Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came. In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone is published by Hodder Paperbacks, July 2012.)
This is my book club January book.
When we were discussing books in December, I complained that there hasn’t been a really good book for a while, and that The Night Circus was still my favourite ever. The person who chose the book (or the selection of books, which we then vote on) took me literally and sent out sci-fi/fantasy books. Fine, that’s exactly what The Night Circus was, but not necessarily what I wanted, I just wanted something good.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was my second choice (The Snow Child actually being my preference), but I was happy when it was chosen, until I borrowed it from the library, and I really thought about it – this was really sci-fi/fantasy-y. Like really, it’s not the kind of thing I enjoy.
I picked it up on Saturday morning, thinking I’ll just get through it, force myself to read it, etc. But, once I’d picked it up, I literally didn’t put it down. I read it for about 5 hours straight, then forced myself to have some food, and do something else. In the evening, I had the TV on, but it wasn’t enough of a draw, I got pulled back to the book. As soon as I woke up on Sunday, I picked it up and finished it.
It was fabulous.
Karou is part normal teenager (at school) in Prague, and part, courier for Brimstone, one of four chimaeras that Kaurou grew up with. We discover that a chimaera is a thing (monster?) made up of a variety of different creatures. It’s odd, but the descriptions are so good, you find yourself seeing them, and believing it.
Kauou wants to be able to live her human life, without interruption from Brimstone, but at the same time, they’re her family and without them she’d feel lost.
Of course, they’re not her real family, she doesn’t know who they are. No one will talk about them, or how she came to grow up in Brimstone’s shop.
It seems I love YA Fantasy/Sci-fi series’ – which I should have realised before, when I consider books from the Hunger Games’ and Delirum series’ were among some of my favourite books of the 2013 (and 2012 – I read one of each in each year!). This is the first in a trilogy, of which the next is out, and the last comes out in January – I can’t wait to read to continue with the series.