Hope Has Power: Review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

"Wishes are false.  Hope is true.  Hope makes it's own magic."

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it’s own magic.”

A few months ago I was at a retirement party for a former library coworker.  It was a prime opportunity to get suggestions for books to read, and so I took advantage of it.  One person recommended Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which she had just finished reading.  Apparently, her daughter’s school district was putting the book up for review – a parent had found it offensive and wanted it banned.

Oooh, a potentially controversial book?  I definitely wanted to check it out!

After finally getting around to reading it, I cannot fathom how anyone could find this book (or the series) offensive enough to wish it banned.  Angels are bad guys, the word penis is mentioned once, and creatures are resurrected.  That’s about as bad as it gets.

Laini Taylor has created a beautifully written and extremely original book in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  I was hooked from the first page by her gorgeous, prose-like writing.  It was never cloying or overdone.  Her characters were fantastic.  Karou, Brimstone, Issa, Akiva, Zuze, Mik – I couldn’t help but fall in love with them.  As histories and true identities were revealed, the character interactions gained an even greater depth.

Akiva & Madrigal?  Swoon.  Their dream?  Maybe a little far-reaching, but beautiful all the same.  What happened to both of them?  Heartbreaking.

The last few chapters were somewhat painful to read, but in the best possible way.  The tension between Karou and Akiva and the uncertainty of their futures made for a great cliffhanger ending.

I absolutely loved this book and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone I know.  Miss Taylor, thank you for giving something so unique and lovely to us bookworms!  (And thanks to my coworker for recommending it!)

The Good

  • Angels vs. Chimaera.  Much more than one-dimensional good vs. evil.
  • Great range of characters and relationships.
  • Humor, anguish, love, hatred, malice, mystery, and HOPE.

The Bad

  • nothing, as far as I’m concerned

Overall Rating

This was a definite 5 out ‘o 5.  I would read it again, and I hope to someday own a copy.

And now for some random quotes.  I love me some quotes!

“You want to know what’s preposterous?” said Zuzana, still studying Akiva, who looked bemused by her appraisal.  “That widow’s peak is preposterous.  God.  It really makes you feel the sad dearth of widow’s peaks in daily life.  We could, like, use him as breeding stock to seed widow’s peaks into the populace.”

“Hope?  Hope can be a powerful force.  Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

“Love is an element.”  An element.  Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.

“You’re not a fool, Madrigal,” Brimstone said.  “If there’s something you want, pursue it.  Hope has power.  Don’t waste it on foolish things.”

“Never repent of your own goodness, child.  To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength.”

“For the way loneliness is worse when you return to it after a reprieve – like the soul’s version of putting on a wet bathing suit, clammy and miserable.”


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