Saturday, November 5, 2011

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well." The first two lines of the book pretty much set the tone for this paranormal romance. The first part of the book is set in contemporary Prague, where 17-year-old Karou is studying art. Later, the action moves into the world of seraphs and chimaera.

"Karou was, simply, lovely. Creamy and leggy, with long azure hair and the eyes of a silent-movie star, she moved like a poem and smiled like a sphinx." This kind of description rings all kinds of warning bells in my head, but I liked Karou anyway. She is feisty and smart and self-sufficient. She is ignorant of her family origins and was raised by monsters. Karou is such a great character and I was curious enough by the mystery of her background to keep reading though all the romance-y stuff. ("___ and ___ were like two matches struck against each other to flare starlight.")

Romantic intrigue -- a handsome prince with his eye on one beautiful sister whose heart belongs to another while her ugly step-sister is secretly in love with the prince -- is really not my thing. Neither is fussing about clothes, hair and cosmetics while getting ready for a ball. Iron abs and wild, timpani hearts don't interest me. I usually sort of skip past those parts when I'm reading, but since they are central to the plot of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I couldn't ignore them. Sigh. I much preferred Taylor's first book, Blackbringer.

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