Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Other Books: Strange the Dreamer
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Length: 12 Hours, 32 Minutes
Published by Hachette Audio on September 27, 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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?
How I really feel these days: read/listen to a book, pull out the overall point of the book, give brief information on why I liked/disliked the book, the end. Or, go through that and the words come as I start typing the review, and it may or may not be in an organized manner. That’s for your judgment, I suppose.
It’s precisely how I feel with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It’s interesting with all the seraphs and chimaera (I keep wanting to call that chimera) being at war with each other, but I pretty much picked out one very important theme in this entire book.
Reincarnation (or resurrection in this case) and self-discovery.
Karou is a very mysterious person (at least, she likes to keep it that way). From early on, she doesn’t have a family (aside from a surrogate one), doesn’t talk about herself, and avoids questions from anyone who actually want to know who she is aside from the fact she is fantastic at drawing mystical creatures. She also deals with wishes, her hair is blue (really cool, by the way), and speaks over twenty languages. But she still doesn’t understand who she really is, and that remains the constant until Karou goes on an errand where she comes across Akiva, a seraph with fire in his eyes.
I’m not really sure how I feel about Akiva. Although Laini gives information about his past, especially with Madrigal’s memories, I’m pretty indifferent towards him. He’s a seraph, fell in love with Madrigal, and wants peace among the seraph and chimaera, but otherwise, I feel like he’s just appropriately placed in the story.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is also one of those books in which I believe Laini does a fantastic job with flashbacks. I’m generally not a huge fan of flashbacks, because while I know they play an important role most of the time (authors don’t do things in their novel without reason), they sometimes add more bulk or it doesn’t really fit well in the story.
In Daughter of Smoke and Bone’s case, it would have been a really bad idea not to have so many flashbacks later on in the story. From what I’ve read up to Madrigal’s memories, Karou is a enigmatic person. Madrigal’s memories add on to Karou as a whole, and I feel it makes Karou more developed than she would have been had Laini not written in the most important aspects of Madrigal’s life.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone has it’s very gruesome parts (don’t tell me listening to a description of someone being beheaded is not gruesome), but I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to listening to the second book (bonus points because it’s the same narrator for the entire trilogy).
Have I mentioned I absolutely adore Zuzanna? *kiss/punch*