Study Guide

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Isolation

By Laini Taylor


Oh, hello. We didn't see you there. No, we weren't singing "Call Me Maybe" to ourselves.. Why do you say that? Wait, don't go, we're not crazy… we're just lonely. See, loneliness can drive a person to do strange things, and we get a glimpse of this in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou is experiencing an intense longing for some sort of connection, and that's what leads her on this quest to self-discovery. She wants to find her soulmate, but in order to do that, she's gotta understand her own soul first—right? So, isolation seems to affect almost every decision Karou (and Akiva) makes.

Questions About Isolation

  1. What strengths does Karou manage to derive from her feelings of loneliness and isolation?
  2. Brimstone lives a relatively isolated life. Do you think he feels isolated? If he does, why doesn't he ever express it?
  3. If Karou is so sensitive about being alone, why does she leave her friend Zuzana and go into the Elsewhere at the end of the novel?
  4. Akiva has a brother and sister—why does he prefer to act alone?

Chew on This

When a person is a lonely as Karou is, the idea of finding someone whom she is "meant" to be with is incredibly appealing.

Brimstone tells us that magic derives from pain. The pain of isolation gives Karou the strength and independence that, while not exactly magical, change her life forever.