Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Friday! Friday! Friday! This week I wanted to recommend to you all a book that has easily become a 2011 favorite in the office. If you haven’t read it already, you need to get a move on so you can scream in desperate anticipation of the sequel with the rest of us!

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is about uncovering the identity of our protagonist, Karou. Karou is a young an art student in Prague who keeps busy running mysterious errands to collect teeth from all over the world for a chimaera named Brimstone, the closest thing to a father Karou’s ever had. Things get a little crazy when seraphim (angels, for those of you not quite so up on your mythology) fly into Karou’s world through a slit in the sky, threatening Karou’s family, and teaching Karou about her shady past

Let’s see where Daughter of Smoke and Bone lands on our Figment Scale of Awesome this week:

+300 for fully realized characters. And this says a lot in a story where the protagonist herself has no idea what her origins are. Akiva the seraphim and Brimstone the chimaera are two characters you’ll be itching to learn more about, and Laini Taylor is more than happy to share–but she leaves just enough details cast in shadow to ensure that we grab the sequel the day it hits stores.

+80 for sympathy for the devil. The only family Karou’s ever known are chimaeras, a demon-like race that have been warring against the seraphim since the start of creation. These demons aren’t running through the streets slaughtering, beheading, and arm-wrestling humans–but it’s up to you to decide whether or not they’re misunderstood. It’s obviously not all black and white, especially when you see a flashback of Brimstone cradling baby Karou. Such a sweet demon!

-127 for Karou being M.I.A for too long! In the last hundred pages of the book, Karou is removed for a bit so the story of another pretty important character can unfold. It seams the story neatly as a whole, but I love Karou so much that taking her away for more than 10 pages left me and my co-dependency feeling abandoned.

+117 for wishing upon scuppies instead of stars. Karou wears a necklace of beads–scuppies, as she calls them–that grant her tiny little wishes. No, they can’t help her do really cool things like fly, but she can use them to induce itchiness in her douchey ex-boyfriend or turn her hair a vibrant blue. Also, since blue is my favorite color, I’ll award another 50 points for Karou’s great life choice.

+330 for best birthday gifts EVER! Karou doesn’t ask for a car on her birthday–that’s way too tame and obvious, and Karou is anything but. Instead, she asks for languages, which is just about the coolest present a girl running errands around the world can have. Also, being able to curse someone out in a different language or having the ability to listen in on gossip in the subway would be really cool.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is amazing fantasy, Figs, scoring at a total of 590 points! We’re not trying to pull your teeth here but you should really make it an errand of your own to run to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of this book. Let us know just how much your mind was blown. You’re welcome, Figaronis. Have a great weekend!

One thought on “Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone continues to be accumulating positive critiques by the bushel, and until about halfway through the novel I was ready to join the chorus. The writing really is remarkable, not simply since it is heightened and lovely but because Taylor seems to incorporate her gorgeous prose with a bit of of the most natural, wonderful teen dialogue that I have read in a very long time. Karou’s banter with her closest friend Zuzana is definitely an complete joy to read, funny and care free, smart and silly.

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