Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.My Thoughts: This is one of those books that kind of sneaks up on you. It's beautiful and dark and incredibly imaginative. It took a few chapters for me to fall into Karou's character but once I did... whoa! Her world is full of grit and pain, light and hope. It's a study in contrasts and it works so very well.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
The beauty of this story is the way it knots up the secrets of the past and then slowly lets us untangle them, thread by thread. Karou's origins are a mystery to her and the ones that raised her aren't talking. Her home is full of secrets - what does Brimstone do with the teeth he collects? What's behind the hidden door? - and her life is full of secrets she has to keep from her human friends. Akiva's brutal, bloody entrance into her life is both a curse and a blessing. He knows things about Brimstone's world that Brimstone will never tell her and yet he's not necessarily an ally to her or those that raised her.
The world building here is simply breathtaking. From the streets of Prague to the dusty market place of Marrakesh to the caged city of the chimaera, it's beautifully rendered and it sets the tone for the Karou's story. And the ending... Good gravy! The ending KILLED ME. I am dead dead dead. I saw so much of that coming due to those aforementioned tangled threads but the reality of what was done was absolutely jaw dropping. I'm pretty sure that I emailed a string of nonsensical curse words to my online partner in bookish crime when I finished that last page. It was heartbreaking and terrible and so, SO perfect.
The first thing I did once my brain kicked back on from the shock of the ending was to find out when book 2 comes out. November can't get here soon enough.
Books in this series
1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Hardcover | Kindle
2. Days of Blood and Starlight
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