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?
5 STARS out of 5
TITLE: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
GENRE: Young Adult
Hello everyone! Let me introduce myself again. I'm Airah and with the exemption of HP, I can never be a solid fan of fantasy books.
That is, UNTIL NOW.
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
Amidst the bizarre names, and equally bizarre world-building, I can't help but ask myself at first.. Who the heck is Karou anyway?
As the story unfolds, I got my answer -- she is THE daughter of smoke and bone!
:) Like, IN YOUR FACE!
On a more serious note though, Karou seemed like your typical Czech teen. That is, if a typical Czech teen actually sketches weird creatures and paints nude people at school. I haven't met one, so pardon me.
What made Karou stand out from the rest was her naturally blue hair, the tats on her arm.. and wait, was that also tattoo on both her palms?
As I went on with my reading, I learned what it was, and many other things too. I loved how the symbols in this book were beautifully interwoven. The teeth, the hamsas, Karou's name, the crescent-moon knives and the wishbone.
Of course, the wishbone.
"Magic?" Akiva had asked. "What bird does this come from, that its bones make magic?"
"Oh, it's not magic. The wishes don't really come true."
"Then why do it?"
She shrugged. "Hope? Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."
It was that piece of relic which snapped something in Akiva to finally recognize Karou for who and what she truly is. And I say, it's my most favorite moment in the book. Akiva on his knees, crying in front of Karou. I didn't exactly know the magnitude of Akiva's discovery at that time, but it was certainly heartbreaking to read.
I tell you guys, this is one heck of a love story only a fantasy novel could give! I'm so much in awe!
Also, let me share how much my heart is bursting with love for Brimstone. He remained to be the father Karou never had. I will always imagine him sitting in his shop, working endlessly with those jars of teeth.
Oh, and a big shout out goes to Karou's real life sketchbook characters -- Kishmish, Yasri, Issa and Twiga -- for also staying loyal to her after all those years. You will be missed, darlings.
The moment I'm done reading, all I could think of was how perfect the title fit, and the overall brilliance that this book has achieved.
This is literature you guys! One so captivatingly written that I won't likely forget in a long time. Very much worthy of the hype and the 5 stars!
*Photo courtesy of the author's Pinterest page