Friday, 21 March 2014

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.




Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Published 2011 by Hachette
Source: purchased
Rating: 5 stars


From the blurb: Errand requiring immediate attention. Come. The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came. In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

I’ve had Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor sitting on my bookshelf for two years. I don’t know what made me wait, I suppose other books kept getting in the way, but now I know that Akiva had to wait two years to see Madrigal again, it seems meant to be.

Seventeen year old Karou is now one of my favourite characters. She has two lives: by day she is an art student, attending the Art lyceum of Bohemia in Prague with her best friend, Zuzana. The rest of the time she runs errands for Brimstone, a chimaera who raised her from childhood. She enjoys her art, and loves to spend time with Brimstone, Issa, Yasri, and Twiga, though she feels guilty about the teeth she delivers and the lost lives they represent. She’s strong, intelligent, and yearning to be loved – an excellent female protagonist.

Akiva’s story is also a big part of this novel and I adored him, too. Akiva provides Karou with the love she desires and helps her discover her true identity. The tension between them was so intense, sexy, and palpable. I could feel the pull of their history, knowing that despite feeling an almost instant attraction to each other, there was a good reason for it.

The setting was gorgeous; I’ve never been to Prague but I now feel as though I have. The descriptions were perfect and I could imagine the beautiful, gothic city easily. The world created is perfectly vivid - there was sufficient information about the history of the war, the chimaera and the seraphs, but it was never overdone. I found the story clever, mature and well planned.

If you enjoyed Shadows by Paula Weston, you'll definitely like this book, and vice versa. I'm usually put off by the idea of angels in YA, but both these series know just how to get the theme right.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone held me captivated from the very beginning; it was intriguing, sexy, thrilling, and I am so glad I have book two on my shelf – I definitely won’t be waiting two years before I read it.



I like all the cover variations for this series but I am partial to the feathered cover that I have. I started with 2 coats of Orly Liquid Vinyl.



To mimic the sheen of the feathers I used some holographic polishes: China Glaze Get Outta My Space, Cosmic Dust, and Unpredictable. I used a fine brush and layered these over each other.


For the rachis of each feather I used black acrylic paint and a fine brush.




43 comments:

  1. Great mani! I love the holo feathers over black! :)

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  2. The nails are gorgeous! Lucky that we Aussies and Brits have the prettier cover... not that I'm shallow or anything. I'm glad you liked the book. I can not wait till book three comes out soon!

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    1. Haha, we do tend to get the better cover options over here!

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  3. Ohhh, those are some seriously sexy nails!
    I loved this book, I had it for quite a while before picking it up too. I wasn't a fan of the long flashbacks were a bit much for me though, too many long passages. Awesome review, couldn't agree more about the setting, absolutely divine!

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  4. I'm so glad you finally got around to reading this one, Mandee! In my opinion, the sequel is EVEN BETTER but I just loved this installment too. It's one of the most beautifully written and complex angel series I've come across, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the final installment doesn't disappoint. Lovely review, dear! :)

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  5. I'm yet to read this book, although I've had it on my TRB list for ages too. Like you I'm a little reluctant about angel books as I seem to either love them hate them. It does sound like quite a different take on angels.
    The feathers on your manicure look amazing! :)

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    1. Thanks, Amy! And, I hope you give this series a go :)

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  6. Such a good book! I loved book 2 even more! And Zuzana is one of my all-time favorite characters! And I'm with you--I'm normally not interested in YA books with angels (or any books with angels, really), but Taylor does it so well. Great review, and beautiful nails!

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    1. This was just so perfect, right? And I have now read book #2 and I loved it as well!

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  7. wonderful mani- I love your designs!

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  8. I'd loooove to read this. But then, I thought I WAS because I borrowed out Shadow & Bone from the library and settled down to read about Karou and....wait, what? ;) So I need to reserve the RIGHT book and try it again. Lovely review and love the nails!

