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Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone has everything you really want in a fantasy book (and by ‘you’ I mean me). So well written it’s maddening. The story is dark and lovely and unpredictable. There are plenty of YA books about angels and demons, but few manage to twist presumptions of good and bad quite like this one. Even men like it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou is an art student at a high school in Prague. Her friends love flipping through her sketches of monsters and animal people, and her family loves flipping through her sketches of humans. The difference is that her family knows humans are real.

Raised by Brimstone in a sort of magical shop that can appear anywhere in the world, Karou now lives on her own in a small flat. Now that she’s old enough, she runs errands for Brimstone and is paid in small wishes, like knowing a language or having natural blue hair. She’s lonely living alone and too preoccupied longing for normalcy that she doesn’t notice the threat until it’s too late. She seeks the truth of herself without knowing where to look until an angel, Akiva, bursts into her life with his sword blazing.

The story’s structure is a little unconventional so right when you think you know where it’s going, you’re taken back into another time. To a world of war between angels and chimera where there’s only this one couple who hopes for peace in secret. From Madrigal:

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.

And this is only the beginning.

Laini Taylor is one of my new favorites. Her blog is filled with art and stories from her travels. Her Pinterest filled with inspiration. And that cover is so striking and completely fitting. I want to wrap it around every book I ever read.

This is one that I had to own. I even bought two so I could give one to my sister. There’s nothing better than giving someone a book you know she’ll love. It’s giving at least 6 or so hours of pure awesomeness.