Published: August 1, 2013
Number of pages: 418
Publisher: Little, Brown Company
Genre: fantasy, romance, mystery
Verdict: 5 owl hoots out of 5
Meet Karou a normal art student in Prague with a mysterious past. But her personal life is out of the ordinary as she does ‘errands’ for a family of chimaeras who’ve raised and supported her for as long as she can remember. But then she meets a seraph and learns of a centuries-old war between the seraphim and chimaeras, and Karou’s life changes forever as she makes a fateful decision that will change her life and her world.
One of the reasons why I picked up this book is because Laini Taylor is one of those popular YA authors I’ve heard so much about but never thought to read her books until recently. And since I was looking for a good fantasy-for-YA-readers book I chose this one. I’m happy I did because this book is amazing and I’m definitely going to wait till her boxset comes out this year so I can read the entire trilogy!
Laini Taylor has built a remarkable world where seraphs and monsters coexist but have fought each other for centuries to protect and claim what is theirs. I love her rich writing style and the forbidden romance that caused a deeper rift between angels and chimaeras, but also created a new hope that few have imagined as a brighter future for both races. This is a paranormal fantasy with a fun take on the Romeo and Juliet story with a tragic and heart breaking ending that made me want to cry.
Right away the story had me on chapter one as we’re introduced to the remarkable and mysterious Karou, who has no idea who or what she is. She is not your average girl; apart from her blue hair and tattoos with ‘true’ and ‘story’ on each of her wrists, she’s been raised by chimaeras that ask her to do ‘errands’ around the world. Karou learns to be obedient but she can be reckless as she disobeys her family’s orders in which she discovers a startling secret about herself. All throughout the story I kept asking, “who is she?” which her friends have often wondered. And just when I finally had an idea as to who Karou really is, my arm gets twisted and I’m immediately thrown back as her true identity is finally revealed. I have to say Taylor is good at surprising her readers with unexpected twists and horrifying secrets that twice I gasped at the most pivoting moments of the story.
This was an amazing fantasy story filled with myths, angels and monsters, and a passionate romance. The ending was a perfect cliffhanger as we’re left with a hopeful note for our brave and fulfilled heroine who discovers her new role in the otherworld. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy comes out in boxset on October 2014.