National Book Award Finalist Laini has written my favorite book of the fall of 2011. Artist Karou goes to school in Prague, and in addition to drawing the models provided by her school, also draws fantastic pictures of wildly imaginative monsters. Little do her fellow students know that the latter are drawn from Karou’s adopted family, for whom she goes on errands, collecting teeth from all species from all over the world, for a purpose she doesn’t understand. Karou’s world and its inhabitants are fascinating, original, and richly drawn, and the emotional component of her friendships, familial love, and romantic love are deftly drawn, compelling the reader to devour the novel even as they are tempted to linger. For teen and adult fantasy love.
– Maryelizabeth— From Maryelizabeth's Past Reviews
As someone who has visited Prague before, Laini Taylor’s reimagination of this beautiful city is truly spectacular. Her writing style is poetic and descriptive, and this young adult fantasy sweeps you off your feet between the real and the unreal. When I first read this book, the image I had of Prague was a magical and surreal city. Taylor’s take on this city was true to its beauty, and I cannot express enough how much this book opened my eyes to the world, both real and fictionally. - Kaitlyn— From Kaitlyn's Picks!
* "Lush description of a gothic and ghostly Prague beckons readers from the first page and fulfills its promise, leading to a star-crossed romance that spans worlds and transcends death...[Leaves] the reader both satisfied and eagerly anticipating a forthcoming sequel."
-The Horn Book, starred review
* "The suspense builds inexorably, and the philosophical as well as physical battles will hold action-oriented readers. The unfolding of character, place, and plot is smoothly intricate, and the conclusion is a beckoning door to the next volume."
-School Library Journal, starred review
* "National Book Award finalist Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times) again weaves a masterful mix of reality and fantasy with cross-genre appeal. Exquisitely written and beautifully paced, the tale is set in ghostly, romantic Prague, where 17-year-old Karou is an art student--except when she is called "home" to do errands for the family of loving, albeit inhuman, creatures who raised her. Mysterious as Karou seems to her friends, her life is equally mysterious to her: How did she come to live with chimaera? Why does paternal Brimstone eternally require teeth--especially human ones? And why is she "plagued by the notion that she wasn't whole....a sensation akin to having forgotten something?" Taylor interlaces cleverly droll depictions of contemporary teenage life with equally believable portrayals of terrifying otherworldly beings. When black handprints begin appearing on doorways throughout the world, Karou is swept into the ancient deadly rivalry between devils and angels and gradually, painfully, acquires her longed-for self-knowledge. The book's final pages seemingly establish the triumph of true love--until a horrifying revelation sets the stage for a second book."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "[A]long 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. Rarely--perhaps not since the author's own Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer (2007)--does a series kick off so deliciously."
-Kirkus, starred review
* "Taylor crafts both her world and her romance with meticulous care, building the first on a wealth of thought-provoking details and making the second equal parts tender and antagonistic...Fans of torturously star-crossed lovers a la those in Marr's Wicked Lovely and Black's Tithe will find much to enjoy here, but those who flock to innovative, character-driven fantasy with thematic depth will be equally enthralled."
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Thrillingly fresh and new"
"[A] breath-catching romantic fantasy about destiny, hope and the search for one's true self"
-The New York Times Book Review
"An adventurous story of self-identity, "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is written with high-stakes flair and a touch of humor...[It is] well-told and well-paced, raising intriguing questions about notions of identity, expectation, trust, betrayal and belonging."
-The Los Angeles Times
"Author Taylor has created a variety of worlds, time frames, and creatures with such detail and craft that all are believable...Readers will look forward to the suggested sequel to this complex, exciting tale."
"Wow. I wish I had written this book."
-Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Wise Man's Fear
"Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that rare beast: a novel that takes the familiar and makes it appear startling and new. Taylor has embraced the mythology of angels and reworked it in an extraordinary form, so that by the end of this lyrical, haunting book, I wanted to believe in the existence of these violent, tormented beings. I can hardly wait for the next installment."
-John Connolly, author of The Book of Lost Things
"Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a lush, sweeping, romantic marvel of a book. Taylor's writing is a revelation, masterfully blending an intricate fantasy world into our own, with an artist's flair for exquisite details. Funny, devastating, delightful, unforgettable. Pure storytelling perfection."
-Kiersten White, author of the Paranormalcy series