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    1. HAHA, it so awkward when covers/titles are too similar!

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  9. Really nice to read a review of this extremely hyped book from someone who has it for ages, like me. It's really about time I read it. LOVE the nails! Great review :)

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    1. Don't worry about the hype, just give this series a go when you're ready :)

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  10. I absolutely adored Shadows but The Daughter of Smoke and Bone never did much for me :/
    I am going to pick up the sequels one of these days and I do hope it impresses me more than the first book did.
    However, I am glad to hear that you loved this (enough to do a bookish manicure.. which by the way is GORGEOUS!).

    Great review, Mands!! :)

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    1. I'm glad you loved Shadows and I hope you like DoBaS more :)

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  11. I love this series! I'm waiting on the 3rd book that comes out in April. I actually thought about getting blue hair because of Karou, but I wasn't sure if my complexion can pull it off. Gorgeous nails, btw!

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    1. I think a lot of people would have considered blue hair after reading this book!

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  12. Woah I've never seen that cover before! I WANT IT!!! I really want to read this because so much hype is surrounding it. I'm a little worried it'll ruin it though. Obviously I love your nails, I wish I can do mine like yours!

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    1. Ignore the hype and just give the series a go! And thank you!

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  13. So glad you loved this one. Your nails are FANTASTIC too!!!!! I love them so much. I really need to read the rest of this series.

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  14. Way to go with the nails, you really captured the feather texture! I really liked this book too and I can't wait to get started in part 2.

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  15. I'm SO thrilled that you finally read this one AND loved it as much as I did :D Your comment about Akiva's wait for Madrigal had me grinning too hehe Like you, I was instantly captivated and enamoured with this story and it's characters and, like you, Karou is one of my all time favorite characters ♥ Swooning over Akiva was another highlight ;-) I honestly can't to read your thought on book 2!! Lovely review and I adore your nails! You really captured the cover perfectly...I have the US edition which I think is stunning too but this is one of those series where I'd like to own every single edition because of how equally gorgeous they all are!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mich! I cannot believe how much I love this series, and the characters :) And yes, I think I need to own this series in both sets of covers!

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  16. Beautiful nails! Well done.
    Isn't this book fabulous?! <3 Hurry and read the second, because the third and final book should be out within the week. As for someone who's been to Prague, Taylor was on the mark with the descriptions!!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, a wonderful series. I've now read the sequel, the novella, and am now reading the final book!

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  17. Love the nails, they're gorgeous! They look so similar to the cover :)

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  18. So many people love this book but I still have not gotten around to reading it yet. Now after reading your review it makes me really want to pick up a copy! It sounds so different yet so good!! And those nails! They look fabulous!!

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  19. This was one of my favorite books read recently. It's so beautifully written and the audiobook is really good, too. Love your nails. They match perfectly.

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    1. Ooh, maybe I'll give the audio a go when I feel like a re-read!

      Thanks!

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  20. I still need to read this book. I tried to read it when it first came out, but couldn't get into it. Every friend I have LOVES it though, so I know I need to give it another try. I have it on my Kindle and just need to find the time to get into it.

    I love the detail of the feathers for your nails and the darker color scheme. Very pretty.

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    1. I hope you do get a chance to give it another and I hope you enjoy it (no pressure!!)

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  21. Sarah has been telling me for years to read this book and I keep refusing because I have a huge Thing about teeth. Seeing them just makes me so uncomfortable and there was a horror movie where someone had their teeth knocked out and I had to leave. You make the other parts of this novel sound very convincing though, and now I am slightly more torn about reading it.

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    1. Hmm, well the teeth are a small feature... and it's not her that deals with them... but they do crop up again. I wish I could go through and cover up the teeth bits and then give you the book!

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  22. You are just so clever at translating these gorgeous book covers onto your nails. This mani is amazing and looks just like the book, your colour choices are spot on!

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Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.
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Mands xox