I have tons of cool pictures of Prague that will make your wanderlusting heart flutter, and art illustrations of the characters, my favorite quotes, a mini review, book trailer, and more from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone!
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 grown 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?
“The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Motzart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (pg. 24)
“Above it all loomed the castle on the hill, its silhouette as sharp as thorns. By night it was floodlit, bathed in eerie light…” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (pg. 25)
“…Cesky Krumlov, the little jewel box of a city in southern Bohemia.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (pg. 27)
“Karou crossed the Charles Bridge and took the tram north to the Jewish Quarter, a medieval ghetto that had given way to a dense concentration of Art Nouveau apartment buildings as pretty as cakes.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (pg. 33)
“The towers of Tyn Church reared up like devil’s horns behind the row of buildings across the street in one of which was Karou’s flat.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (pg. 161)
“Icon of Prague, the medieval bridge crossed the Vltava between Old Town and the Little Quarter. Gothic bridge towers rose on both sides, and the whole span — pedestrian-only — was lined by monumental statues of saints.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (pg. 174)
“…hair the improbably color of lapis lazuli.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (pg. 77)
A swoon-worthy quote from Akiva’s POV for your swoon-eating pleasure…
“He remembered a story Madrigal had told him once: the human tale of the golem. It was a thing shaped of clay in the form of a man, brought to life by carving the symbol aleph into its brow. Aleph was the first symbol of an ancestral human alphabet, and the first letter of the Hebrew word truth; it was the beginning. Watching Karou rise to her feet, radiant in a fall of lapis hai, in a woven dress the colour of tangerines, with a loop of silver beads at her throat and a look of joy and relief and… love… on her beautiful face, Akiva knew that she was his aleph, his truth and beginning. His soul.”
Cupcakes may not be a character(s) (but might as well be), BUT they are a big part of certain characters lives. All thanks goes to Zuzana, of course. 😉
Laini Taylor created a world unlike anything that has been explored and I liked that. The world building to the characters; to the dialogue, inner monologue, jokes and banter; to the places that exists and is intermixed with our world, was vivid, cultural, magical and evocative. And the character names were anything that I’ve never heard of (and still have difficulty pronouncing correctly), but it was fun and each has a purpose, as does their roles in each others lives. The story is set in Prague and the writing captured the vivid imagery really well. Easy to visualize such beauty along with it’s scary crevices lurking in the shadows. Quite colorful, even with it’s dark undertones. I learned a whole bunch of things from these pages, and what better way to learn them from reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone?
Karou goes through quite a few things in this story. She’s starting to question who she is, who and where she came from, and what she is capable of doing. The whole series is a huge journey of self-discovery for Karou and garnishing who she really is and what she is to become, and this is only the beginning. I like how intelligent and level-headed she is, and the fact that she chose to have blue hair. Although I quite enjoyed Karou’s character, I think I favor Zuzana. Her sense of humor is quite unique and random, and it’s hard not to laugh sometimes. I can see why Karou is friends with her. What I liked was their friendship and their tight-knit bond. And don’t even get me started on the dialogue, the jokes, the banter and insults! I can go on and on about how hilarious, inappropriate, and witty it gets; and how it’s different with each characters. The humor shows up at unexpected times, and times where you (and the characters) need a good laugh. A lot of the characters that are in Karou’s life are so important and involved, and luckily her voice of reason. All are different (in species and otherwise) and have vital roles in the story. Brimstone and Issa are like mentor/parental figures of sorts, and Karou is lucky to have them. Even though Brimstone makes her run some crazy errands. But hey, at least she gets to roam around Prague while she does it. And I can’t even forget about Akiva even if I wanted to (not that I would want to). He is such a warrior, but he has a sense of humor that Karou appreciates. Akiva And as intimidating as he can be, he is quite swoon-worthy in the romance department too. But there are many areas where Akiva and Karou rival each other and that becomes a huge problem as the story progresses. And there are more characters we meet and go through along the way to shake things up. Bigger things are looming, and as long as Karou has these people on her side, I know our girl can handle it in stride.
“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’s not like there’s a law against flying.”
“Yes there is. The law of gravity.”
“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens. I need you to remember that I love you.”
“Hey! My body may be small, but my soul is large. It’s why I wear platforms. So I can reach the top of my soul.”
“Never repent of your own goodness. To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength.”
“If it’s not chocolate, it’s not breakfast.”
That’s my M.O. Just sayin.
“If there’s something you want, pursue it. Hope has power. Don’t waste it on foolish things.”
Hi there! I’m a writer of fantasy books for young people, but my books can be enjoyed by adults as well. My ‘Dreamdark’ books, Blackbringer (2007) and Silksinger (2009) are about faeries — not dainty little flowery things, but warrior-faeries who battle devils. My first young adult book, Lips Touch, is a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award! It’s creepy, sensual supernatural romance. . . about kissing. I am also an artist with a licensed gift product line called “Laini’s Ladies.”