Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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The basics

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author:

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1

- Daughter of Smoke and Bone (September, 2011)
- Days of Blood and Starlight (November, 2012)
- Dreams of Gods and Monsters (April, 2014)

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Goodreads 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?
This recap was written and submitted by the wonderful Asti from A Bookish Heart. She’s an AMAZING contributor!

In short

Karou doesn’t know anything about herself, besides the fact she lives an unusual life divided between the human world and a world with monsters who create wishes from teeth. That all changes when she comes face to face with Akiva, an angel who stalks her and falls madly in love. Akiva holds the secret to Karou’s history, and after breaking a wishbone Karou finds out that she was once Madrigal, a chimaera who was executed for treason after falling in love with the seraphim Akiva. Karou is excited to be reunited with Akiva, until she finds out that he murdered the monster family she grew up with. Karou runs off to find a way into the monster’s world with the help of some ugly creature Razgut, and Akiva is left on his own.

What went down

  • Introduced to Karou and her ex-boyfriend Kaz, who decides to become the nude model for her art class. Karou decides to make him squirm – literally – by using a scuppy to wish that his area “down there” itched again and again. Harsh.
  • When not living a “normal” human life making her ex suffer, Karou runs errands for the wishmonger Brimstone. He has her go out to collect teeth from others. On the way back to the portal where Brimstone is located, Karou finds that there is a handprint burned into the door. She finds out that they are on all doors, left by mysterious strangers who fly.
  • Brimstone sends Karou on errand to meet graverobber Izil, and on the way she is spotted and stalked by seraphim Akiva. Izil lives a ruined life dragging the Fallen Angel Razgut on his back after making a wish to have great knowledge. (Razgut is a creeper btw, he licks Karou to see how she tastes. Ew.) Izil begs Karou to help him pull out of his teeth so he can get a Bruxis to wish Razgut gone. Chaos ensues when Razgut notices Akiva’s presence and starts calling out to him. Akiva almost kills Karou but at the last minute she gets away by holding her hands out with her hamsas pointing at him, knocking him down.
  • Karou goes back to Brimstone’s hideout weak and tired. The chimaera there leave her alone when they think she is sleeping on the cot, and she decides to venture through a doorway she has always known about but has never entered. She finds herself in a different world with two moons. Beasts are laid on tables with hamsas on their hands. One wakes up and almost kills her, but Brimstone comes to the rescue. He’s not happy about her trespass though. He kicks her out and she is left on her own.
  • Karou goes to her human home but realizes she can’t get in because her keys are at Brimstone’s. Oh well, Kaz is there so she just throws him through the glass door and steps over him. Problem solved.
  • Zuzanah, Karou’s BFF, asks her what is going on and Karou tells her everything. Zuzanah is skeptical and goes to leave when Kishmish comes in the room on fire and dies in Karou’s hands. All that’s left is the wishbone that Brimstone always wore.
  • Karou goes looking for information. She finds out Izil is dead after confrontation with angel Akiva, but that Razgut is still alive and knows where to find a portal to the other world where Brimstone is. Only problem: it’s in the air so she has to fly and carry Razgut on her back (um… ew!). Luckily, Karou has Gavriel that she uses to wish for flying. She plans on coming back later to have Razgut take her to the portal.
  • Akiva finds one of Karou’s sketchbooks in Brimstone’s hideout with her human address (how convenient) and decides to stalk her. Karou can tell she’s being followed, so leads him into an area where they can face off. Akiva doesn’t fight her though, only defends himself and says he wants to talk. Once tourists show up and see them flying, they both run off.
  • Karou decides she won’t kill Akiva because she wants answers about who she is and what is going on. He ends up falling asleep from exhaustion, and Karou decides to sketch him in a very non-creepy manner. Next day they both decide that Akiva will accompany Karou and Razgut through portal.
  • Akiva spots the wishbone that Kishmish brought Karou around her neck and breaks down crying. He tells Karou he knows who she is, but before he can say anything his angel siblings Liraz and Hazael show up. They are upset at Akiva’s presence and his mingling with someone who has Hamsas. Akiva has to decide whose side he will be on, and tells Karou to run while he holds off his siblings. (Who are not happy, let me tell you.)
  • Akiva reunites with Karou and tells her that when they break the wishbone she will know everything.
  • We find out that a long time ago Akiva was in a battle and almost died, but a chimaera named Madrigal saved him. He became obsessed with her, and made a plan to reunite with her. Akiva snuck into chimaera territory and started seeing Madrigal, and they decided their love would bring about peace. Unfortunately for them, Madrigal’s ugly jealous sister Chiro spied on them and reported their naked doings to Thiago, the head honcho.
  • The flashbacks continue. After being captured, it is decided Madrigal will be executed with no chance of resurrection. Brimstone has other plans though, since she was his apprentice and snuck her way into his heart. He tells her that after her execution she should force her soul into Chiro’s body while she is doing the blessing. Madrigal does so, and then rescues Akiva while still in Chiro’s body. He knocks her unconscious, escapes, and though Madrigal remembers nothing else it is assumed Brimstone then figured out a way to transfer her soul into the wishbone.
  • Karou finally feels whole, realizing that she is Madrigal resurrected and that her and Akiva are finally reunited.

How did it end?

But wait, there’s more! Akiva still looks upset, even at this great news of their reunion. Akiva tells Karou that he thought Brimstone and the others that lived in his hideout were with the other chimaera who were responsible for Madrigal’s execution. He tells her that he killed them, the only family she had.

In the epilogue, Karou has left Akiva behind. She doesn’t kill him after finding out what he did, but just leaves. Karou picks up Razgut and heads through the portal he was dropped through, off into the world of Eretz.

terminology

Scuppy – The smallest weakest denomination of a wish, used for things like making someone’s privates itch.
Shing – Second smallest denomination of a wish, used for things like tattoo removal or “natural” blue hair.
Lucknow – Third denomination of a wish.
Gavriel – Second most powerful wish, used for such things as flight and invisibility.
Bruxis – Most powerful wish that can only be purchased by pulling out all of one’s teeth.
Chimaera – Demons/Monsters
High-human aspect – Chimaera races with head and torso of man or woman (versus other creature aspect with heads of animals).
Revenant – Chimaera soldier that has been resurrected into new body, marked by Hamsas on their hands.
Hamsas – Known as the “Devil’s eyes” and marks those that have been resurrected. They shoot evil magic of sickness and weakness at angels, paid for by the chimaera’s original death.
Loramendi – The Cage, the Black Fortress, the Warlord’s Nest. Home to millions of chimaera.
Seraphim – High order of angels
Magi – Seraph sorcerers, murdered by chimaera
Eretz – Home to the seraphim.

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