Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

daughter-of-smoke-and-boneDaughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Kristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011
E-book, Purchased
Length: 12 hours, 32 minutes
418 pages
Grade: B+
Narration Grade: B+
Synopsis: 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.

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?

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.


“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.”

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”


  • The world building is complex and interesting.
  • Karou doesn’t really know what is going on in her world…and neither do we. I like the way the reader learns things as Karou does. There is a lot of ambiguity about the supernatural world in this book. All is not as it seems.
  • Much of the book takes place in Prague, Czechoslovakia. I love the accent the narrator uses for characters such as Zuzana, one of Karou’s best friends.
  • The narration is excellent. Kristine Hvam brings a richness to the story which wouldn’t have there if I had read it instead of listening to it.
  • There is lots of mystery to the story.
  • I like the lushness of the story. Again I think the narrator really aided in that.
  • I like the romance!


  • The book seems divided in two. The first half of the book is all about Karou and her life both as an art student and running errands for Brimstone. The second half is her meeting with Akiva and what happens then. It’s almost like two stories, however, I liked both stories so this wasn’t too disruptive for me.


  • This was an emotional read for me partly because this is an audiobook I think. The narrator is excellent and she helped add to the immediacy of the story. This book and series has had lots of hype. I really wasn’t aware of that until after I listened to it–I’ve had both the book and the Audible book for a year and a half! I’m very glad I read it. I think I bought book 2 awhile ago!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges

I’m participating in the following reading challenges for this book:

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

8 thoughts on “Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor”

  1. This was a great series and I think the first one was my favorite, though the second and third weren’t bad either. I’m curious to see if you’ll have a similar experience, or maybe you might like book two even more 😀


    1. Hmmm…well, I haven’t read the second book yet, but I definitely want to get started. I’m glad to know the whole series is good.


  2. I tried reading this book a year ago, but I just couldn’t get into the story. All my previous experiences with angel books were really awful, so now I rarely read books about angels. But I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this book!


    1. I don’t like most angel books either. This doesn’t really seem that much like an angel book to me…at least not the way I think of angels. At least part of my enjoyment of this book came from the narration of the book. Thanks for coming by!


      1. How can you say you don’t like angel books! Angelica is so good and you introduced me to it. But that’s a little off-topic. I’m really glad you had this audible book because once I got into it (took me about an hour to get invested in the story), I was hooked and couldn’t stop listening! I really liked that Karou was such a strong character, although at times she didn’t seem 17 to me (and there’s a reason for that). And I loved the back and forth between her and the other characters, especially Akiva. I thought it was a great book and I’m really looking forward to the next one.


        1. Oh, I’m so glad you liked it, Karen! I’m looking forward to the next one, too.

          And I totally forgot Sharon Shinn’s Archangel books. Those are some of my very favorite books!


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