Great Illustrated Books

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By Laini Taylor

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011`
Pages : 432
Suggested Ages: 12 and Up
ISBN: 0316134023

Seraphim and chimera, love and war, humans and beasts come together in this brilliantly-written fantasy intricately woven by Laini Taylor.

Karou is a young art student living in Prague, but readers will quickly recognize – from her bright blue hair and fantastic artistic ability – that she is not of this world. Her adopted family is chimera, with medusa-like snake tendrils, horns, glowing eyes and creatures’ bodies. Although she doesn't live with them, she occasionally does errands for them when summoned by the messenger bird, Mishmash.

While on an errand for Brimstone, her mysterious father figure, Karou encounters Akiva, a stunningly-gorgeous seraph. He is as intrigued with Karou as she is with him, but the chemistry goes far beyond superficial attraction. Their unfolding love story is one of the central plot lines of the book with the many layers of their relationship intertwining with other elements throughout the story.

Setting the scene for the romance and other action is the epic war raging between the seraphim and the chimera that threatens Karou’s family. The rich history of the conflict between the chimera and seraphim is fantasy at its best, pulling the reader ever deeper into the complexity of the relationships among the characters. The richness of their emotions, loyalties and desires makes the characters believable. With all their flaws and imperfections, they are real and understandable.

As the relationship between Akiva and Karou plays out, their future is left as an unresolved cliffhanger, setting up the promised sequel. Taylor leaves us with no doubt there is more to come, and we are already breathlessly waiting for our chance to return to this amazing world she has created.

Reviewed by : JJ


If you love this book, then try:

Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Quirk Books, 2011.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games series). Scholastic Press, 2008.

Condie, Ally. Matched (Matched series). Dutton Juvenile, 2010.

Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight (The Twilight Saga series). Little, Brown Young Readers, 2006.

Critics have said

Thrillingly fresh and new
Entertainment Weekly

A breath-catching romantic fantasy about destiny, hope and the search for one's true self
The New York Times Book Review

Along with writing in such heightened language that even casual banter often comes off as wildly funny, the author crafts a fierce heroine with bright-blue hair, tattoos, martial skills, a growing attachment to a preternaturally hunky but not entirely sane warrior and, in episodes to come, an army of killer angels to confront.
Kirkus Reviews