Daughter of Smoke and Bone is exactly the sort of book title that makes my fingers want to start flinging cash at book stores. Add that everyone and their aunt seems to have had a fit of the wibbles when it comes to this trilogy, and you can easily see why I’ve finally succumbed.
The mysterious Karou is a 17 year-old art student, studying in Prague. Her hair grows blue, her tattoos are ever changing, and she claims the fantastical characters that populate the pages of her notebooks are her family. She’s not lying, either. Frequently disappearing on errands for Brimstone, the chimaera wishmonger who’s raised her as his own, Karou isn’t really sure what happens with all of the teeth she’s sent to collect. Nor is she sure how the wishes she’s always using have come to be. But when mysterious black handprints start appearing on the doors to Elsewhere, the place she was raised, and Karou comes face to face with an angel apparently set on killing her, she’s set on a path where she’ll not only find the answers to these questions, but that of who she really is.
I absolutely adored the first half of this book – Taylor writes beautifully and imbues her world with a fairytale magic that is hard to resist. I loved the chimaera and the idea of magical currency, and the settings were also imbued with a fantastical, romantic air. Sadly, that wasn’t to last, and as soon as Karou came eye to cartoon-heart-filled eye with the angel Akiva, a little of the magic was lost for me. As the setting of the story got more fantastic and we found out more about Elsewhere, Karou’s back story and the centuries long war between the chimaera and the seraphim, what should have sent me spinning off into the stratosphere with the awesomeness of it all (a heroine with horns and bat-wings? Hell, yeah!) soon had me plummeting into another-sodding-romance annoyance as the love story took over as the primary focus.
It’s probably my fault as the reader for not properly reading the synopsis or any reviews before plunging in, as it’s certainly not Taylor’s writing which, as I said, is beautiful. Given another story (with less focus on romance) I could even become a bit of a fan. It’s just not going to be this story.