Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone [Spoilers Inc.]

Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Author: Laini Taylor
Edition: Hodder & Stoughton Paperback
Released: 5th August 2012
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Pages: 418 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

This review contains SPOILERS! If you have not read this book and want to, do NOT read on! SPOILERS are discussed! You have been warned!

It's very unusual for me to do a spoiler review on a first book in a series, but this is one of the rare occasions where I really need to discuss my thoughts. And I have a lot of thoughts.

Going into this book, I was as excited as can be. It'd been on my wishlist for ages. YEARS even. Everyone had raved about it, recommended it to me, and it was finally in my hands. I was internally screaming. I wouldn't say I'd overhyped it in my head though. During the time I was reading it, I'd convinced myself to forget about all the glowing reviews and just read it like it was a book I'd never heard anyone talk about before.

It seemed my approach was working out just fine.

I loved, loved, loved the first part of the book. Like, a whole lot. Like, unbelievably so. You can even ask Cat. I was raving about it so damn much. Being with Brimstone and Issa and Yasri in the shop, being with Karou in her art class and with Zuzanna, and just getting to know Akiva and seeing his and Karou's first interactions (or, well, fights, really), I was loving it.

Up until Elsewhere was cut off that is.

Afterwards, I just started not enjoying the book as much. And I have no clue why. Maybe I just loved the storyline when Brimstone and the other chimaera were a big part of the story, and so was his shop, and we were just beginning to find out about what was through the door...

It got worse when I found out that Karou was Madrigal. I just didn't like that. I've read books before where the main characters have been reincarnated and I've loved it but, for some reason, I really didn't like that Karou was a reincarnation (of sorts) in this book. I wanted nothing more than for Karou to be Karou, and no one else. Ugh, I don't know, I just didn't feel it was the best way to take the story. But, obviously, since everyone else loves this book, I'm alone in this! I really have no idea why I think that way about it, but I do.

Then, the very ending. At the mention of Brimstone and the others, I perked up a little. Then Akiva tells us his secret and I just... AGHHHHHHHH.

What would be the point in continuing with a series where the part of it I loved the most is meant to be no more? I don't want to believe it. I may pick up the sequel sometime or another, as it does intrigue me that she's going into Eretz, but... who knows. I probably will because I want to know what's really happened but... *wails*

I don't know if you can class this as a review really, more a ramble or stream of consciousness. But I'm distressed and confused and... ALL THE THINGS!


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo



    that's all.

  2. Ahhh I loved this series so much! Reading your review brings up some points within the story that I don't remember thinking about when I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone (I read it about a year ago). I agree with how you want Karou to remain Karou, and not a reincarnation of someone else. I never thought about it that way, but now that you bring it up, it's a good point.
    Love your review!
    - Cambrie @ and so the book begins (
    P.S. You should really check out the next books in the series!

    1. Glad you can see where I'm coming from!! :p

      I shall think about it. ;)

  3. I've not read the whole thing as I'm yet to read the book and really want to.
    3/5? Shame you didn't love this but at least it created a ramble - I really love rambles. :)

  4. Don't worry, you're not the only one who was irritated by the Karou as Madrigal thing. Reincarnations have never been my thing, because I feel like I no longer know who the character really is. However, I was willing to put it aside because Karou and Zuzana's humor distracted me. xD

    Daphne @ Reading Until Dawn

    1. Thank goodness I'm not the only one!! :P

  5. Oh my gosh I had the exact same issue! I can't even write a review because I was so confused as to whether I like it or not but your review is exactly my thoughts! So no, obviously you're not crazy! Sorry for the absence of my comments lately, I've been in a bit of a slump for all things bookish.

    1. *wipes brow* Another person who gets where I'm coming from!

      Sorry to hear that! Hope you get out of it soon!!

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