Thursday, October 11, 2012
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
If you like: chimeras * angels * star-crossed lovers
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is the story of Karou. She is a girl with a pocket full of wishes and a series of secret errands that bring her between her world and a mystical in-between realm where she meets with the monsters who raised her. As many magical protagonists have learned before her, Karou discovers there is much more to this other world than she ever dreamed, and the purpose behind her missions is much darker than she could have imagined. After she meets with a renegade angel, Akiva, she begins to unravel the shroud over her past and reach for the future she has hoped for.
Karou is the perfect “it” girl. Through natural charisma and seventeen years of lighthearted wishes, she embodies a coolness that many can only dream of. With striking blue hair and practiced grace, she is an enigma in the crowd. In spite of her many talents, she encounters the same struggles as many young girls. Karou has been betrayed by her first love, and that pain shapes the rest of her choices. She is also very much alone, even in the crowd. Leaving at a moment’s notice to run an errand for her surrogate father, the formidable Brimstone, makes it difficult to keep friends. This combination allows the reader to admire her and think of her as a close confidant.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone asks us to think about the meaning of peace. Is peace the hope for the end of conflict? At its most basic, yes, but there are heavy costs to consider. If the ending is not mutual the losing side will have to pay. They will pay with their lives and their freedom. It is not enough to simply hope for peace; one must embody that hope and become the change before it can take hold. Love plays an important role in both the desire to end fighting and the desire to slaughter the enemy out of vengeance. Taylor does not force these questions, but lets the story naturally lead the reader to them. This journey is a carefully crafted balance of the past and present that reveals its mysteries in due course.
If you would never stop wishing for the world to be better, read Daughter of Smoke & Bone.
Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke & Bone. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2011. Kindle Edition.