once upon a time ❂ daughter of smoke & bone by laini taylor

dosab-lainitaylorPublished: September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre & Keywords: Fantasy
Other Books From Author: Days of Blood and Starlight (BOOK 2), Dreams of Gods and Monsters (BOOK 3), Dreamdark series, Goblin Fruit, Spicy Little Curses

Amazon | Goodreads | @lainitaylor |

Blue-haired orphan, Karou, doesn’t know where she comes from. On the one hand, she’s a 17 year old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature in ‘Elsewhere’, Brimstone, the closest thing she has to family. She has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. 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.


Reading a fantasy novel is unlike reading a contemporary. You can’t simply exclaim, “YAY let me pick up this book and read for 10 minutes!!” It takes a truckload of patience to understand a world different from where we are now but you HAVE TO GIVE IT A CHANCE. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a fantastic story once you get used to it. Laini Taylor went to great depths in crafting and weaving the ancients lore into the story so by the time everything clicked in the story, I was utterly blown away. Laini’s lush prose is hauntingly beautiful and perfect in enveloping this tragic love story. I’m a sucker for gorgeous prose.

To be fair, many things about this book is pretty weird, especially Karou’s family of chimaera, yet these half-creatures felt more human to me. Beneath their grotesque appearance is a family I wish I could have known better. Same can be said about Akiva & Karou’s relationship. Yes, it’s considered insta-love. Yes, it’s not-quite-right. The thing is: here is a love story bigger than 2 people. They are the figurehead of an unending war with no choice of their own. Even if the romance may not have been the greatest, I totally bought the tragedy.

Karou is a confident young lady who draws the most imaginative and otherworldly things, but she doesn’t have a core purpose in this story. I closed one eye this time in favour of the extra time spent developing the nuances of this world, which I enjoyed far more than I had expected to!

Have you read this? Did you like it? I LOVE all the DoSaB fanart :) I’d love to hear your thoughts (*^▽^*)


12 thoughts on “once upon a time ❂ daughter of smoke & bone by laini taylor

  1. I’ve read this one, the whole series in fact, and I loved every moment. I fell in love with the writing more than anything so I’m definitely going to be reading more from Laini soon!

    • I haven’t heard anything yet, will she be writing a new series? I LOVE her writing so much I’m probably going to be going head over heels for her next one :)

      But first, let me finish this series.

  2. Yes for DoSaB fanart! I even found a really passionate and dark one of Madrigal and Akiva. It just really suited the book as a whole. And isn’t the book great? :D I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I am hopelessly in love with Laini Taylor’s writing and creativity.That woman is a genius.I think this book is one of the most intense,complicated and amazing books I’ve ever read.The innovative characters,magical writing and scenes which had a lot of depth-I loved everything about this book.
    I loved Madrigal and Akiva’s love story,it was so tragic and sweet.
    I haven’t read the sequel yet,but I am dying to.I hope I’ll be able to get a copy soon.

    • “intense” and “complicated” are the best words to describe DoSaB, I had to stop at points in the book to THINK about what’s actually going on here, and draw my own links because those hints are sooo subtle! Haven’t read the sequel either, but is heard the series just gets better so I’m excited :)

  4. Yeah, it definitely took me a bit (several false starts in reading it, in fact!) to get past the weirdness of this one. It’s bizarre in terms of the world-building/mythology and the wide array of characters, but eventually I ended up mostly enjoying it. I’d still consider it one of the books I’ve read that’s more out of my comfort zone, but hey, it’s good to read a book like that now and then! I should probably give book 2 a try at some point :)

  5. Ha! I actually just posted my review of this as well! ;) But I completely agree with everything you’ve said here. The story takes a bit of time to warm up to because you kind of have to adjust to Taylor’s writing style and the weird character names, but once you’re invested it’s fabulous. :) I too loved Karou for her strong personality. And even though the romance is a bit insta-love-y, I think this is one of the times where I can forgive it because the romance itself was so tragic and genuine, you know?

    Thanks SO much for sharing, and BRILLIANT review! Glad you liked it too! :)

    And OMG…aahdsnfaf! THAT ENDING!

    • IT WAS MEANT TO BE HAH :) Going to read your review after this!
      The getting into it part is always the hardest, and most people who do get past that loved DoSaB. Definitely understand what you mean about the love story. If it were in any other book, I would have baulked and sputtered and be all WHAT THE HECK IS THIS yet somehow, Laini Taylor made it fit perfectly with her story and I can’t see how things could have been developed better. Thank YOU for your comment and YES IKR I NEED THE NEXT BOOK like 2 years ago what happened haha xD

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