Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about Karou, a blue haired, tattooed art student who lives in Prague, and has just gone through a painful break-up.  Her sketch book is full of drawings of creatures made up of different animals that are actually portraits of the people who raised her.  Leading a double life isn't easy, and Karou's life is about to become even more complicated.

I really enjoyed this book.  The settings of Prague and Marrakesh were refreshing and vividly described as were the Chimera.  The imagination and the thought that must have gone in to create them amazes me.  Even though the dreaded love story is a focal point, there was enough Otherness about Daughter of Smoke and Bone that kept me reading.  Also, if I'm honest, I loved the Sailor Mooness of it.  Another thing I liked was that a YA author managed to include the topic of sex in a completely normal way, and did not put the issue on a pedestal that took up most of the novel.  It is mentioned briefly at the start, and then the real meat of the story comes into play.  After reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone  I only had a couple of complaints:   
 Firstly, Karou's loneliness. Why does she feel the need to be with someone, and why are most YA novels so focused on the 'importance' of romantic relationships?
Secondly, that the entire last half of the book is given over to back story.  I realise that this is needed but it leads to my next point and that was the feeling that there should have been more book after the back story was finished. I know that it is being saved for the rest of the series, but I would have happily read another hundred pages.  However, maybe it's a good thing that I'm left wanting more as I will definitely be on the look-out for the next offering from Taylor.

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