Monday, January 23, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

A young girl flits through the streets of modern-day Prague. Karou's an artist, just another student, set apart only by her vivid blue hair. Little do her friends know that when they exclaim over her drawings of fantastical creatures, that they are looking not at denizens of Karou's imagination, but of another world.

Raised by the chimeara Brimstone, Karou cannot remember any other life than that in the little shop that can be reached by many doors in our world, but is not a part of our reality. So few of her questions are ever answered. All she knows is that Brimstone creates wishes out of teeth.

Then one day an angel enters her life and everything changes forever.

It's rare that I learn of a book because two of my favorite authors recommend it. When I first saw the title and description on Shannon Hale's website, I added it to my list of library requests because I figured it was worth checking out. However it sat in a pile for a long time as I read other titles first.

Then Orson Scott Card reviewed it on his blog and painted so glowing a picture of the story that I could hardly wait to get off the computer and start reading it. I was immediately hooked. It's a paranormal romance that borders closer to fantasy, and is written with an elegance of style that few YA novels can boast. Laini Taylor has written a beautiful, poignant story here. The single biggest flaw is that the story demands an immediate sequel and the next book won't be out until fall!

This is a YA novel, and I feel I must alert my readers to the fact that this book does not shy away from including Karou's growing understanding of human sexuality. While I feel the subject matter is handled well and truthfully, I know that many of my more conservative teen readers would probably not feel comfortable with it. I would rate this book for ages 16+, with the caveat that all readers are different and some 16-year-olds will not be ready for it.


Anonymous said...

I tagged you: :)

TAC said...

If you ever get a chance I highly recommend North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. She lived around the time that Jane Austen did and she is just as good a writter.

ibmiller said...

Thanks for recommending this, and mentioning OSC's review! I just finished the first two, and am excited to read the third next year.