Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy – Laini Taylor

Second (and third, and fourth) in the treasure trove gifted from the Book Fairy was Daughter of Smoke and Bone (and Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters) by Laini Taylor. Before I get into what I thought, let’s just run through a quick checklist, here…

√ YA trilogy
√ Fantasy trilogy
Completed fantasy YA trilogy (yeah, I’m looking at you, Patrick Rothfuss)
√ Can’t tell who the good guys are or who is a monster
√ Epic winding subplots which all tie together at the last minute
√ Angels and demons

Do I even need to tell you what I thought of it??

The answer is obvious to anyone who knows my reading habits even a little, but I’m gonna anyway. Because it’s my blog and I love gushing about books I’ve loved.

Yeah, this series is all of my favourite things. Where Julie Andrews waxes lyrical about brown paper packages etc etc, I love magic, and fairytale themes, and re-imaginings of traditional well-known characters or archetypes. I love made-up names, and a badass female lead or two – especially when one of them is a teenager who inexplicably has to save the world – and I love let’s-not-make-a-big-deal-of-this-because-let’s-face-it-this-shizz-should-be-normal-by-now diversity in representation. I particularly love clever writing in which it turns out throwaway lines or tertiary supporting characters are actually super important to the endgame so you have to flip back a few pages or chapters or… books… to remind fully appreciate how well those clues were dropped in there back when you had no idea how important they were.

Ok, maybe all that doesn’t scan quite as well to a pretty tune, but you get the idea.

A brief opening summary, then: Karou, a seventeen year old art student, lives a pretty successful double life. On one hand, she’s a normal student in an art college in Prague, but on the other she dips in and out of magic doors to run errands for the monster/creature/whatever this thing is who raised her. And as simple and sustainably stress-free as this life sounds, it’s about to get worse…

This is just a really great example of the sub-genre, guys. If you enjoy the Throne of Glass books, or Shadowhunters (the books, not the truly awful Netflix series), and if you liked the Patrick Rothfuss books but are also cool with something a little more YA-ey (not a word, but whevs) then you will love this trilogy too.

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