|Daughter of smoke & bone|
Author: Taylor, Laini
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters--the chimaeras who form the only family she has ever known.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.80
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 146487
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 23.0 Quiz: 55315
School Library Journal (+) (00/11/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/09/11)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2011 Karou is human, attending an art school in Prague, but she was raised by monsters-four beings whose forms include both human and animal parts. Calling themselves chimaera, they live in a little shop with a door that opens to portals all over the world and trade animal and human teeth for wishes. Running an errand for her family one day, Karou has a near-deadly confrontation with a beautiful, winged man with dead eyes and then finds herself caught in an ancient war between chimaera and seraphim that rages in the parallel world of Eretz. There is more to Akiva, her seraph attacker, than initially meets the eye, though, and soon his curiosity about her life with his enemies and her need to learn more about his world draw them together; the mutual magnetism they feel doesn’t hurt, either. Taylor (Lips Touch Three Times, BCCB 11/09) crafts both her world and her romance with meticulous care, building the first on a wealth of thought-provoking details and making the second equal parts tender and antagonistic. The plotting is layered and ambitious, encompassing multiple worlds, generations, and character incarnations and offering some pointed commentary on colonialism, the cost of war, and the slippery definition of monstrosity (as one character observes, “It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such”). Fans of torturously star-crossed lovers à la those in Marr’s Wicked Lovely (BCCB 7/07) and Black’s Tithe (BCCB 1/03) will find much to enjoy here, but those who flock to innovative, character-driven fantasy with thematic depth will be equally enthralled. CG - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 09/01/2011 Seventeen-year-old Karou moves deftly between her relatively normal high-school life in Prague and the strange world of the chimaera, in which she collects the human and animal teeth that the wishmonger, Brimstone, painstakingly sorts. The chimaera are the only family Karou has known, and when access to their world suddenly disappears behind smoldering black handprints, she vows to find them. Could this have been a result of the perpetual war between the chimaera and the seraphim? Along with this central mystery of monsters, a fantastical Romeo-and-Juliet romance develops between Karou and the angel Akiva, a romance destined for hurt and betrayal. Author Taylor has created a variety of worlds, time frames, and creatures with such detail and craft that all are believable. Blurring the boundaries of good and evil, slaves and owners, human and beast, she careens readers from sadness to love, from the predictable to the amazing, and from the outlandish to the bizarre. Readers will look forward to the suggested sequel to this complex, exciting tale. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2011 Gr 9 Up—Blue-haired Karou is 17, and, in addition to her unusual tresses, has other intriguing aspects to her personality. She supports her life as an art student in Prague by running errands for her foster parent, a supernatural chimera named Brimstone. These errands, which take Karou through strange portals to strange places to meet with even stranger individuals, reap rewards not only of money, but also wishes. Taylor builds a thoroughly tangible fantasy world wherein a complex parallel universe competes with far-flung geographic locales for gorgeously evoked images. Karou herself is a well-rendered character with convincing motivations: artistic and secretive, she longs for emotional connection and a sense of completeness. Her good friend Zuzana goes some way toward mitigating Karou's solitude, but a sour breakup with beautiful bad boy Kaz has left her feeling somewhat bereft. Taylor leads readers from this deceptively familiar trope into a turbulent battle between supernatural species: angel-beings seek the destruction of demonlike chimera in revenge for the burning of the archive of the seraph magi. The more Karou discovers about the battle, however, the less simple good and evil appear; the angels are not divine, the chimera are not evil, and genocide is apparently acceptable to both sides in this otherworldly war. Initially, the weakest part of the story appears to be the love story between Karou and Akiva, an angel of "shocking beauty"; there is little to support their instant bond until their true connection is disclosed. The suspense builds inexorably, and the philosophical as well as physical battles will hold action-oriented readers. The unfolding of character, place, and plot is smoothly intricate, and the conclusion is a beckoning door to the next volume.—Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.