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Book Nook: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
It is an amazing thing when an author can create a world so vibrant and real within the first few pages of a novel. What Laini Taylor has created in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the first of this series, is a reflection of the real world superimposed with a glistening magical element on top. It helps that the story opens in Prague, which is kind of a magical city to begin with, but Taylor's writing style infuses a patina of joy, romance, and tragedy into the setting. It is extremely atmospheric, even in the made up areas of Brimstone's shop and the fortress of Loramendi. I loved this series so much that I gave up on my library copy half way through in order to go out and purchase this book and the next in the series.

At its heart this story is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Karou, an unusual human with a mysterious past who consorts with monstrous looking creatures, and Akiva, a beautiful seraphim at war with the monsters, fall in love against all the rules of the war between their "families". Yet, death cannot end this romantic epic in a world where souls can be reborn in new bodies. The war is not over, can Karou and Akiva imagine a new world without war or will the death and destruction destroy this fragile relationship? 

I read for world building and character, although I can forgive authors for their world if the characters are compelling enough. Taylor hits both the world and the characters perfectly. Of course everyone in this story is either "out of this world beautiful" or more than the average pretty, which is my only rankle with the story. Its easier to want beautiful people to be together, I guess, ugliness is reserved for those of questionable morals or marginality. However, Taylor does get the message in that beauty doesn't always equal good and that external beauty can mask despicable evil.

I have to go back to the language in this story. It is luscious and rich while being quirky, honest, and human. I found myself thinking about Karou's metaphor regarding cats. Don't be the cat that winds around its human's legs saying "pet me, pet me, love me, love me," be the cat on the shelf who needs nothing and no one, calmly surveying the world. This is just so powerful because its so accurate. My cats are the attention grabbing ones, but I've had cats that just like to watch the world around them. Taylor's relating the clingy cats to clingy girlfriends, but its so close a match I was amazed it had never occurred to me that way. This needs to get turned into the next summer blockbuster movie ASAP because the language is so vivid reading it is almost like watching a movie unfold in your mind. I would definitely suggest this to any one looking for a good book. The romance isn't overwhelming and much more intellectual than physical that readers who shy away from sickly sweet love stories would probably enjoy this. 

Go to your library and pick it up! Pick it up today!

*This blog is part of a grant Medfield has been awarded through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Library and Services Technology Act administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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