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Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Laini Taylor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (996 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.00
Kindle Price: $8.99
You Save: $3.01 (25%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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 one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored 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?


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2011: Karou is a seventeen-year-old art student with a most unusual family. From his desk in a dusty, otherworldly shop, her mysterious, monstrous father sends her on errands across the globe, collecting teeth for a shadowy purpose. On one such errand, Karou encounters an angel, and soon the mysteries of her life and her family are unraveled--with consequences both beautiful and dreadful. National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor has created a lushly imaginative, fully realized world in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Taylor’s writing is as sumptuous as poetry, and the story overflows with dark and delightful magic, star-crossed love, and difficult choices with heartbreaking repercussions. Readers of all ages will be utterly enchanted. --Juliet Disparte

Review

* "Lush description of a gothic and ghostly Prague beckons readers from the first page and fulfills its promise, leading to a star-crossed romance that spans worlds and transcends death...[Leaves] the reader both satisfied and eagerly anticipating a forthcoming sequel." (The Horn Book, starred review)

* "The suspense builds inexorably, and the philosophical as well as physical battles will hold action-oriented readers. The unfolding of character, place, and plot is smoothly intricate, and the conclusion is a beckoning door to the next volume." (School Library Journal, starred review)

* "National Book Award finalist Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times) again weaves a masterful mix of reality and fantasy with cross-genre appeal. Exquisitely written and beautifully paced, the tale is set in ghostly, romantic Prague, where 17-year-old Karou is an art student--except when she is called "home" to do errands for the family of loving, albeit inhuman, creatures who raised her. Mysterious as Karou seems to her friends, her life is equally mysterious to her: How did she come to live with chimaera? Why does paternal Brimstone eternally require teeth--especially human ones? And why is she "plagued by the notion that she wasn't whole....a sensation akin to having forgotten something?" Taylor interlaces cleverly droll depictions of contemporary teenage life with equally believable portrayals of terrifying otherworldly beings. When black handprints begin appearing on doorways throughout the world, Karou is swept into the ancient deadly rivalry between devils and angels and gradually, painfully, acquires her longed-for self-knowledge. The book's final pages seemingly establish the triumph of true love--until a horrifying revelation sets the stage for a second book." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

* "[A]long with writing in such heightened language that even casual banter often comes off as wildly funny, the author crafts a fierce heroine with bright-blue hair, tattoos, martial skills, a growing attachment to a preternaturally hunky but not entirely sane warrior and, in episodes to come, an army of killer angels to confront. Rarely--perhaps not since the author's own Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer (2007)--does a series kick off so deliciously." (Kirkus, starred review)

* "Taylor crafts both her world and her romance with meticulous care, building the first on a wealth of thought-provoking details and making the second equal parts tender and antagonistic...Fans of torturously star-crossed lovers a la those in Marr's Wicked Lovely and Black's Tithe will find much to enjoy here, but those who flock to innovative, character-driven fantasy with thematic depth will be equally enthralled." (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review)

"Thrillingly fresh and new" (Entertainment Weekly)

"[A] breath-catching romantic fantasy about destiny, hope and the search for one's true self" (The New York Times Book Review)

"An adventurous story of self-identity, "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is written with high-stakes flair and a touch of humor...[It is] well-told and well-paced, raising intriguing questions about notions of identity, expectation, trust, betrayal and belonging." (The Los Angeles Times)

"Author Taylor has created a variety of worlds, time frames, and creatures with such detail and craft that all are believable...Readers will look forward to the suggested sequel to this complex, exciting tale." (Booklist)

"Wow. I wish I had written this book." (Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Wise Man's Fear)

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that rare beast: a novel that takes the familiar and makes it appear startling and new. Taylor has embraced the mythology of angels and reworked it in an extraordinary form, so that by the end of this lyrical, haunting book, I wanted to believe in the existence of these violent, tormented beings. I can hardly wait for the next installment." (John Connolly, author of The Book of Lost Things)

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a lush, sweeping, romantic marvel of a book. Taylor's writing is a revelation, masterfully blending an intricate fantasy world into our own, with an artist's flair for exquisite details. Funny, devastating, delightful, unforgettable. Pure storytelling perfection." (Kiersten White, author of the Paranormalcy series)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1615 KB
  • Print Length: 420 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00FFBRYDA
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QX076Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,979 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
313 of 342 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex world building...unique novel August 28, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I would like to start off this review by saying that I really didn't want to read this book. The people who decided on the back of the book description did a crappy job explaining this story in an interesting way. Now that I have read it, the back looks good, but from a fresh perspective, it fell flat. If it weren't a Vine book, given to me for free, I would have never picked it out among the thousands of books out there. I am so glad I gave it a try.

