When this book originally hit the market, the internet was flooded with raves and fangirls who just couldn’t get enough. I admit I steered clear because of the angels and monsters, neither of which I generally enjoy reading about. But after Lisa Doucet from Woozles in Halifax told me that it was one of her absolute favourites, I decided to give it a try. The lesson learned? Always trust a seasoned bookseller!
Karou has always felt like she was caught between two worlds. The human world- where she studies art, avoids her ex boyfriend, and visits a unique cafe called Poison decorated with caskets- and a secret world of monsters like Issa and Brimstone, formidable but loving half-breed creatures who raised her. But other supernatural beings don’t feel so fondly towards these monsters, and when the portals to their world are shut forever, Karou finds herself alone and desperate to get back to her family. Enter Akiva, an angel with a painful past that is linked to Karou’s own shadowy history.
I loved the setting of this book. Laini Taylor‘s descriptions of Prague made me want to visit. It was a perfect backdrop for her story, Gothic and steeped in beauty and history. I wanted to live in Karou’s apartment, hang out at her favourite cafe, and above all else I wish I could see her friend Zuzana’s performing art installation, in which a giant puppet acts as a puppet master to a human ballerina in a vintage tutu.*
This is a capital R romance novel, and if it wasn’t for the stellar writing, fascinating world building and Karou’s backstory, which has a grand tragic almost Shakespearean or Greek scope to it, I would have been less enamoured with the book. Teens (and adults) looking for a sweeping romance, a standout heroine, or a refreshing European setting will eat this one up.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is available now in paperback from Little Brown.
*Hmm…between this book and Splendors & Glooms I am seriously developing a taste for puppets in books. Why is this? Because they are beautiful, touching, and yet creepy?