Summary- Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
First I have to say, as many reviewers have said before me, the summary does not explain ANYTHING. If I hadn't read reviewer-made summaries, I would have never read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. So, here is me returning the favor:
Karou is just a girl. Just a girl who speaks over twenty languages, is a master of martial arts, has blue hair growing naturally from her head, and was brought up by mysterious, half-human half-animal demons. She doesn't know much about the demons, or about the use of teeth she is tasked to bring them, but she does know she loves them and would to anything they ask of her. Except stop trying to find out the truth about the demons and her past.
When another being, looking curiously angel-like, starts burning hand prints into doorways, her tidy little world of friendly demons and coins of wish-granting capabilities falls into chaos.
I hope my summery helps clear up some of the weird, vagueness I felt when first reading the book jacket! Or maybe I added to your confusion. No worries. All the book jacket summery needs is two obnoxious, all-caps words. READ IT. Maybe repeated twice.
The writing is the best part of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Laini Taylor knew the best times to be mysterious and the best times to be hilarious. My "laugh" consists of breathing out short, choppy breaths. It's awkward, but it's mine. (Huhuhe <--- my laugh)
"She felt his appraisal, as if he were mentally reviewing every wish she had ever made. Blue hair: frivolous. Erasing pimples: vain. Wishing off the light switch so she didn't have to get out of bed: lazy... Making ex-boyfriends cranny itch: vindictive."
There's no slang sticking out that would keep the book from becoming too unreadable in the future. I could sit here and quote every other sentence, but I won't. Just the beautiful one already placed on the back, "She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of a devil's lair.... She wasn't innocent now." Ack! Awesome, da?
Karou, as seen from the boyfriend butt-itch situation, is not shy. She has blue hair, an unimaginable amount of kick-butt tatoos, and is not afraid to make and learn from her own mistakes. And that's okay because she is a ninja. Not just a physical ninja who fights and wins battles against fiery angels, but also a mental ninja who knows how to balence her (sometimes scary) otherworldly determination and physical ninja prowess with her human relatability. Unlike Katniss from The Hunger Games or Katsa from Graceling, I can picture sitting with Karou in a restarant having a friendly chat and eating some gulash. Katniss and Katsa both have physical ninja skills to envy, but little mental ninja in them. In my imaginary visit to the two still amazing characters, I would make a knock-knock joke (for some reason), but Katniss and Katsa would either stare blankly at me, break my neck, or something equally embarrasing of that fasion.
Woah. Long review. Anyway. Daughter of Smoke and Bone gets five stars.