This complex story is about a girl who has no idea of who she really is. Her life has been filled with creatures that would cause terror to most but have been family to her. Karou is a strong, talented seventeen year old who helps her "family" of demon like characters collect teeth. The teeth have a use, but Karou has never found out what exactly. She just goes to designated sights through portal doors to collect the teeth and then goes back to her private art school and her one friend. Her lonely life is interrupted by the sight of an angel who is trying to put a stop to the teeth trade and the creatures who traffic them. Even though he should destroy Karou ,he can not bring himself to kill her due to her similarities to his long lost love. What follows is an intriguing tale of forbidden love in a lush, imaginative world.

I know, I know, collecting teeth sounds so...weird. I promise that the author pulls this off and then some. I struggled with what to say without giving too much away, but I wanted to tell more than the back cover. Karou is an interesting heroine who is beautiful, exotic, and real all at the same time. The world building is really the star of this novel. Everything is different than anything I have read. Yes, it has angels in it, but the author still makes everything fresh.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic August 25, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Karou is a 17-year old art student. She lives in Prague, paints and goes to school. She is trying to get over her good-for-nothing ex-boyfriend. But there is an air of mystery about Karou. She knows magic. She has a secret life. Karou is an orphan who was raised lovingly by a foursome of demonic creatures. She occasionally runs strange errands for them; and on one of the trips she is confronted by an angelic-looking Akiva who attempts to kill her.

What happens next is best described by the book's own first lines:

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

It did not end well.

There is nothing cliche about this story, trust me. Laini Taylor is a writer with talent and extraordinary imagination. What I loved the most about "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" was the world behind it. We all have read our measure of angel books and you will probably agree with me that the portrayal of angels in them rarely goes beyond wings, sexiness and some dark secret behind the "fall." But what if angels and demons are not what is traditionally/biblically accepted? What if you could get into the midst of their world, learn about their cultures, gain knowledge about their centuries-long war? What if the love between an angel and demon is forbidden and a taboo (maybe even by human standards)? Would you like to read about that? I bet you would.

"Lips Touch: Three Times" is one of my most favorite books ever. If you liked those stories, I doubt "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" will disappoint you. This novel is equally dark, sensual, unsettling and a little twisted. The imagery is stunning. The language is beautiful, every word matters (there were a couple of slips into overwritten, I must say, but only a couple). And the love... well, it pushes boundaries, it transcends time and space.

Too bad the cover doesn't do this fantastic book justice...
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93 of 105 people found the following review helpful
By ACP
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a Gothic urban fantasy, dark and stunningly written. Laini Taylor weaves words together beautifully and she crafts narratives so that you are completely pulled into her world, hopelessly captivated. You simply devour her words. She is gifted and has given us ample proof that stories labeled as Young Adult can easily appeal to adults. Due to very mature themes, this story is not for children and I would recommend that only teens 16 and older read it.

This is a story about a girl named Karou living two vastly different lives in two vastly different worlds. The joy of this story is discovering Karou and her role in the other-world known simply as "Elsewhere." I was mesmerized by Elsewhere and the fascinating descriptions of its inhabitants and I was completely smitten with the black market concept of trading teeth in exchange for wishes of varying degrees of potency. The teeth are a source of great intrigue and the author does not disappoint when their purpose is revealed. That's where the real story begins. Overall, I was satisfied with her characterizations, though I think the male protagonist, Akiva, needs further development. Since the author utilized a dual perspective, she could have easily developed Akiva more fully. But she didn't and I'm really not sure why. That is the power of that perspective. However, she does a fantastic job bringing secondary characters to life. I was also very pleased with the complexity of motivations. The opposing forces are not solely good or evil, but a fine shade of gray, multifaceted. The premise is imaginative and the possibilities are endless.

But then a superficial romance is thrown into the mix, confusing my impression of this seemingly carefully crafted tale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Example of the YA Urban Fantasy Genre
This book falls under the category of YA fantasy. The protagonist is an extraordinary young woman, Karou, who shuttles between two worlds. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Gadi Wolfsfeld, Author
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good book
Published 14 hours ago by Zheng Li
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Romance Full of Mythology, Some Real, Some Fabricated
This book is the first in a fun trilogy aimed at the young adult market. It is a fantasy story involving angels, demons, monsters, and humans. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Michael Travis Jasper
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very nice. Product exactly as advertised
Published 1 day ago by Drac
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series!
Loved this series!
Published 4 days ago by Ellie's Best
4.0 out of 5 stars Romeo and Juliet with Angels and Demons
Summary

"Who are you?" It's a question that haunts Karou. Raised by the half-human, half-animal chimera, Karou spends her free moments after art school running... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Rebecca Lang
3.0 out of 5 stars Need question answered...
I did enjoy the language of this book and the original world the author created. But I have one question that unanswered prevented me from really loving the book. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Christy
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite sifi series so far
Absolutely mesmerizing. My favorite sifi series so far.
Published 6 days ago by JerryA
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Really enjoy this writers style. Can't wait to read the next two in this series.
Published 16 days ago by Dandelion
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome book! So addicted to this series!!!
Published 16 days ago by Jess hayes
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More About the Author

Laini Taylor is the author of the National Book Award Finalist Lips Touch: Three Times, as well as the novels Blackbringer and Silksinger. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter.

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