This was a book I had heard a smidgen about, and was intrigued by, but hadn’t thought much about. And then, in this online course that I’m taking right now, one of the readings was Spy on Laini Taylor’s Writing Notebook, which was all sorts of intriguing. So, I downloaded it from the library and started reading.
I should also note: I am a fan, overall, of young adult novels. Some of the newer books aren’t my cup of tea and I do some heckling over (*coughTwilightcough*), but for the most part, YA is a genre I appreciate and like reading.
I really liked Karou as a character; the intrigue of the question “Who am I?” dances throughout the book, as Karou leads a double life as a supernatural errand girl and an art student. She and her best friend, Zuzana, feel like well fleshed out female characters, which is something that is important to me. It felt like they were real characters, with real wants and desires (not only to have a relationship; while that is important, it’s not necessarily the primary reason).
Though, there is the romance portion, particularly Romeo and Juliet-esque of star-crossed lovers and intrigue that arises when Karou meets Akiva on one of her errands. As a character, Akiva is wrestling as much as Karou with issues, though of a different sort. Interesting questions of who am I after what I’ve done come up with him.
The scenery is as much of a character, it feels, as the characters themselves. I felt I was wandering the streets worldwide with Karou and left me wondering more about the magic I may no be seeing in this world of mine. Further, threads of hope are woven throughout the novel, a theme that makes me wonder where Taylor is taking the next novel.
Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic. ~ Karou in Daughter of Smoke and Bone
The world(s) that Taylor creates are engaging and left me wondering enough about “What next?” that that second in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is now downloaded from the library.