Resurrecting Daughter of Smoke and Bone

So as you may gather from my title, this was a reread for me last year. And OH WHAT A REREAD IT WAS. Not only was this a stunning book, but I also buddy read this with the lovely Being a Book Nerd. She’s such a sweet person and I had so much fun discussing this as I went along- be sure to check out her blog!

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

daughter of smoke and bone

Anyway, I figured a chill review was in order. From that perfect opening line I was completely in love again. In fact, I highlighted the whole first page on my kindle, cos it was just so unbelievably gorgeous!!  Heck I highlighted whole chapters, even, it was just so quotable. It’s lyrical, surprisingly witty and sucks you right in.  Laini Taylor is a MASTER at her craft. There’s no doubt about it. I couldn’t actually believe how stunningly well written this is (even though I already knew that 😉 ).

“Sketchbook,” Zuzana commanded, holding out her hand like a surgeon for a scalpel.

I had forgotten so much, but the second I started reading I was practically punching the air with a “THIS IS WHY I LOVE IT!” More than anything, this was exemplified by the brilliant characterisation. I was cheering every time a hero character turned up and booing all the baddies- it turned into quite the panto in my bedroom 😉 What’s wonderful about the characterisation here is how simply Taylor builds an entire image in a single sentence. Right from the start, we learn that Karou, for instance, is not easily scared and can handle herself. Even more than that, there’s so much loaded into single sentences, that it creates a picture within seconds:

“Zuzana arched an eyebrow. She was a master of the eyebrow arch, and Karou envied her for it.”

In the above quote, you get two-for-one characterisation- it is a stroke of brilliance! Forgive my geeking out, but one thing I love about rereads is how much more you can appreciate the details and artistry the second time round. And my goodness there is so much to dissect here. Because there are so many subtle things, subtly woven into the fabric, you could not notice the first time round. Of course, they give an impression, but if you want to get the most out of this book, it’s worth another look.

“Oh, good, Pestilence is free,” said Karou, heading towards the sculpture. Massive emperor and horse both wore gas masks, like every other statue in the place, and it had always put Karou in mind of the first horseman of the Apocalypse, Pestilence, sowing plaque with one outstretched arm.”

A few things stood out to me that I hadn’t noticed before. Like the understated hints of magic, the biblical references and the absolute attention to detail. One line in particular of Karou appraising the decor had me chuckling in context: “An angel, of all abominations!”(which I realise now is only funny to people who’ve read it). More than that, I adored how the real world history of the setting blended into the world of Taylor’s creation. Having been to Prague now, I could appreciate the way Taylor captured the atmosphere even more (actually this book is the reason my friend and I went to Prague in the first place 😉 )

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“Fairy-tale city. From the air, red rooftops hug a kink in a dark river, and by night the forested hills appear as spans of black nothing against the dazzle of the lit castle, the spiking Gothic towers, the domes great and small. The river captures all the lights and teases them out, long and wavering, and the side-slashing rain blurs it all to a dream”

Now, here’s one of the *biggest* differences. The first time round I thought it was instalove, until right at the end of the book. Highlight for spoilers: obviously, knowing about Karou’s former life this time round, seeing breadcrumbs for that scattered throughout the text, I could only think of it as ingenious this time round. In short, for those that haven’t read the book and are scared off the second they see the word “instalove”, it really, really isn’t. The romance is actually one of the biggest selling points of the series.

“We dreamed together of the world remade.” 

In terms of plot, there’s a lot going on, whilst also being a slow burn. I do think it picks up the pace later on, but the best thing about this book is actually the flashback sequence at the end- without spoilers, that twist *was not* something I saw coming the first time round. Like I said however, for the rereader, there are enough clues to see how perfectly the story has been laid out. I did think it ended rather abruptly- which explains why I sped through the series the first time cos leaving it there and *not knowing* is painful- so the one downside is not having time to complete the whole series again.

“Once upon a time, there was only darkness, and there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it.”

All in all, there’s a reason why this is one of the rare series I’ve given a perfect rating:

5/5 bananas

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Have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

83 thoughts on “Resurrecting Daughter of Smoke and Bone

  1. I think you read my mind cause I was just thinking about how I really need to read this series and Alpha and Omega series this year. After your re-review, I think I’m definitely going to read this after my current trilogy. Love your reviews orangutan and now I want to go to Prague too cause wow that picture is amazing!

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  2. I read this book back before the sequels were published and loved it! I’ve been meaning to reread it so I can finally get around to the second and third books. College got in the way of me being able to keep up with all the books I wanted to read.

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  3. I tried to avoid reading this review because I usually know what happens when I read reviews from you that you give these kind of ratings (mumbles something incoherently about a way too big to read list and how things keep being added to it).
    But of course I had to read this..and now I of course had to add this…sigh 😂😂
    I have actually not heard of this book. But or really sounds awesome. It’s funny how a second read sometimes let’s you discover things that you never noticed before. Great post ! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehehehe don’t worry I can relate to that 😂😂 But this is a favourite of mine, so I can’t *not* talk about it 😉
      hehehe *evil laugh* I’m glad 😉 😂
      It’s such a great story with amazing world building- and the writing is just wonderful! Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I read this a couple of years ago, but I never really connected with the book that much. I’ve been debating whether or not to give it another go because my reading habits have changed so much since then. After reading your review I think I might try to read it again this year, and hopefully I’ll enjoy it as much as you did!

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  5. Haha I love your review! I personally was one of those people who was rather let down by the romance (a.k.a. the latter half of this book), but I totally agree that it’s not insta-love; I thought it was at first. However, your description of this book’s positives are sooooo spot on; the writing is lyrical and witty, the world-building magical, and I really liked Karou. I literally had no expectations going into this book, but like you, I found myself air-punching from the get-go. 😉 Awesome review!

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      1. The setting in Prague sounds so amazing, too! I love books (especially fantasies) set in Europe, and Prague is such a gorgeous city! I remember when I read Blood Rose Rebellion that I fell in love with the Hungarian culture and countryside! And the magic seems very enchanting, too!

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  6. YES! Yes to everything! Well, almost everything (but I’ll get to that)…
    I loved this trilogy SO much and I can see how it deserves a re-read. Not only that, but WE deserve a re-read of this beauty. I could tell Laini was a master storyteller right off the bat, but I hadn’t realized how ingeniously she had laid out the foundation for what was to come. You called my attention to a lot of details I had missed the first time around and that I am super pumped to come across in a future re-read. Just how awesome can that woman get, really?
    Her writing is poetic and lovely, no doubt, but her use of foreshadowing had me amazed. I hadn’t seen those references at all before! But now they make complete sense! Ugh, my heart/head xD
    I actually found the big reveal a bit anticlimactic because it messed with my perception of Karou and what she was. I guess that, more than anything, spoiled the experience for me, which is dumb considering how absolute genius that twist was. And I admit it, it was genius and I’m a fool for having felt that way but I can’t help it. It was and still is a big peeve of mine because I love/hate it to the moon and back.
    This book definitely made me want to visit Prague more than ever. I even went on Pinterest while reading the book to pin all the places Karou and the gang visited and form a better image in my head (not that I needed because Laini did that wonderfully but still, there’s only so far my imagination can go hahaha). You’re so lucky to have visited already… And the fact that you went because of this is just so special ❤
    Wonderful post! Made me ache for this trilogy all over again xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an amazing comment!!
      I’m so glad you loved this book and that you also agree about Laini Taylor’s genius 😀 Yes for sure- I definitely missed things the first time round, cos I didn’t know the whole story. But it’s even better on a reread!!
      I absolutely agree about her writing! Hehee yes!!
      I think that’s fair enough- I think the ending was hit or miss with people. And I don’t think you can help what you feel, so don’t worry! I’ve had that experience with *loads* of books.
      Ahh yes!! Hahaha that’s soo cool!! It really is- my friend and I just loved this book so much that we *had to* go!!
      Thank you! And thank you so much for this awesome comment! xD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, but it’s still a bit disappointing because the book was such a massive hit for me up until that point and then it just kind of fizzled out a little bit… But I’m all on board now! 🙂 And I was very satisfied with the series ending.
        Sure thing, it was my pleasure! ❤

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  7. I didn’t like this book but I am happy to see you so excited about it! Always great to find a book you absolutely adore.

