Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Genre: Fantasy, YA
I don’t like books about angels and demons.
But I liked this one. And I’m kind of mad about it.
Laini Taylor has taken a genre full of annoying tropes and turned it on its head. The book opens with Karou at art school in the gritty streets of Prague, and slowly, deceptively, transforms into a lyrical fairy tale.
I liked that Daughter of Smoke and Bone was easy to read. I liked that the writing did not take me out of the world. It was smooth and silky and fun to read. Karou as a character was also easy to read, easy to relate to, easy to understand. Taylor’s introduction to the world of the chimaera in tiny, easy to swallow bites was seamless–so seamless that you find yourself immersed in an otherworldly place without even realizing you’ve been brought there.
The war between the chimaera and the seraphim was somewhat one dimensional–lacking any of the politics you would expect to find in such a long lasting war. The romance was lackluster at best and was only saved for me once I started reading it through the lens of an epic romance. One thing Taylor does very well is creating a story that blends into myth, that reads like the epics of the medieval world, where romance and chivalry reign. So, while I usually cannot stand “love at first sight” or “destined to be together” types of tropes, I was able to drop that because of Taylor’s scope.
Of course, the book ended on a cliffhanger, and, while I’m not bursting at the seams to read the rest of the series, I have ordered them from Amazon and will definitely dive in when they do arrive.
Overall, I was surprised to enjoy an “angels and demons” book. So, thumbs up to Laini Taylor for broadening my horizons.