Laini Taylor writes a unique blend of urban fantasy and romance that showcases her incredible imagination. While her books are marketed for teens (she also has
a tween series, Dreamdark
), her Daughter of Smoke and Bone
trilogy is a fabulous fantasy fiction read that adults will enjoy. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
is the first in the series and Taylor introduces the reader to a strong and unique heroine, Karou. Raised in Prague by a “family” of chimaera, beast-like in appearance, but with intriguing magical and human qualities, Karou’s life is complicated. Dividing her time between art school, her friend Zuzana, other teenage concerns and the exotic and mysterious errands she runs for Brimstone leaves her with more questions than her family are willing to answer. This all changes when the portals that connect Karou and Prague with the chimaera mysteriously and violently close; singed,
black handprints marking where the doorways were. This is where the fantasy picks up the pace and Karou begins to discover the truth about her past, including her connection to a fiery, winged being named Akiva.
The second book in the series, Days of Blood and Starlight
was just published in November 2012 and picks up right where Daughter of Smoke and Bone
left off. While darker in tone than the first, this sequel has intensity and momentum that also leave the reader with universal themes to consider long after the cover is closed. Saying more might spoil the story, so we’ll leave it at that.