Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor
For my first recommendation, I simply can't go past Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the start of a trilogy by Laini Taylor and easily my favourite book.
(Thanks Goodreads for the cover image.)
Spaceships: no. Some multiverse stuff, though, and flying.
I really, really enjoyed this book. At its core this a romance, which I normally don't read, but the urban fantasy setting and mystical characters are strong enough in this story to hold my attention. The decision to set the book in Prague, a very underused story location but perfect for a modern fairytale like this one, gives the whole book a magical undertone, and is fresh and intriguing. Laini Taylor paints the city to life with words in a way I haven't seen from an author in some time. Karou, the protagonist, is a blue-haired art student who lives between a studio apartment and a magical inter-dimensional workshop where her adoptive family of magical misfits turn teeth into wishes and guard secrets bigger than she can imagine. She is a likeable and interesting vessel for the storytelling, easy to follow along with, real and grounded. And her chemistry with Akiva is both tangible and delicate, present enough to be felt while still light enough that it never engulfs the rest of the story. The romance is enticing and mature - the giggles and spite and back-and-forth of many other YA fantasy romances is not to be found. Just fabulous world-building, glorious use of language, and incredible vision.
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