Karou is an art student in Prague with an artsy best friend and irritating ex-boyfriend. Aside from the blue hair she seems pretty normal, for one of those “creative” types. Her secret is that she’s actually being raised by the odd looking creatures in the long series of sketchbooks she’s kept over a lifetime.
She tells her human friends wild stories about her family, Brimstone and the others, each one a conglomeration of various beasts combined into forms both beautiful and frightening. Karou’s friends believe she has the wildest and most wonderful imagination, but the stories are actually true! Telling the truth with a twinkle in her eye is easier than keeping track of lies.
The first half of the book is full of mystery in an exciting, well-drawn world with intriguing characters. Why does Brimstone send her on errands all around the world to buy teeth, both animal and human, from collectors of dubious character. What are the teeth for? How does Brimstone conjure coins that buy wishes out of thin air? How did Karou, a human girl, end up in the care of these wonderful/terrible creatures?
Then Karou meets the angel, and the romance part of the book begins. I found this somewhat slower, but there are still secrets to be teased apart and a couple of battles to be fought. Story threads come together in a very satisfying way.
But – Warning! This is the first in a series. Normally that’s not a bad thing, but Daughter of Smoke and Bone takes an abrupt turn at the end, and closes with “. . . to be continued.” While the technique does make me curious to see what Taylor’s next book holds, I have to say, I was a little put off. I more closure in a
novel, even when there will be a sequel.
This 2011National Book Award finalist gained many followers with its paranormal romance aflutter with angels
and demons. Funny thing is, it’s not what you’d expect, angel and demon-wise.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is recommended for ages 15 and up.