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Staff Picks: “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

Karou is just like any other art student living in Prague. She has blue hair (that grows out of her head that shade) and a loser of an ex-boyfriend (who dresses up as a vampire to scare tourists and models in her life drawing class just to annoy her). She hangs out with her best friend at Poison Kitchen eating goulash. She’s got a perfectly normal part-time job, traveling through doors that lead to far away corners of the earth, collecting teeth and trading in wishes. The fantastical creatures she draws in her sketchbook aren’t a product of her imagination; they’re the only family she’s ever known, including Brimstone, the otherwordly creature who raised her.

But when black handprints start appearing on doors all over the world, closing the portals for good, Karou begins a journey to find out who—and what—she truly is. When she meets Akiva, an angel with eyes that burn like fire, the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place. Karou learns the secrets of her past—and the violent consequences of her love.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is a fantastic tale of demons and fallen angels, of love and loss. In my opinion, it’s the most compelling tale of star-crossed lovers since Romeo and Juliet. The mythology is inventive and strange and utterly beautiful. The prose is absolutely gorgeous and lush in its description. Laini Taylor’s words don’t just describe—they let us feel and taste and hear and smell the world she’s created. They are pure magic, strung together like Brimstone strings together teeth. And the romance? Swoon-worthy. Best of all, the novel leaves you with a feeling of hope that love really can conquer all—at least by the end of a trilogy. Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel, is due out this fall.

I recommend this novel to mature teen readers, and adults who are fans of fantasy and romance.

-Molly, YA Staff

 

 

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