Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor
Karou is an art student living in Prague. But unknown to her friends, she has a secret life as foster-daughter and errand-runner for a demon. Karou grew up in the shop of a chimera named Brimstone, who collects teeth (for what purpose, Karou doesn't know) and pays for them with wishes. But Karou doesn't know who she is, really. There is an emptiness inside her that makes her feel that there should be something more. Until she meets the angel, and he tries to kill her.
Anyone who thinks that YA fiction is easy to write should read Laini Taylor's books. Taylor has obviously worked hard to perfect her craft, and it shows in every word, every metaphor. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is her best book yet: a magnificently written story in every way. The mystery of who Karou really is, and what's really going on, is compelling, and draws you in as it gradually teases out the reveals.
There is romance—oh, yes, such a romance—but there is also so much more than that. War, and the way that war corrupts all the participants, is a major theme of the book. Daughter of Smoke and Bone shows all too clearly the devastating consequences of war, and the way that each side vilifies the other to justify its own position. This is a book that I think will appeal to teens and adults of both genders.
I hope I won't be spoiling anything to warn that the book ends on a cliffhanger. I didn't realize that it wasn't a standalone book until I got close to the end of the book, and I started realizing that things weren't going to wrap up in time.
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FTC required disclosure: Reviewed from ARC. Review copy provided by the publisher to enable me to write this review. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.