Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day. It seemed like just another Monday, innocent but for its essential Mondayness, not to mention its Januaryness. It was cold, and it was dark – in the dead of winter the sun didn’t rise until eight – but it was also lovely. The falling snow and the early hour conspired to paint Prague ghostly, like a tintype photograph, all silver and haze. 

Here is what I said in my original review of this wonderful fantasy novel: This was a really great dark fantasy book. Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by strange winged beings. In a dark shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth is growing low. And Karou, a strange young art student in Prague, is caught up in an otherworldy war. I loved basically everything about this book. It was suspenseful; and Karou was a great character. It also had some humorous moments as well. And I really like dark fantasy, and the magic that was described in the book. Also, it was interesting because both sides of the battle have good elements and bad elements; no one is just a bad guy or a good guy. It’s less clear-cut than that.”

Wow. That was a really short review. My reviews have improved since then, I think. At any rate, I wanted to reread Daughter of Smoke and Bone, because I’m going to be reading the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight soon. Very soon. Like, possibly tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it. 

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone just as much, if not more, the second time around. I spent more time reading it; the first time I just raced through it, eager to get to the end. This time, I savored this amazing book, with its amazing dark world and its amazing plot. I love all of the characters: Karou is smart, funny, and has a wicked sense of humor. I liked Zuzana too, and of course, Akiva. Though the descriptions of some of the characters are a bit weird; not my idea of good-looking. There’s a movie coming out eventually of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I think this book could be a great movie it it’s well done. It probably won’t be though; most YA books don’t get anything original done with them. We’ll see though.

There’s one thing that I touched briefly upon in my original review that I want to expand on. “Also, it was interesting because both sides of the battle have good elements and bad elements; no one is just a bad guy or a good guy. It’s less clear-cut than that.” That may be one of my favorite elements of this YA book. There are chimera (devils) and seraphim (angels), but neither of them are strictly devilish or angelic. The two groups have always clashed, and both sides have done some pretty awful things to one another. There is no black-and-white evil and good, starkly contrasted. Everything is gray and hazy, and who knows which side is really “right”? 

There was one line I really wanted to share, from page 203: “His lips made a grim twist that was like the joyless cousin of a smile.” I just loved that line for some reason. It rang true.

In addition to all this, the plot of the book is just amazing and original and highly engaging. Daughter of Smoke and Bone just grabs you and never lets you go. I’m really looking forward to reading Days of Blood and Starlight now. I would highly recommend this YA novel.

Read Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

  • if you like dark fantasy
  • if you like quirky characters
  • if you like books set in Prague and all over the world

418 pages. 

Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!