I’m going to make two confessions.  First, I have a thing for audiobooks.  I can listen while I’m driving, which is a good and bad thing.  Bad only that I still have to pay attention to the driving and sometimes books are very engrossing.  Second, my TBL (To Be Listened) stash is ridiculous, so it takes me awhile to get to some of the books.   

Hence the reason I just finished the young adult novel, Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor and read by Khristine Hvam.  Sadly two years  after the book was released. Sad smile

But Oh. My. Gosh!  I was riveted.  It took me a few chapters to connect with the heroine, 17 year old Karou, however once I did, I was hooked. The world building was amazing and Ms. Taylor is a wonderful storyteller.

Here’s a blurb from Little & Brown’s website for the book:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth has grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Doesn’t it sound good?!

The story takes place in exotic real world locations like Prague and Marrakesh, and an Pragueotherworldly city called Loramendi.  The settings are described so vividly you feel like you are really there. 

The romance angle was full of angst and don’t get me started on the actual storyline. So many threads weaved in a magical way that just made sense, but was also surprising at the same time.

The only thing I didn’t like was how certain things were repeated over and over, like the narrator didn’t want us to forget something.  I’m sure the usual teen (or teen-at-heart) who reads this book wouldn’t even notice it, but my author self kept saying: I already know this. Trust the reader, they get it. Check out this Writer Tip blog post to see what I mean..

Aside from that nit, this was such a freakin’ amazing book.  And Ms. Hvam’s accents for the audiobook narration added another layer of authenticity to the story. In fact, it won an Audie for best fantasy audiobook in 2011.

You know how they talk about novels that stay with you for awhile?  This is one of those books for me.

SO if you like fantasy, action, adventure, tons of romance, plot twists you never saw coming, engaging characters who are full of life and escaping to exotic places – this is the book for you.

Gosh, it’s been so long since I did a book review.  I forget if I rate out of a four or five cloud scale.  Well, it doesn’t matter – this book deserves five clouds, even on a four cloud scale. 


The sequel Days of Blood and Starlight was Days of Blood & Starlightreleased in 2012 and the third book in the trilogy is called Dreams of Gods and Monsters and will be out in 2014.  I can’t wait to see how this trilogy ends!!

Did you read Daughter of Smoke and Bone?  What did you think? 

*Photo of Prague obtained from  – Morgue File