Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release date: 27th September 2011
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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 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?
Where to start? Daughter of Smoke and Bone was truly a treat to read in the midst of my exam-free week. The darkness in it pulled me in in just a few pages.
Karou is not a normal girl. She's an orphan although she has an adoptive family and it is also not a conventional one. They are chimaera, which means they can have body parts of different animals. They live in a separate world and the only means Karou has to get to them is by knocking on the door of selected doors around the world. Just like this, Issa will open the door and let her in Brimstone's shop, where she grew up. She is currently living in Prague (Prague! The book itself made me want to visit it) and she loves drawing. Oh, and she has "natural" blue hair. Much to everyone's consternation, it grows that color.
She goes to school, lives in her flat, and runs "errands" for Brimstone. Errands that are always related to teeth, as he collects all kinds of them. Karou knows that she is different, but even though she has asked countless times, Brimstone won't tell her anything. Her life revolves around school, friends and Brimsone's shop. But one day, on one of his errands, she meets someone different -- an angel.
The world that Laini Taylor builds around the chimaera, the angels and their worlds was so beautifully crafted that you could almost feel like it was real. The narration is, as I said before, compelling and dark, which makes the book completely awesome. And the fact that Akiva is the hottest angel I have read about helps, of course! The scenes with Karou and Akiva together were so intense that I kind of expected something to go off in flames. They were so perfect for each other! In the end, due to some circumstances I don't want to spoil you about, I fall in love with the story all over again. The plot is gracefully played, intertwining the past and the present and Karou in the midst.
How I wish I had read it sooner! Daughter of Smoke and Bone is certainly my new favorite.