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Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy 1): Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy: Book One: 1/3 [Kindle Edition]

Laini Taylor
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,055 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'WOW. I wish I had written this book' - Patrick Rothfuss



'The world-building descriptions and language stop your heart and then, like a defibrillator, start it up again' - New York Times



Errand requiring immediate attention. Come. The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came. In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.



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

YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
A New York Times Notable Children's Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Selection of the Year


* "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

"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

* "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)

"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

* "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)

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

"Thrillingly fresh and new"—Entertainment Weekly

"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

Product Details

  • File Size: 1888 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (September 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005I4WA88
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
326 of 355 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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99 of 111 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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78 of 88 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars what an adventure. a true pleasure
This story is filled with my friends and foes...every character real and vivid and now part of my own imagination. The writing is lovely. Read more
Published 2 days ago by A. Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoke & Bone
I will be honest. I used to read ONLY ya/paranormal romance. Just al YA all the time. After I got older I just couldn't relate to them anymore
This book is an exception. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read....
This is a great trilogy.
Published 7 days ago by Cheryl L. Lester
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it
Published 15 days ago by danielle
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth the Read
I waited far too long to read this, and as soon as I did, I had to order the rest of the series immediately. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Emm Cole
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-Written Supernatural Love Story
I'm not a huge fan of supernatural love stories featuring smart-mouthed teens with special powers. To make matters worse, this novel started slowly. Read more
Published 16 days ago by David J. Nix
5.0 out of 5 stars The Audiobook is also Awesome
This story was not at all what I was expecting, in the best kind of way. It's creative and surprising. Read more
Published 17 days ago by B.A. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked it a lot
Great book. Totally pulls off a very unique plot. Almost did not buy it but I am glad I did. Not to buy book 2.
Published 21 days ago by mommaofmany
5.0 out of 5 stars SO much fun to read
SO much fun to read. The story is so well writte, using amazing vocabulary to describe creative worlds and interesting parts of two worlds. Read more
Published 24 days ago by F. Suliman
5.0 out of 5 stars great
I can't wait to read the next book in the series ! I could not put the first on down!!
Published 28 days ago by Tanya L Kelly
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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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