Review: Laini Taylor’s ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy’

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This trilogy is one of those rare things- a series that takes a tried-and-tested (and perhaps done to death) theme; Angels vs. Demons, Angel Falls in Love with Demon; and makes it enjoyable and –dare I say it- original. The characters- particularly blue-haired Karou and her best friend, Zuzanna- are fierce, fully-fleshed out three-dimensional beings with their own unique personalities, and the ‘demons’ of the novel- an army of chimaeras- are as tactile, exotic and as intricately drawn out- from their shaggy flanks to the tips of their goat-like horns- as the winding streets of Prague itself, where the preliminary Angel vs. Demon battles are played out.

Karou is tough, independent and feisty, whilst Zuzanna and her boyfriend Mik are sweet, relatable and relatable- although Akiva, Karou’s angelic love interest, I found woefully irritating, and all the high elements of philosophy, theology and creation myths passed me by in a blur of ‘bla bla bla, get to the fight scenes, or where another wish is granted.’ Because, in this world, wishes are granted with tithes of pain and human teeth- an interesting twist in a series of twists and turns that kept me gripped, despite the fluffy-winged angels and lofty politics. Notable twists include resurrection, wishes in the form of medallions, vivid blue hair and a whole new kingdom of angry, vengeful chimaeras. Whilst the humour could sometimes be grating, the imagery and wording was, on the whole, luscious, and I found myself riveted by the thought of imaginary worlds just under the surface in gothic, gloomy Prague.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.

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