Seventeen-year-old Karou is an unusual girl. She speaks foreign languages without any effort, is handy with a knife and sports naturally blue hair. By day, she is an art student in Prague, but during her off hours, she runs questionable errands for Brimstone, the father-like demon who raised her. Traveling through portals to the underground markets of Paris and Marrakesh, she buys human and animal teeth, which Brimstone strings together into necklaces in his magical shop. Despite her downworld upbringing, Brimstone is the only family Karou has, so when she is suddenly locked out of the shop, she resorts to dangerous tactics to get back home. Then she meets Akiva, an angel in the middle of an otherworldly battle. Fated and forbidden, Karou and Akiva struggle to be together when their sides are at war.

Laini Taylor’s beautifully written novel features a well-drawn cast of characters. From Karou’s serpent-bodied nanny to her arrogant actor ex-boyfriend, each character is alive in the reader’s imagination. Even the city of Prague feels personified, as Taylor describes it: “The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Mozart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.”

The first in a trilogy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a romantic, incredibly imaginative and gripping story; readers will find themselves heavily invested.

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