This book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone (by Laini Taylor) kept flirting with me. It wanted to be noticed. I would open the newspaper and there would be a review (glowing). I’d visit a website and it would be mentioned. I’d flip open a magazine in the dentist waiting room to find yet *another* review, again glowing. So what could a girl do but give in and read the darn thing?
It helped that I am an unabashed lover of all things fantasy & sci-fi. When a book is decribed like this:
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.
Well, let’s just say, I was already prepared to love it. And I did!
It has all the elements of a good fantasy story- cool characters who you enjoy being around, a hip earth location (Prague) and wickedly cool fantasy settings, magic that does not seem to copy from any other fantasy story (huzzah!), art students (formerly being one, I can safely say that we are awesome), a tragic and beautifully written love story, and plenty of creepy scariness. I love a little sprinkling of creepy scariness in a novel (shiver of delight!).
It’s got elements of familiarity- you know, the whole Romeo/ Juliet forbidden love thing. But it’s not done so blatantly as, say, Twilight. In that series, you could tell the author was a fan of the Shakesperean tale- a big fan. In Daughter, you can feel the inspiration but can still get lost enough in the story to forget Romeo and whatever-her-name was.
In fact, I was so invested with our poor lovers that the end of the tale took me completely by surprise. I actually gasped. I will NOT give anything away, and please don’t peek and RUIN THE BOOK, but just prepare yourself. That wily Laini Taylor sucked me in real good.
Anyway, give it a whirl and then come back and tell me what you thought!