reasons you mentioned in your mini-review! Like, the writing was just really… woah. It could be a little tough to get through sometimes, but I do appreciate its beauty. I adored the world-building as well! It totally blew my mind. I enjoyed the characters and how different they were and yes, I totally shipped the romance by the end of the novel even though I didn’t really get it at first either.

    I’m glad that you were able to come back to this one, Aimee- that’s always the best! I’m curious to see what you think of the sequel (which I have yet to read) since we felt so similarly about this one. <33


    1. Me too! Although just because it was amazing, doesn’t necessarily mean I was engrossed in it, if that makes any sense… The world-building was CRAZY. XD
      Thanks, Aneeqah! <3


  4. Well, I’m a newer follower so I didn’t know that you’d DNFed this one, but do you know what? I’ve heard of more than one person who gave up on this one at first and then went back to it and loved it a lot more. I think it has something to do with the writing style. If you’re not in the mood for it, it could be off-putting. Personally I LOVED this one so I’m happy that you had better luck with it this time :) I think you might just like the next one in the series even more :D GREAT review^^ ♥


  5. I’m so glad you liked this one Aimee! I have it actually, my friend lent it to me so I’m hoping to give it a shot! Usually angels aren’t really my thing but I’ve heard really great things about this book. It’s actually interesting you DNFed it at first and then picked it up again and liked it! That is so reassuring to me. You’ll have to read the sequels and tell me what you think of them as well :)


  6. I’m glad you liked it better the second time around. I really admire the author’s writing but never got around to picking up the sequels to this series. You just reminded me to start :)


  7. I almost DNFd the first time. It was a fascinating idea but oh so boring. I stuck with it and really enjoyed the last 1/3. The world building and idea for the whole arc is really incredible and imaginative. I liked the characters too, but the romance fell a bit short to me. I felt a bit remorseful in the end for the couple but not much… Lovely review!


  8. I agree, the writing is what killed this series for me. I loved the world, loved the history the characters shared but I didn’t get into the story. Like you said, it was so descriptive (SO MANY PAGES!) and I would dose off a bit in lala land. Plus the flipping back and forth between the past and present.

    All I can say is, I quickly learned not to read this book when I was tired ;)


  9. Hey, I’m glad you’re going to pick up the sequels, at least! ;) I absolutely ADORED THIS BOOK. As in. I’d-should-my-love-for-this-book-from-the-roofs sort of adored. What a shame you couldn’t connect with it though! But gah, isn’t the worldbuilding just GORGEOUS?


  10. So basically I have this on my shelf right now — came in the mail couple days ago — and I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it! Especially that you liked the romance, since that’s one of the more hit-or-miss bits for me. I’m not too worried about the writing style, since I really like what I’ve seen of it so far. Hopefully I’ll like it as much as or more than you did this time! :D


    1. Same! I *liked* the romance. I didn’t feel much for it but I was… sympathetic towards their situation, at least. :) I feel like you’ll like the writing, so I think there’s a 90% chance you’ll love this!


  11. I’m glad to see I’m not alone on this one. I actually DNF’d it because I just COULD NOT connect to it. Like you said, great writing… But I just couldn’t. I’m happy you ended up enjoying it overall. I know everyone loves this one. I just… no. And the cover is beyond GORGEOUS!


  12. I almost DNFed this one too especially the part where the instalove started to happen and I still don’t know about their history. Good thing I didn’t, this is like the first instalove that I have loved!
    The weird thing is, I don’t like Karou at all but I love Madrigal. I know they’re the same person but I can’t feel any connection between these two. It feels like they’re two separate beings. That’s why I ship Akiva and Madrigal more than Karou and Akiva..


  13. I did not finish this the first time .. I just can’t connect with the characters at all, the concept sounds amazing though. I do want to give it another try soon, the covers are soo soooo prettty! *stares* Awesome review as always :)


  14. I had so so much trouble with this series. *cries* I LOVED all the same points as you, but the writing killed my brain. Book 1 was okay, but I really couldn’t stand the sequels. gahhhhh.


  15. I’m glad you gave the book a second chance and enjoyed it for the most part. It’s too bad the writing style is making it hard for you to connect though. I’m a fan of this style usually, so I’m hoping to binge read the series soon. I want to check out this world so much :)


  16. The first one is the weakest out of the three. The next one is my favorite, and the last one – expect some tears and some screaming.


  17. I’ve heard so many good things about this book…and most of those were positive. Sucks about the part where you can’t connect to the writing because hey. That’s what we read for, right? To be able to transport ourselves elsewhere and the only thing that can make us do that is the writing. And flowery writing? No no no no no no no. I can’t even. I would just DNF and likely never pick it up again. I do hope you like the rest of the series, though, Aimee :D


  18. I think we felt similarly but for different reasons on this, Aimee. I adored the world and writing and COULD connect to it, but the romance did little for me. I mean, I did like it, but I wasn’t overly into the flashbacks and that element of history. I’m totally in for the next book, though- can’t wait.
    Yay for your neat review, Aimee! xx


  19. Sometimes it is all about timing and I have to give a book more than one go to see if it is that or something else that is holding me back. I am glad to see that you enjoyed this well enough, but am actually glad that it wasn’t rock your world great, since I knocked it off from my TBR awhile back and don’t want to be tempted to add it back on. :)


  20. I wasn’t aware that this was urban fantasy. I also prefer high fantasy because I’m into Medieval and renaissance times and castles!! I recall trying to read this a long long time ago and I dropped it because I couldn’t get into it. But now I bought the hardcover since it was cheap on the Amazon Marketplace. And I’m hoping that I’ve changed as a reader. I’ve heard that it is hard to get into the first book but that the second books is a thousand times better.


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