The next three weeks are going to be devoted to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor.
Never has a trilogy left me so conflicted. Overall, I truly did love this series, and I had a really bad case of the mourning’s when I turned the final page of book 3. But for as many things that I absolutely loved about these books, there were also things that had me second-guessing whether or not I would finish the series.
This trilogy is definitely a in-it-for-the-long-haul read. If you’re looking for something that will give you a quick resolution, this probably isn’t for you. You do get your resolutions, but Taylor makes you work for them.
BUT if you want an epically unique world to get lost in and explore, you need to pick up this trilogy. It is expansive and expertly developed and each character has his or her own needs/agenda.
So without further ado: My thoughts on Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a YA Fantasy that takes place in Prague. The MC, Karou, already leads a spectacular life, having been raised by chimaera and traveling the world. But when angels start burning handprints into doors, Karou’s life gets a whole lot more complicated.
There are so many reasons to pick up this first book, but my top has to be the magnificent prose with which Taylor delivers the story. From page one, Taylor’s skills with imagery trap you in the story, and her characters are so vibrant that you feel like you’ve known them forever.
Taylor manages to write an epic-fantasy-level story while straddling the hum-drum human world, but even her human characters are far from stereotypes. She does a brilliant job at giving us fully developed characters from their first introduction as well as laying layer upon layer of mysteries and secrets for us to unravel throughout the series.
And that’s it for this non-spoiler-y section. Don’t read on if you don’t want to be spoiled.
Okay, so I said it above, but I’ll say it again. OH MY GOD, THE WRITING! NO, SERIOUSLY, THE WRITING!
One of the main reasons I absolutely adored this trilogy was Taylor’s incredible talent and skill with prose. Every metaphor, every visual, every description, everything was just ON POINT!
I loved how fearless and curious Karou was. Overall an incredibly compelling character. Actually, all of Taylor’s characters were compelling. Karou, Akiva, Brimstone, Zuzana.
Also, the world that Taylor creates is fully-realized from the get-go. So even though we have a BAGILLION questions, those questions are due to necessary built-in mystery rather than a lack of world-building.
And before I move on, did anyone else laugh hysterically at Brimstone’s “non-essential penis” line for days on end like I did? No? Just me? Mkay…
Alright, now for the not-so-fangirling bit.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVED this trilogy and will sing Taylor’s praises as a writer all day long, BUT I had a really big issue with the chapters of flashback post mid-point. It felt like I was moving along at a swift pace with Karou and Akiva, then suddenly, “We’re going to interrupt your current story for a massive interlude of backstory.”
That may have been a little harsh.
I do agree that we needed that information for the rest of the series. I just wish it would have been incorporated in a way that didn’t totally press pause on our girl Karou. Even though Karou is Madrigal. But still.
Like I said, I truly do love this story and the characters and the world and the writing. But for whatever reason, I am hung up on that silly flashback. *throws toddler tantrum*
What about y’all? What did you think about the flashback? Did you expect Brimstone to be using teeth to conjure chimaera?
Next Friday, I’ll be reviewing Days of Blood and Starlight, book 2 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor.