Review by Wynn Godbold
I wasn’t quite sure of what I was beginning when I picked up Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. While I am quite the fan of Harry Potter, I don’t typically hold much regard for tales that involve “other” worlds, beings with wings, and the fantasy of magic. Having read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I may have to rethink my position on such matters.
In the beginning of the book, I felt Taylor may have been trying a tad too hard. The writing was a bit explanative which I see as necessary when you are creating a world from the imagination, but it felt forced. I proceeded forward though and was pleasantly surprised. As I became accustomed to the new worlds of beasts and magic that were being built for me, I got tied into what was actually a story of passionate love, hope for a better future, and a depth of personal conflict that can only come from the clash of love and hate.
My cynical side would say that some things in the story structure were too predictable. For example, I knew that Karou, the main character, would indeed be wealthy by inheritance. But why let cynicism rule when I am, after all, reading by choice a fictional story?
In contrast to my cynicism, I’ll gladly share that I particularly enjoyed the way Taylor switched from present to past and from the viewpoint of one character to the viewpoint of another to give the reader the full view of each situation from various angles. By giving a limited one-sided view of the experience and then filling it in from another character’s angle, Taylor built suspense and kept the story flowing.
The book was easy to read, entertaining, and suspenseful. On the whole a fine, albeit somewhat predictable, piece of entertainment for the adult reader.