Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor0
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 hairactually 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?
The moment I was introduced to this story, I had the feeling that I was going to fall in love with the book and the storyline. It seemed so unique and it was so amazing. It is the story of Karou, a girl who has grown up among... I suppose, demons like Brimstone, although it seems a bit derogatory of a term for such beautiful characters. The author has captured both the idea of a mortal among demons and that demons are not in fact the evil creatures that we believe them to be. Then as you dive deeper into the novel, you find that not everything is as it seems and Karou is certainly not the girl she or you believe her to be. Questions begin to arise as ideas begin to surface. Why is Karou raised among Brimstone and his friends? What happened to make her who she is today? Who is this strange angel that claims to know who she is? Are past lives possible, especially for a girl like her?
I adore Karou for how she is in so many ways. Her character could've either been very unique or one dimensional yet she becomes this confident young woman that captures the rebellious teenage spirit in very unique ways. When she is faced with her ex-boyfriend, she decides to torment him because he definitely ruined her perception of relationships. But this isn't the only way that she pushes boundaries. Brimstone sets certain rules for Karou so that she can remain safe and perhaps a secret. However, she likes to bend them just a little to see if he will let her. She always gets caught and he doesn't let her off easily when she does something wrong. Despite all of this, she loyal to those she loves and would certainly give her life for those that she loves. The one question she longs to have answered is about her past. She has always been human, at least that she remembers but she doesn't know why she lives with Brimstone or how she came to be where she is. This is the beginning of her beautiful journey to discover who she is.
Akiva's presence has certainly caught me off guard when he was first introduce, yet I fell completely in love with his character in every way. I wasn't sure how I would feel about angels being introduced when I was just getting used to the idea that demons are kind and perhaps the good guys. Does that make angels bad guys? Akiva, although, seems to be discontented with his life among his brothers and sisters as a trained soldier to do his father's will. He seems to be unhappy yet he goes through the motions of listening to and following the orders he was given. It is as though his reason for living was taken from him... and it was. He still longs for the woman he once loved and still loves. It is hard not to feel sad for him.
Brimstone was certainly depicted like what would be a terrifying character, yet he came across as a loving, stern man. The way he cares for Karou really made me love his character even more because Karou didn't have a family outside of this ragtag group of people. He really truly becomes the father figure that this young woman needs as he strives to teach her patience and love. Issa as well as all the others become the other family members in this odd ragtag group that becomes a family. They adore her art and Karou herself. She feels like she truly belongs among this people. Finally Kishmish, who is the little messenger boy for Brimstone, always has Karou somewhat on edge when she sees him.
Zuzana is Karou's best friend and this petite little character that holds so much life. I can honestly say that she not only is the best sort of friend that the main character could have but she is the type of friend that every sort of girl needs. The type that won't take all of your crap, will listen when you need them and has so much spirit in them that it not only lifts you up but also keeps the party going even when you feel like you don't want to.
I love, love, love this book. It is intense and lovable. It is unique yet relatable. Thank you Laini Taylor for creating such an amazing cast of characters!