Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 2011
Rating: 4.5 stars
~ The Scoop 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 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?
This book was refreshingly different for me. I loved the world that Laini Taylor built. I became fully immersed and had trouble leaving it and only did when I was forced to (you know, work, kids, dinner, etc). I really liked how Taylor was able to pair the real world alongside the mystical world in which Karou grew up. The writing pulls you in, chews you up, spits you out, then pulls you in again.
And her characters... I loved how they were all fallible; no one is ever perfect, we are all flawed. Karou is a strong willed young woman who doesn't understand everything but is willing to go to great lengths to get answers. Akiva stole my heart. His darkness, his brokenness, his protectiveness, his reasons. I love it all. And of course, just like tragic Romeo & Juliet, there's a star-crossed lovers appeal here. One of my favorites is Zuzana. Who doesn't want a best friend like her? Someone who accepts you no matter who (or what) you are, who will always tell it like it is, and who will be there, no questions asked. Such a strong secondary character and I hope we see more of her in the future.
The overall storyline captivated me from beginning to end. I wanted, like Karou, to get answers, to unveil the mysteries, if you will. I wanted to know the who, the what, the why. The connections that weren't there I wanted made. And I love that what you think you know you may not actually know. Taylor creates a story that keeps you guessing and theorizing until the bitter end. And, for me, the lingering questions: What makes someone evil? What makes them good? Can you only be what you were born to be? Can things change?
In this story, there's self discovery. There's longing, wishing, dreaming. There's chaos. There's war. But mostly, there's hope.
I am really looking forward to following Karou's story in Days of Blood and Starlight. :)
♥ Quotes I Liked ♥
"Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic."
"Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is accord. Harmony."
"Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."
"Never repent of you own goodness, child. To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength."