In trying to find an agent for my own novel, I asked my friends to suggest some of their favorite books that closely resembled my fantasy so that I could shamelessly query the agents of those books for my own devices.
Faintingviolet lent me Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I had no idea going into this book what it was since I’d never heard of Lainie Taylor before. But faintingviolet knows I’m not a huge fan of YA, and I pretty much avoid romance at any cost. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that she had lent me both a YA and a romance. I read it anyway because I’m a good friend, and also because I wanted to see if this was an agent I could accost with my query letter.
I have to write a surprisingly glowing review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. While the plot is a usual YA theme of ill-fated love from opposite sides of the tracks, Taylor’s done a very fresh new take. Our main character, Karou, and her world are wonderfully wrought, and I love the story taking place on the backdrop of Prague. It’s not a place that gets much setting time (at least not in most of the books I read), and the city is so beautifully detailed through Karou’s eyes that I felt like I was there myself. Karou is also an awesome heroine, with the right amount of power and sass that make her believable and relatable. And while her love interest, Akiva, totally reeks of the usual gloomy but beautiful male love interest, his backstory and motives are expertly created.
And Taylor’s prose is masterful. There were many times I lost myself in the gorgeous descriptions and, at times, heart wrenching story of these two beings who are constantly thwarted in their hope for a better future for their world. The plot twists and turns very creatively and I was so interested in where Taylor was taking us that I might even get the rest of the series from the library.
Bingo Square: Fresh Start