If you've heard one fairy tale, you've heard them all, right? Sure, they're giving Hansel and Gretel guns now, telling the story of Jack and the Beanstalk as though it's Clash of the Titans, and turning Snow White into Scandal over at Once Upon a Time. But, at their core, these are still the same classic stories.
You know what? The fairy tale is so last millennium. We wish something new would come along... And then there's Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Wish granted.
This charmed novel introduces us to Karou, a girl with a mysterious past who is trying to find out who she really is. Karou lives in our world, but she was raised by demons. So, through her eyes, ours is a world of magic and danger. The story is essentially a new twist on the queen of all fairy tale plots: lost girl finds herself, and maybe even her Prince Charming.
But Karou isn't your typical damsel in distress. This blue-haired Ms. Awesome can wield knives, shoot guns, and fly. Yes, we said fly. Eat your heart out, Katniss Everdeen.
Published in 2011, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. (Author Laini Taylor is too busy crafting a truly original, and most fantastical, world to come up with a better name for the trilogy.) Already nominated for a National Book Award for her first novel, Lips Touch, Three Times, Taylor received a whole heap of new acclaim for Smoke and Bone.
What kind of acclaim, you ask? Oh, we're so glad to gush about this author. Smoke and Bone was Amazon's top teen book of 2011. And can you blame Hollywood for instantly snatching it up for film adaptation?
There's already a sequel too: Days of Blood and Starlight, which dropped in November 2012. So what are you waiting for? You don't even have to make a wish and hope it comes true. Just fly—or walk, bike, or drive—to your local bookstore and dive right in.
We dole out tough love because we care, so we're going to tell it to you straight: wishes are for chumps. Sure, Karou can wish for small things to come true—new tattoos, pranking an ex-boyfriend, cobalt blue hair—but what does she accomplish that a few hours in a tattoo parlor or salon wouldn't? Not much. Although we want her blue hair so bad.
It's when Karou starts to look inside herself that she finds her true power. When you wish upon a star, nothing really happens. But when you do some serious soul-searching, then you can make something big happen.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone shows you that there is something far more powerful than the ability to make your wishes come true: yourself. Now that's something to believe in.
Smoke and Bone and Blood and Starlight, oh my.
Laini Taylor's blog has all the information you need about Karou's universe, plus more pink hair color than you can shake a stick at.
A Website from Elsewhere
We love this beautiful website for Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Roth and Bone
Joe Roth is the director for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone movie adaptation. You know, the same guy who did Snow White and the Huntsman and Alice in Wonderland. Sweet.
Daughters of Laini Taylor
A book really is like a child. Read this interview and hear Laini Taylor talk about two of her favorite children: Daughter of Smoke and Bone and its sequel.
In this interview, Laini Taylor gabs about the book's striking cover, and what it's like to travel abroad to Prague... and call it research. Where do we apply for her job?
We're not sure why Laini Taylor is being interviewed in one of the messiest offices in America in this video, but she talks about a lot of interesting things here, from her favorite scenes to her favorite characters.
This fan-made book trailer is amazing. Heck, we wouldn't mind it if the whole movie looked like this cool cartoon.
A Little Enthusiasm, Please
If you don't have anyone to share the amazingness of Daughter of Smoke and Bone with, watch this Booktalk video narrated by a girl who is way into the book.
Doll of Smoke and Bone
Karou's all dolled up here (haha). This fan-made doll has accessories that include a door with a black handprint and a sketchbook. We hope Akiva is sold separately.
Wings of Fire
Check out this fan art of Akiva. If you didn't already, now you'll know why Karou wants to be touched by this angel.
Someone Else's Sketchbook
Art student Lillian Coulombe sketched this amazing picture of Madrigal. You can scope out some more sketches, including ones of Brimstone and Issa, on Laini Taylor's blog. Looks like we have a real-life Karou in our midst.