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Dark Paranormal Fantasy | Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Do as I say and not as I do: put Daughter of Smoke and Bone at the top of your to-be-read list. Don’t wait a second longer to jump into this dark fantasy series!

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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daughter of smoke and bone laini taylor book review

Title & Author: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy- Paranormal, Angels

Release Date: September 27, 2011

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

How I Got the Book: From Publisher


“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 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?”

Something Dark and Different

Another review, another book I’ve been meaning to read forever and am finally getting to. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of those books that I had a mental block against for no good reason! After some gentle nudging from a publishing friend, I finally dove in to the dark, mysterious world of chimera, angels and forbidden love.

Right away, I knew I was going to love this story. It’s set in Prague (check: cool European setting) with a cool blue-haired girl (check: funky heroine) who you meet right as she’s magically teasing/torturing her ex-bf (check: sassy heroine who can hold her own).

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was simply magical. The dark streets of the city pulled me, and Karou (the blue-haired girl) and her unusual half-beast, half-human friends offered something very different than I’ve read before.

In fact, the story really didn’t seem overly YA to me, and I think it has more of a crossover adult appeal than most books in the genre. Karou is 17, but I forgot that most of the time. It’s probably the setting and the storyline that made me forget.

The writing in this book is phenomenal. The descriptions Taylor uses just feel right:

Karou was, simply, lovely. Creamy and leggy, with long azure hair and the eyes of a silent-movie star, she moved like a poem and smiled like a sphinx.

And, the light, airy writing is needed because some crazy shizz goes down. I’m a little worried about how the second book, Days of Blood and Starlight, will go down because there’s A LOT of…issues that need sorting. But in a good way. In a way that means there’s so much more to discover and experience in the series.

There is so much to look forward to. Because let me tell you, some BOMBS are dropped, and as quickly as you can recover, even more mystery and twists are being thrown at you!


I can’t gush about this book enough. It was a whirlwind filled with so many surprises and so much romance and fantasy. I was completely swept up in the world of chimera and angels, and I cannot wait to (immediately) dig into the next books. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an absolute must-read.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Anya E. J.

    I feel the need to warn you that book two was named pretty accurately: it’s a lot darker and has pretty much no romance especially compared to book 1. I love both of them though because they felt just right for the events that were going on and you are so right: the writing is gorgeous! I listened to the first two on audio which made it even better because the narration was amazing 😀