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Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone  - Laini Taylor Karou leads a secret life. A life filled with otherworld creatures called chimaera, and a part time job of collecting teeth. Keeping her two lives separate has gotten harder lately, and when a collecting job goes horribly wrong due to a mysterious angel with fiery eyes and wings, Karou knows she needs to learn the truth about her past and who she really is. But then the portals are closed off and Karou is cut off from the only people who know the truth about her. She will do anything to find a way back to them, even if it means consorting with the enemy. An enemy who, by some unknown force, she is finding harder and harder to resist. The story starts with Karou’s “normal” life. She lives in Prague, where she’s currently an art student. At first we’re not quite sure if her drawings are real or not, but soon we find out they’re part of her secret life. A life where carried knives and knows how to use them, kicks ass in karate, knows more than twenty languages, and collects teeth for Brimstone (father-like figure) all over the world. Oh and her hair really grows out blue, thanks to a wish made with her magic bead necklace. I really enjoyed the changing POV’s between Karou and Akiva, which I think were exceptionally done. One would end a sentence and the other one would pick up as if in answer. The descriptions of the Elsewhere were quite enchanting, and the creatures though bizarre weren’t without their own eerie beauty. Though the last part of the book got really heavy with the flashbacks and backstory I didn’t mind so much because I did want to know how Karou came to be the daughter of smoke and bone. The ending, though it pained me by the turn of events, was shocking enough that I loved it. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is made of richly descriptive and enthralling prose, an incredibly unique Elsewhere world, and a set of characters that you’ll never forget. It is the story of Karou, a mystifying tale of wishes and hope, of anger and regret, of war and love. When I picked up this I never imagined the potential contained within its pages. It’s a great start to a series, and after reading it I know it can only get better after this.