Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor
  • Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
  • Published: September 27, 2011
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Reading Level: Ages 15 and Up
  • Pages: 432 pages
  • Source: Library
 Around the world, black handprints 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 otherwordly 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 one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored 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?

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Hope is the real magic, child.

I can't even begin to describe to you how much I enjoyed this book. The characters, the world that Taylor created, everything was just divine. And of course, the lore was beyond magnificent.

Karou was raised by several chiamaera. A chimaera is a creature that is half human and half animal. These are supposedly the bad guys in the battle of good and evil. She grew up as a messenger to Brimstone, one of the strongest and most well-known chiamaera out there. Adopted at a young age, Brimstone raised Karou despite his background and taught her how to collect teeth for him. When she meets an angel, supposedly one of the good guys, on one of her missions, her world will forever be changed. She'll begin to question who she is, how she became Brimstone's "daughter," and why teeth were so important to him.

I can honestly say that I have never read a book like this one. It is a battle between the bad chimaera and the good seraphim. When it comes to describing the seraphim, the easiest description I can think of is warrior angels. This fantasy novel is not one that you'll come across again. The plot is conveyed through a full circle time-line, mixing some past experiences with the present to make everything come full circle and to allow the reader to truly understand the relationships all of the characters have experienced. It's incredibly unique because of this.

 Karou is a brave heroine. Purposely kept naive to some of the evils of the world by Brimstone, she does conquer all that is thrown at her, even if she makes some mistakes here and there. She is not a girl who expects anyone to do the work for her. She can fend for herself and I love that. Then there's Akiva. Don't even get me started on Akiva. He's reason enough to love the book. He's a seraphim who is struggling to truly understand his place in the world. The insanely good-looking man with the wings that allow him to fly, legitimate fire in his eyes, and the widow-peak that makes all of the female characters in the story swoon. The group of supporting characters are amazing as well.

But what I really love about this story is that it's full of many hidden messages. The most prominent theme throughout the story is that you should never lose hope. Karou simple signifies hope. Any reader will come to that realization as the story continues. And on top of that, the other important moral in the story is that both sides are good and evil. Both sides in any battle believe they are fighting for what is right. That does not make one side good and the other side evil. That makes things a battle between two sides with two extremely different viewpoints on a matter. It shows that no side should be held accountable for fighting for what they believe in.

I'd highly recommend this book to any fantasy lover, adult or young adult. It'll pull you in from the very beginning! Because of this, it is receiving 5 stars.


I like the cover! The colors contrast beautifully and it gives it a mysterious air, just as the book does. Great choice!


5 stars



  1. I really enjoyed this one too. It was a little bit strange, but in a cool originally - written kind of way.

    1. Mhm! You can't help but love it because it is so unique!

  2. This one is definitely unique. I loved the whole slant, the awesome angels/demons take. Taylor did an excellent job with this here. Great review!

  3. I really enjoyed this one, as well. There's a certain part (you probably know exactly what I'm referring to) where I was compelled to blubber like a baby. That's when you know you've been drawn in, and this book most definitely does that. Fantastic review, Lili.

    1. Ugh I wanted to bawl at that part! Thank you (:

  4. When I first picked up this book, I remember reading the synopsis and immediately dismissing the novel. Some time later, for lack of better reading material, I bought the book and started to read it. At most, I expected a decent read. What I didn't expect was to get completely caught up in this amazing, original story. Lili, I really liked how you said, "..Both sides are good and evil." Thinking about it, I realized that the lines between good and evil really ARE blurred in this story. I guess it's just one of the many things that make this novel so amazing, as every character is so complex and flawed just like us. I CANNOT wait to read the sequel! Great review :)

  5. Great review! I loved this one as well. This book was really amazing with amazing characters. I listened to it on audiobook, then I bought the book because of how much I loved it. The narrator for this one is my favorite of any audiobook I have listened to so far!

  6. I'm lucky enough to live in Portland, so I've seen her around at events both hers and others. I need a new copy of her books, mine are signed and I don't want to read them or let others read them so I need unsigned ones for that.