review + discussion: daughter of smoke and bone by laini taylor


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Published September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult, fantasy, paranormal, angels, romance

links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

rating: ★★★★★


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 don’t think I’ll ever be disappointed by anything Laini Taylor has published and going to be published. I loved Strange the Dreamer which such passion and I absolutely adored Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Her books are a whole deal – dynamic plot, amazing characters and flawless writing. As usual, I had zero idea of the plot. Didn’t read the synopsis, or any reviews. Going into the book not knowing anything made the experience even more worthwhile. 

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DOSAB had been sitting on my shelves ever since 2014. Can’t believe I missed out on such a glorious gem for so many years. The book is lush with imgaination and wonder and adventure. Taylor’s creations of the characters are stunning. Her writing is spellbinding.

Not only does Taylor has an extensive vocabulary that got me whipping out my dictionary, she set this world in Prague, a city in Czech Republic which is rich in gothic history and architecture. My wanderlust was sparked immensely. If you aren’t convinced that you need to pick DOSAB up, this should be a reason.

The romance has a Romeo-and-Juliette vibe which I absolutely loved in DOSAB. Starcrossed lovers. Forbidden relationship. When the love interests met, they somehow connected to each other instantly. Initially I thought it was going to be a cringy insta-love situation between the two but NO, it’s so much more.

Karou is an artist, the creatures she draw in her sketchbooks are real and alive. She goes on adventures for Brimestone, a not-so-fatherly-figure, whom raised her since she was an infant. I enjoyed following Karou’s perspective. She’s talented, unique but also lost and flawed.

I also loved Akiva’s point of view. He’s the product of war, a worn out soldier and is defending the opposite side. He was quite a mysterious and intriguing character at the beginning and as the book progressed, I felt myself wanting to know more about him.

Overall, Daughter of Smoke and Bone kept me thoroughly entertained even when there’s a lack of action. It’s always full of colours, imagination and creativity. Filled with amazing places, self discovery, hope and love. I honestly can’t find anything that I hated about the book.

That’s the end of DOSAB non-spoiler review! Is this one of the books in your TBR? Tell me!


at the beginning, karou’s life was so mundane. you know, ex-boyfriend appearing in your art class and is the nude model, and she’s a very talented artist attending a very normal school. but when she showed zuzana and the rest her sketchbook of brimstone and issa, it was obvious that her life is far from normal. when she started using her necklace beads, I was instantly intrigued. loved that she used her beads to wish itches on kaz, it was hilarious.

I love the mystery behind the monsters’ life. brimstone and the rest hiding things from karou. refused to let her behind the second door because SHE WAS A MONSTER ONCE and they didn’t want her to be discovered by the disgusting son of the lord (totally forgot his name lol). that revelation didn’t come as a shock because I was already suspecting it but it quickened the pace of the book. wasn’t surprised that chiro was the one who betrayed madrigal since she was emitting jealousy every time.

finding out that brimstone holds such a powerful position in the monster realm was more shocking than I anticipated. he’s a resurrector. THAT’S EFFING POWERFUL! he brought all the dead monsters back to life, that’s why their population never dwindles. but at the end akiva said that they’re all dead. NO WAY. brimstone won’t die that easily. I refuse to believe that.


let’s talk about karou/madrigal and akiva. once again, it was unsurprising that they had a history together. madrigal is so different from the rest of the monsters. she actually helped patch akiva back in the warzone and left him alone. then when akiva went to the festival in the monsters’ realm, I was internally screaming because I was so sure that something bad was going to happen but only good things happened. and that guy who keeps pinning after madrigal is sleazy and gross. GO AWAY! and now, since akiva caused the death of karou’s family, she’s off with the hunchback fallen angel to the angels’ realm.

and I just think that those tourists/prague citizens who witnessed akiva and Karou flying in midair are the most chilled people ever. they just think it’s a show or a magic trick.

the last part did confuse me a little. how madrigal died and her soul went into chiro’s body?? read this part with question marks floating around in my head. please explain to me if you know!

that’s the end of my review! if you’ve already read daughter of smoke and bone, let me know what you think of it.

my aesthetic for daughter of smoke and bone

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”


7 thoughts on “review + discussion: daughter of smoke and bone by laini taylor”

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