Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a one-of-a-kind YA fantasy by Laini Taylor.
Karou is an enigma to all who know her. Her sly smile is her only answer when questioned about where she goes for days at a time, why it seems that she lives without a guardian though only seventeen, how her hair is always a perfect shade of blue, where she got her strange tattoos...
Prague does not contain Karou. The monsters that fill her sketchbooks are real - and the only family she's ever known. And unease seems to be stronger than usual as she steps into the shop that they live in.
Before she knows it, black handprints begin appearing on the different doorways that gain access to their shop throughout the world - and unknown danger lurks. A war Karou had no knowledge of seems to threaten all she knows and loves, yet may bring to her a supernaturally good-looking, winged stranger that she feels an intense, frightening connection with. But she may lose it all, without ever knowing how she came to be part of it.
Karou has always wanted to know, but now it seems imperative: Who is she?
The synopsis is a bit vague, but primarily because I don't want to let slip any spoilers. You know how I am. ;)
What I can say is that enigmatic, mysterious Karou and her international setting is absolutely fascinating. The story is sizzling with creepiness and suspicion, yet I quickly became emotionally attached to these otherworldly creatures/monsters that are Karou's family. They appear threatening, yet not. It's confusing and bizarre and oh-so-interesting!!! I was riveted by the strangeness and exoticness of it all!
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is an original, never-before-told, epic myth. I never knew where it was going and was willing to go along for the crazy, wild ride. I joined Karou in her yearning to find her monster family, worried for them along with her, as weird as it seemed. I was curious as she was to know why she had an emptiness that felt like it was waiting to be filled by something specific that she couldn't put her finger on, as curious as she about the mystery of her origins. Laini Taylor made me very invested very quickly.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone flips you on your head and spins you around. It's an astounding plethora of beauty, betrayal, hope, and love wrapped up in an entirely new and exquisite package! I was left hanging, and oddly inspired. Whoa.
Sequel now please.
*I received a review copy of Daughter of Smoke & Bone from Hachette Book Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.