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14 August 2012

I cannot believe I doubted this for a minute. Brava, Ms. Taylor! *standingovation*

Karou, a seventeen-year-old, lives in Prague and has a few friends at the art school she attends. With her naturally blue hair and gifted drawings of a magical world her classmates don't believe exists, Karou has more secrets than even she knows what to do with. Regularly called on by Brimstone, a creature with a ram's head who runs a curious shop filled with teeth, to complete mysterious tasks requiring her sudden departures, it's not a surprise for others to write off her disappearances. While her best friend, Zuzana might raise an eyebrow to Karou's answers, she doesn't pursue more detail. No one knows that Karou speaks multiple languages and uses magic to travel from Prague to Morocco and other cities within a blink of an eye. Brimstone, almost a father-figure for Karou, regularly reminds her that, while magic may be fun, it always comes with a price. It's only when Akiva comes into her life, a glorious angel who knows much more about her past than she does, that Karou learns just how much of a price it actually is. Her own mysterious past could be even more than she can handle.

With love, magic, battles, and loyalty, the creative tale from author Laini Taylor unfolds with style and intrigue. Each and every character was crucial to the story, thoughtful and compelling in their own ways, whether innocent, selfish, or even creepy and malicious. I particularly loved Zuzana, but that could be attributed as well to the incredible narrator bringing her to life. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an adventure that in its last few pages becomes so incredibly amazing with each event that I was left thoroughly breathless and awestruck at the creative tale.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: fantasy stories are just that.much.better in audio. Even more so in this case, as Daughter of Smoke and Bone is read by Khristine Hvam, one of the most talented narrators in town. This was my first time listening to her voice, but I can assure you, it will not be my last. With Hvam in control, every character became so immensely distinct that the story stepped up with its magical moments.

My absolute only issue is pretty ridiculous and more than likely to be expected, as I'm well out of my teen years. *sadface* At first, all of the "ooey-gooey-lovey-dovey" stuff was a little over the top, but I had to remind myself I'm not the intended audience. As a general reader who is appreciative of Young Adult fiction, however, the initial first blush of romance was a little more than actually needed. But, no matter. It's simply my own gentle reminder that you should push through it; a little elderly eye-roll every now and again is no big deal when the story ultimately is so incredibly worth it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone will not let you down; it will likely make you stamp your feet, though, annoyed that you have to wait for Days of Blood and Starlight, the next installment in the series, to be released on November 6, 2012. I think I'm going to just pre-order it right now because I am so impatient. *hatestrilogies*

Publisher: Hachette Audio
Release Date: 09/27/11
Audio Time: 12 hours, 32 minutes
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
About the Author (from her website)
Laini Taylor is the author of 3 novels including the Dreamdark books. She was also a finalist for the National Book Awards for Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Oregon with her husband and daughter.

Visit the author:

Audio Notes: Click here for a sample. As I've already mentioned, Khristine Hvam was absolutely wonderful for this story. She clearly felt comfortable voicing each of the characters, easily punching up drama and emotion and love when necessary. What a talent she is! I can't wait to listen to more from her. Click here to go to her website.


  1. I have Lips Touch but continue to say another time.

    You had me laughing at your little issue being out of teen years, lmao, hilarious you are.

    This sounds good, out of my norm but I want to try her.

    1. :) This may not be the type of story you normally read, but I think you might enjoy it!

  2. I've heard a lot about the InstaLove on this one and suspect it would make me roll my eyes too, but it sounds there's enough that is awesome about the book to make it more than worthwhile regardless.

    1. Yes, a few eye-rolling moments for those lovey-dovey sections, but that's it. The rest was incredible! I hope you like it, Ana!

  3. I tried to leave a comment but don't think it went through. This book is getting such great reviews, I want to try it even though fantasy is not my thing.

    1. I do think you might enjoy it, Kathy! It's definitely one that I would recommend to everyone, regardless of their reading preferences!

  4. I downloaded this one when it was free from YA Sync - now I can't wait to get to it! Great review. :)

  5. You keep giving me great audio choices to tbl (to be listened - is this acceptable to use?) and I say KEEP 'em COMING!

  6. I resisted the idea of this one at first, but SO MANY trusted blogging buddies have loved it!!! Great review today, Natalie!

  7. I bought this one in print, and now I am feeling like I should probably go for the audio. I find that the perfect narrator can just make or break a book for me. This was a wonderful review, and you have enticed me beyond belief. My next audible credit goes to Daughter of Smoke and Bone!


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