Book Reviews

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

So what did I think of this extremely hyped fantasy book? You all chose Daughter of Smoke and Bone for my August read as part of my “Choose My Tbr” video. The reaction video for my thought hasn’t gone live, but I’m sharing with you a mini review – for the long rambly one check out the video!


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?


How do I sum up my review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone? I tried to go into this with basically no information – so I could simulate how it would feel in 2011. I didn’t even read the Goodreads sumamry. But there was no escaping that some of the quotes or people/locations I was familiar with because of fandom merch. That being said, I was not expecting the fantasy world building. I don’t wanna spoiler it (spoilers are in the Youtube video), but it threw me for a loop.

I ended up enjoying the world, even if I had a lot of questions – still to the end. The writing was also really stunning, I even pulled a quote I like – which for books I’m not in love with is super rare. But together the writing and world building kind of just saved my feelings during the first half where I felt like things were kind of murky? And then with some MAJOR reveals, I guess I still have a lot more questions about the plot? I know this is the first, so there’s a lot of room and this is the foundational. BUT that doesn’t stop my questions?

A lot of things I didn’t understand at all until the reveals. And I don’t know how to feel about that? Like if you are on the fence or don’t like things and then you think, “oh now I get it” after things are revealed, do you end up loving it? Or are you cautiously reserved? I know this review might not be too helpful, but I guess meh-I-dunno is how I feel about the whole book? I was so on the fence for the first half and then cautiously liked the last half?


Anyone else with me?

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2 thoughts on “Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. I read this book when it first came out and I like things being slowly revealed to me–so it worked for me. Like you, I was not expecting the intense world-building that happens. The second book does move a little slower and brings in some new elements.

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