Images from Laini Taylor's website
I've been meaning to read a book by Laini Taylor for a long time. I've been reading her blog for ages and have always enjoyed her clever and poetic way with words. I've known for ages that I should read something by her, but never got around to it. I'm glad this was my first introduction to her reading - this book is truly beautiful!
The word "poetic" just doesn't cut it. Laini's writing is so gorgeous, I felt myself slowing my reading pace wayyyy down so I could savor little things - descriptions, settings, clever turns of phrase. It was some of the best writing I've read all year.
The characters are all so vividly colorful. I could easily visualize everyone and everything in this world. There was a nice balance, too, of cleverness, humor, mystery, suspense, romance, and above all, fantasy.
This book is pitched as a modern, paranormal romance, which is, in general, a kitschy genre these days. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is so much more than that. At first I thought it was going to follow typical YA paranormal rules and be boring, but after just a few pages, everything changed. Holy plot. Every chapter dragged me in further and I was so immersed in this story. There were some HUGE shocking revelations and plot twists, along with some very cleverly played subtle tips and hints from the writer. I would call this foreshadowing at its finest, and I would certainly call Laini Taylor a masterful writer.
To sum up, Daughter of Smoke and Bone has nothing less than the best plot I have read all year. I really loved its dark, fantasy feel, which I know may not be for everyone - but I believe that the writing is so good and the plot is so good that anyone would enjoy this.