Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

""Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

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."


Laini Taylor has a talent for writing, that I will admit. I could see, feel and be in the world she had created. However, I didn't understand one bit of the world she had created and that seriously hindered my ability to like this novel.

First off. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is over 400 pages long. Too long? I think so. It took me months to just getting around to it because for the first book in the series that big book was daunting. And at the end of it, I think there was definitely a lot that could have been chopped out in sake of length and pace.

That's my second issue. Pace. Daughter of Smoke and Bone spent a lot of time on unnecessary stuff. A few chapters on her stalky and amazingly hot ex-boyfriend, a few hundred paragraphs describing every little detail and another few hundred paragraphs explaining every little detail. And in all those paragraphs I 1) fell asleep; 2) didn't understand much of the plot.

I like Karou. I think Akiva was a nice love interest. He was different and both seemed to have this clash-and-fit personality. Having said that I also don't understand why every second character's name is something unpronuncable and just plain weird. Why? Why? Why?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was also a two-in-one kind of story. And I definitely enjoyed the second half more than the first. I skimmed a lot of the first (also found that major twist not that surprising. Why else would an author spend paragraphs on something for it not to matter? Even if the majority of the novel is like that?).

I felt like there wasn't enough time explaining Elsewhere and actually being in Elsewhere. Also, this isn't a novel about trying to prevent the doors closing. Don't be fooled. It seems lately a lot of the books I'm reading aren't what they're blurbed to be and that's definitely annoying me more and more.

While I didn't enjoy Daughter of Smoke and Bone and will most likley not return for the sequel, it's evident that Laini Taylor has writing talent and it's easily understandable why people would enjoy this novel.

Review: 2.5 stars
Date Published: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Bought

Format: Paperback
Date Read: April 2012
Page Count: 416
Series/Stand Alone: First in series


  1. It's so funny how different people view the same novel - I absolutely loved every minute of this book, though I quite like slower paced YA novels.

    I actually preferred the first half of the book, I really loved the descriptions of Prague and all the suspense building and I got all teary when Kismet delivered his final message before crumbling to death in her hands.

    It's a pity your not going in for the sequel - I will let you know if you missed out :P

  2. The worst thing is that I really wanted to like it. I know so many people (I can now add you to the list ;D) who love this novel.

    Oh, really? I thought the second half was a lot more interesting, haha. However I can completely understand why you would love this. Laini Taylor has an insanely awesome writing style.

    Please do. Maybe you'll change my mind :P haha.


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