I just finished reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I feel as if the book had exploded in my head and every part of the story was engraved on my mind. The story contains a fascinating intrinsic dynamism.
The story revolves around a young art student in Prague. Here name is Karou. She does not have human ties. The only link she has with humanity is her relationship with her best friend, because the only thing that she has ever known is growing with creatures called chimeras. Karou dedicates to running errands for Brimstone, one of the chimeras. In one of his usual errands(unusual pick ups), Karou has a violent encounter with an angel, who are the enemies of the chimeras. From this event, starts a chain of events in which Kaoru and this angel called Akiva, will be the protagonists. The actions of both will affect the future of many and will lead to the secrets of the past to emerge.
This book is a creation of author Laini Taylor and was published by "Little Brown and Company. I can say, this book is so different to everything I have read to this day. Simple yet so powerful. One of the things I appreciate most about this book is the effort the author puts in recounting the events from different perspectives according to the character. Also, the author makes an interesting choice of vocabulary in the story. The wording reflects security and a beautiful use of language by including figurative language with the use of similes and metaphors.
Another important detail is the ease with which history the story is presenting its own mythology of a world of angels and chimeras. The book has two stories that dominate: Akiva / Karou and Akiva / Madrigal. The part of the story dedicated to explain in detail the interactions between angels and chimeras, and their beliefs and legends, is the one dedicated to Akiva / Madrigal.
Several themes emerge from the story:
-Hope is a theme always present in the story and always embodied in Karou.
-War is the catalyst to dictate the fate of the characters. It is what makes of angels disposable machines for war and of the chimeras, beings who see the physical body as secondary, for them the soul is essential. One of the characters expresses: "Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?” The reality is this, we are all products of the reality of our everyday life, and if everyday we see war we become warlike beings.
-The struggle between classes is defined by the caste system. Both groups used this system to define their society.
-Using modifications in the skin (tattoos) to establish the reality of each character. Tattoos are a way to communicate and are used to show the journey of a person. On this case the journey of Akiva as a soldier and of Kaoru (she has Hamsas*) as a child growing up with the chimera.
* palm shaped amulet for defense against the evil
Karou is the heroine of the story and is the engine that generates action. This character - in all her incarnations-has caused events and changes. Karou is a character certainly well built and well thought out by Taylor. Karou demonstrates skills, talents (drawing) and is also, shows flaws. The thing that strikes me the most is how, despite the secrecy surrounding her world, she is able to be normal. Karou is brave, she faces her circumstances and when she discovers the benefits of her hamsas she is not afraid, she seems empowered. What is even better about karou is that I could see many of her scenes easily translated into action sequences on a film.
Finally, Karou is great. And she flyes, so that’s points for swag.
Hope this review help you to choose this book for your next read,
Jess from jessysbookends@blogspot