YA Romance Reviews

Read Like a Writer: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE By Laini Taylor

untitled          Readers crave the strange and unusual. Drop them into a setting that is beautiful–but in an odd way and dangerous–but in a subtle way. This is a powerful combination, and Taylor accomplishes it in her book twice over.

          First, she paints the gothic fairytale city of Prague as the backdrop for her unconventional teen protagonist that includes layers of history and modern/reinvented buildings that have seen their share of death. It’s a landscape dripping with sharp sensory details, dark humor, symbolism, foreshadowing, and–well–backshadowing. Writers, if you are lacking setting details in your manuscript, this is definitely a book you’ll want to pick up.

          Her scenes in Prague and other real-world cities, however, are only the warm-up act. Taylor later immerses us in the landscape, culture, and history of a parallel world. This place is populated by warring chimera and angels whose prejudices about one another come alive in origin stories—stories that offer us more than one lens through which to view their world.

          If you are writing a paranormal or fantasy in which your characters cross over into another universe, you should read this. The world Taylor creates is completely original, but at the same time, it serves as a dark mirror for our own earth.

           What other books have you read that include immersive settings?

           Michelle Joyce Bond

           Image Credit: goodreads.com

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8 thoughts on “Read Like a Writer: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE By Laini Taylor

  1. I always enjoy historical fiction set in India, Japan, or China. I don’t tend to read much historical fiction except with these settings. I find them fascinating.

  2. I have to admit, I preferred the scenes in Prague to Taylor’s own made-up world when I read this a couple of years ago. I was so intrigued by the mysterious secrets she’d hidden throughout the city, and the dark supernatural elements on the edges of our own world really enthralled me. Once the narrative shifted into an entirely new world, I was rather disappointed. Her gothic take on monsters in the city was fascinating enough for its own novel, and I wish it had been developed much further before branching away to all the over-the-top drama which followed.

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