I think if you’re a fan of YA fantasy, you’ll likely have heard of Laini Taylor and the Daughter of Smoke & Bone book. – I certainly had. So when I saw the incredible deal to get all three books in the series on Amazon for £5, I jumped at the opportunity and picked them up.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is the first book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series which focuses on Karou and her exploration of where she came from and how truly important she is to stop a war that’s lasted thousands of years between two mythical factions in another world.
Plot – 5/5
Karou fills her days drawing in her sketchbook everything around her, filling the pages with these people and creatures that fascinate those around her. Little do they know that these creatures are real and a lot of the stories Karou tells are real. Karou lives with her father-figure Brimstone whose looked after her for as long as she can remember. She goes on errands across the world collecting different artefacts and most importantly, teeth from different markets. Though she’s not too sure what they’re used for and Brimstone is mysterious as to what he uses them for. One day Marou is confronted by a mythical “angel” and her whole world changes.
There’s so much depth and different elements to the plot in Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Laini Taylor notes that she took a couple of years to write this novel and you can tell, this is one that’s clearly been thought about. Not only was the story gripping and utterly intriguing pretty much the whole way through but there are so many moments where you simply can’t stop reading because Taylor is slowly drip-feeding you mini cliffhangers or information that makes you want to find out more about these characters and where the story is going.
The final 40% or so of this book is absolutely brilliant. You’re introduced more into the other world and some of its lore and you’re given information and exciting plot points at a very fast rate of knots. There’s also a great twist at the end that just made perfect sense, hence me saying that you can tell this is a plot that’s clearly been well thought out.
Characters – 4/5
As you all know, having well-written characters in a book is my biggest draw to a book and will keep me coming back for the rest of the series. I’m pleased to say that Laini Taylor has written in some characters with some real chemistry here. Karou and her best friend, Zuzanna have a friendship that’s genuinely believable with banter and an encroaching on each other’s personal lives that only best friends can have.
Despite my dislike of love stories in these sorts of novels, I actually found myself smiling at the dynamic that Karou finds herself in. There’s a relationship in this book that goes far deeper than being some teenage crush or anything that might put you off it.
I guess under “characters”, I should discuss the two great races created within this book. Without ruining too much of the story, there are two races in this book who are essentially opposites of one another on the surface – however, the book covers how in their own societies they are so very similar – despite thinking the other the villain.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone summary – 5/5
I loved Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. The plot was intelligent, the characters were genuinely likeable and I’m excited to jump into the sequel and the rest of the series. It’s given me just enough to make me want to find out more about this world and involve myself more with these people.
If you’re a fan of fantasy, I’d definitely suggest picking up this book – it’s got such an interesting concept and a world you’ll want to explore more of.