The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy
From master storyteller and National Book Award finalist Laini
Taylor comes a sweeping and gorgeously written modern fantasy
series about forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope
for a world remade.
Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone/Days of Blood & Starlight/Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Sept 2011/Nov 2012/April 2014
ISBN: 9780316134026 / 9780316133975 / 9780316134071
Pages: 424 pages/517 pages/613 pages
How I Read It: ebook
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, young adult
Book One: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
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.
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 hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
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?
Here we go, another young adult fantasy book – but wait!
This is not your average angel (good) versus devil (bad) story. In fact, this
novel is so complex and cleverly composed that it brings to light how something
can be perceived as evil just because it’s different. And what of those born
and raised into the hatred of a race just because, well, that’s how it’s always
been? Laini Taylor has written an incredible and touching story that explores
prejudice and war as well as romance in one of the most amazing fantasy worlds
we have yet to encounter.
For you see Taylor, unlike numerous other young adult
authors out there, is so far removed from the stereotypical, with writing that
holds a magical flair and a sophistication that is not only rare but an
absolute pleasure to read. Her stories are richer, her characters more highly
developed and so very interesting. In fact, her style is bordering on art.
This story tells the age-old tale of forbidden love, but
with an amazingly mythological twist. Karou and Akiva are portrayed as Romeo
and Juliet – but unlike any other you’ve come across. Taylor creates an
incredible fantasy world of humans, seraphim, and chimaera with the mythology
being so sophisticated and storylines that are truly thought provoking. We were
captivated by her literary prose – it was just exceptional. We loved the
geographical descriptions of Prague, Marrakesh, and Elsewhere – we walked the
streets, ate the goulash and spoke to the vendors right along with the
characters. We were shocked by the severe punishments for fallen angels like
Razgut; intrigued by the magic system; and listened to the individuality as
each character had their own unique voice and message. On top of all that, one
cannot forget the forbidden love; the young adults we once were read
“Love is a luxury.”
“No. Love is an element.”
“An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.”
And, in spite of the divided and war-torn world Taylor has
created, she also presents an undeniably optimistic underlying tone:
“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.”
Utterly and absolutely spellbinding, this isn’t a book; it’s
an experience, deserving to be read by anyone of any age who truly appreciates
quality writing and storytelling.
“Madrigal’s hands started to shake. She didn’t
understand, quite, but something was starting to take shape, out of magic and
will. Smoke and bone.”
Book Two: Days of Blood & Starlight
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what
she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give
anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world
suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and
starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for
redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
A book as amazing as Daughter of Smoke & Bone
was bound to be a hard act to follow, and we have to admit, Days of Blood & Starlight
suffer from that 'middle trilogy lull' at the outset. However, as you can see by our rating, it is
still a wonderful read! The somewhat slow pacing at the beginning is definitely offset by a fantastic finish that leaves you wanting to dig right in to the final book. Taylor is on a winner here, and her writing is so very eloquent
on such a range of issues and settings. It is no mean feat to change points of
view and lose yourself in the variety of characters this story contains. This
installment witnesses the maturing of our favorite leads as they become
independent yet weighed down with responsibilities. The naivety has gone, but
will it be replaced with a stronger understanding of each other and the worlds
around them? Well, that is where you have to move on to book three with fingers
crossed for some type of happy ending - we hoped.
"Light coursed through Karou and darkness chased it - burning through her, chilling her, shimmer and shadow, ice and fire, blood and starlight, rushing, roaring, filling her. Shock and disbelief. And rancor. And rage."
Book Three: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
In this thrilling
conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still
not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known.
a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva
must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger
dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge
a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe
even toward love.
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the
Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera, and seraphim will fight, strive,
love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right
and wrong, friend and enemy.
WOW! What an incredible finale to an outstanding series! Full of Taylor's trademark poetic writing, all of our favorite characters along with a few new faces, a full spectrum of emotion, conflict, twists and turns and revelations, we found this to be a brilliant and utterly satisfying conclusion to this remarkable tale.
for myths, some are made up, nothing but fantasy. But some myths are
true. Some have already been lived. And in the drift of time, eternal
and entire, some haven't."
"Some myths are prophecy."
Our dear friend and best reading buddy, Amanda, absolutely blew us away with her eloquent description of reading this book. We simply had to have her join us as a 'guest reviewer' so we could share her insight with the rest of you, as well. Here's what she had to say:
"I think reading this book, for me, was like running down the side of a
heavily forested, dark and damp mountain side ... you start jogging
along with the story until you are forced to run to keep up. You race
along with branches slapping you in the face as you go, tears tracing
your cheeks with every heartbreak the MC face. Down, down, faster and
faster ... careening out of control, trapped in the arms of a story that
sweeps you up and holds you tight. You think there is light ahead, and
you burst through a clearing and think, "At last! The light!". BUT your
momentum drags you forward, back into the dark forest. Faster....faster!
Until at last you are expelled from the story with an unbearable pop of
emotion, your heart in your mouth and tears drying on your cheeks."
We couldn't agree more! We loved this book, and this series, and give it our highest recommendation!
Overall Series Rating
This is, without a doubt, one of the best young adult series we have ever read!