Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 29th September 2011 (first published 27th September 2011)
Genre: YA, Fantasy
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Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.Oh my god, this darling, beautiful, upsettingly lovely book, how do I even begin to talk about it?
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came.
In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a story about family and love, about war and pain and hatred. It's a story about magic, but most of all it's a story about hope – hope that is stronger than any magic.
I could give this book all the stars in the world and it still wouldn't quite express how much I was just enthralled, held tight in the sweet embrace of this gorgeous book for one delightful afternoon. I cried, I laughed, I melted.
It's taking every last drop of my self-control not to drop everything and read the sequel immediately.
I'd read about all the hype for this trilogy. I'd heard that it would be good. But I just wasn't expecting this.
This: this lush and evocative writing style, this richly imaginative world. The prose in this book! I could kiss this prose. The language, the word choice... achingly beautiful. Every word is full of splendour and worth lingering upon. I want to go to sleep caressed by a blanket of this prose. It's just SO GOOD.
The plot was, admittedly, predictable. But the story is just so wonderfully fleshed-out that I don't care if I saw what was coming all along. I just luxuriated in the journey, in getting to know the characters, Karou above all. Karou and the mystery of her origin. Karou and her family of kind monsters. Karou and her talent for art, her deadly self-defence skills, her wonderfully funny and supportive friend Zuzana, her arrogant ex-boyfriend Kaz. Karou and her emptiness, her longing, her capacity for hope and love.
Karou and Akiva, the angel with wings of fire and eyes of molten gold.
I have to say, when you reduce the story of their love to a simple outline, it sounds clichéd and worn. I'd be sceptical too. It's very insta-love and almost Twilight-esque in bits. He kind of follows her around for a bit and then watches her sleep. But the book wove for me so perfectly the tapestry of their feelings for each other that I just fell hopelessly for the two of them and the powerful connection that they felt – astral, as the book describes it at one point. Their astral connection.
I was simply left breathless by the heat between them, and as their story unfolded and Karou began to discover who she really was, I was entranced. I hurt for them and cried for them.
Honestly, I was just so dazzled and carried away by the prose and the love story between Karou and Akiva that I can't think of anything negative to say about this book at all. I loved it with my whole heart, and I will read the sequel very soon, I think. I do not have the power within me to resist for long.