Study Guide

Madrigal Kirin in Daughter of Smoke & Bone

By Laini Taylor

Madrigal Kirin

Florence Nightingale

You might think that the Daughter of Smoke and Bone in the book's title is Karou. You'd be right. But you might also think that the Daughter of Smoke and Bone in the book's title is Madrigal. You'd also be right. Because they're basically the same person.

See, Karou's quest to find out who she is ends in a strangely literal and unexpected revelation: she is Madrigal Kirin reincarnated.

The last third or so of the novel tells us Madrigal's story. She and Karou have a lot in common, as you would imagine. They both want to be with "the one," yet they're being pursued by someone who isn't quite "meant" for them. (Madrigal and Thiago, Karou and Kazimir.)

They both lead pretty lonely existences. Even though Madrigal has a sister, she seems to spend a lot of time by herself pining over Akiva. And Madrigal even says at one point, "I wish my hair was blue" (56.47). The resemblance is startling. Until you remember they're the same person.

We don't get to know too much more about Madrigal. Most of what we read about her focuses on her obsession with Akiva—how she wishes they could be together in public, how she avoids her other suitor Thiago, and how she gets her head chopped off for her beloved. Ouch.

We guess forbidden love is deadly. At least Karou lives in a world where people can love whomever they want without being harmed for it... oh, wait...

Anyway, Madrigal's story is one of forbidden love, and we're sure you can find more parallels between her life and Karou's. How much influence does Madrigal's life have on Karou? How much of her personality is still, well… in there?

These questions are great ones to ask, and harbor deep inside of you until you read the sequel. But here's another question that's really burning our biscuits: why is Madrigal the only character in this book with a last name? Now that's a real stumper.