The Unexpected Surprise | Daughter of Smoke and Bone | Review

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Paper Bindings | The Unexpected Surprise | Daughter of Smoke and Bone | Review | TITLE: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) AUTHOR: Laini Taylor RELEASE DATE: September 27th 2011 PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers ★★★★
TITLE: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
RELEASE DATE: September 27th 2011
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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“Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?”

I found Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor to be:

  • Nothing Like I Expected

Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been recommended to me countless times.

And every single one of those times, it was described to me as a “fantasy” book. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was not a fantasy book. If I’d read the blurb, I might have known it was more urban fantasy and would have expected a book along those lines. Instead, I bought the book solely based upon recommendations and things other bloggers have said about the series.

If I am being honest, I’m not sure I would have picked it up based upon the blurb.

After spending the first few chapters battling my preconceived view of what Daughter of Smoke and Bone was going to be like, I quickly became engrossed in this book.

The world building was really wonderful. 

I felt like I was wandering the streets of Prague with Karou, and then we’d jump off to some other part of the world on a random errand. The was the chimeras were described in detail. It did not take much imagination to picture these guys running around.

I loved getting to know the characters and uncovering more about the battle that was brewing and the war that seemed never-ending. You got to see both sides, and you had to question who was the “bad” side because this book pushed you to question your previous beliefs of good and bad. As no side for purely either, and that made the novel all the more real to me.

The characters were fascinating and fleshed out.

Even the secondary ones. They weren’t just there, they had lives and purposes other than being the background noise for the novel.

Karou was wonderful. She was loyal, and loving. She was street smart, and tough. But Karou had this vulnerability, this deep need to be loved, that you really felt and connected with. And, by the stars, she is going to get her happy ever after even if I have to re-imagine the series in my mind because she deserves nothing less than absolute happiness.

Akiva was…..I really cannot think of a single word to describe him. He was haunted and hardened, sort of like a rabid lost puppy who was too hesitant to reach out and trust someone with food. He was a warrior, and he knew what his duty was. He was broken, but he wasn’t going to abandoned his kin in the war. He did not think he was redeemable, but he wasn’t so far lost that I could accept that.

Akiva was very much a tortured hero, minus all that borderline abusive crap that so many novels love to toss out as healthy relationship material nowadays. 

This book broke my heart and made me ship them even more, all at the same time.

That ending was horrible and should not be legal to write. Thankfully, I already owned the next two books in the series because Daughter of Smoke and Bone leaves you in a fit of emotional despair where the only cure is the next book.


I must confess I am not really into angels and demon kind of books. There is usually something about the genre that puts me off of it. The specifics vary from book to book. But Daughter of Smoke and Bone was so much fun to read that I never once thought of the plot as angels vs demons, even though that is essentially what it is.

If you are looking for a good book with paranormal ties about a war where the good and evil lines are blurred, then I highly recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone to you.


"Over the years she'd found that was all it took, that lazy smile, and she could tell the truth without risk of being believed." (page 9)

"Yearning for love made her feel like a cat that was always twining around ankles, meowing, 'Pet me, pet me. Look at me, love me.'" (page 70)

"There are things bigger than any wish." (Brimstone)
"Like what?" (Karou)
"Most things that matter." (Brimstone) (page 142)

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