    And yessss, it’s so cool to find things you missed during a reread!! That’s why I love rereading so much 😀

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  8. It’s on my tbr list, I actually have the whole series here haha 😅 also can I just say that your blog name is absolutely fantastic (and secretly the reason I clicked on your blog) ❤

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  9. Great review for this book, and I am so glad you enjoyed this one as much the second time around as the first time you picked it up. 🙂 Daughter of Smoke and Bone is high on my to-re-read list as well so hopefully I’ll be able to get around to it soon, and hopefully I’ll enjoy it as much as you did (your review has already made me more determined to get around to it ASAP!)
    The main thing I remember loving about this one was the setting, like you this book was the reason I went to Prague so I’d be interested to read it again having been to Prague now. 🙂
    Again great review! 🙂 ❤️

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  10. I loved her Faeries of Dreamdark books so I picked up this series from the bargain shelf. I’ve only read the first one so far, and while the writing is breathtaking, I couldn’t stand Akiva. So you can probably see why I only rated it 4 Stars instead of 5? Zuzana is awesome though, and I love the world building!

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  11. Loved this review! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this book just as much the second time around. I think I will have to continue on with this series, even if I wasn’t blown away as you were by this first book, I am curious to see more of this world and read more from the author 😀

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  12. Love this review!! That is awesome that you reviewed a book after reading it the second time around – I don’t think I’ve seen that done before 🙂 I love that you pointed out specific lines and moments in the book. It’s kind of like how they dissect Shakespeare in English class haha :’)
    I wasn’t too fond of this book because of the abrupt ending and the instalove, and I wasn’t keen on continuing the series. That being said, you convinced me to keep reading 🙂

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  13. Hearing your perspective on rereading is so interesting! I read this, and though I agree with you, the writing is gorgeous and a lot of characters are great, the one thing I couldn’t get over was what I felt was the instalove. Maybe I should reread too and see if my perspective changes!

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    1. Thank you! Ah I can understand that- I think at the time I was so swept up with the writing and the characters that I decided I didn’t mind- and then obviously the twist at the end made me realise that it wasn’t technically instalove. The second time round reading it I didn’t even consider it instalove cos I knew why they were acting like they were already in love so quickly (if that makes sense)

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  14. I haven’t read it, but it’s been recommended to me a lot. I just might check it out too because of what you’ve said here. The fact that it has magic and hints at real world history of the setting and has biblical references makes me excited to try it.

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  15. I’m so glad to see that you loved this book! 😀 Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that I have heard quiet a few mixed things about, but it does sound like a book that I would enjoy. So seeing that you loved it makes me even more exited to pick it up! Great review!!

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  16. I can’t believe I haven’t read this book yet and you definitely brought this to my attention again! The writing alone sounds like something I most certainly should not want to miss, plus I love that you mention the bit about instalove. The fact there’s bits and pieces and knowing what you know going into the book a second time just tells me there will be depth to the whole thing! 🙂 Love it- will read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes it’s totally worth checking out- I think that’s the bit which makes or breaks it for a lot of people tbh- for me it definitely made it! And yes, it’s definitely more complicated, but obviously I can’t say more for fear of spoilers 😉 Great!!

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  17. I’m amazed by the amount of praise you’ve given this author. I always see readers rave about her writing style and it sounds like this series shows us why. Love that the re-read made you love this even more too. That definitely says a lot!! Great review! 😀

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