Sometimes you find that rare series by a rare writer which combines all the elements for a fabulous escape into alternate realities.
Laini Taylor is that rare writer, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is that rare series.
Deeply satisfying, grounded in gritty reality, populated with memorable characters, paced just right, it is filled with twists and turns, action, adventure, heartbreak, romance, mystery and magic. Fantasy that rises above its genre, books that demand to be read and re-read, handed on and recommended to all.
Mrs Readalot began with the first two books, recommended by a friend, devoured over the summer (in a matter of days, it must be said - good books don't last long around here).
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the first. Full of surprises. Addictive. More-ish. She read them on Kindle and was done in a little over a day, and was hungry for more. Thankfully Mrs Readalot had also downloaded Book Two - Days of Blood and Starlight. The first book finished, the second book was begun immediately.
But this was January. And it was months (three long months!) until April when Book Three was due to be published.
Mrs Readalot tried to slow down, tried to savour every page, chew over every twist and turn but all too soon it was over and the wait began.
April 8th, the day the world could finally learn the fate of Karou, Akiva, Ziri et al.
The days passed. Every so often Mrs Readalot did a mental tally and worked out how long was left to wait.
Until finally miracle of miracles, she was given the opportunity to get the final instalment ahead of time, straight from the publishers - O Happy day! This is why there was dancing.
Dreams do come true, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters was worth the wait.
In Mrs Readalot's own words:
I loved this book, I loved this series, I now love this author. Laini Taylor is a word-wizard. The worlds she created feel so real, so gritty I can almost taste the dust. Just when you think you know what it's all about, there's another layer revealed and everything comes clearer. Little details buried in the text were not throwaway loose threads but were keys to something deeper.
The worlds were not as we thought, there was more. Magic has a price, a terrible price.
And in Laini's hands, magic makes sense. It is the very fabric of the universe.
I love that there are no leaps of logic required here, no suspension of credibility. Laini makes magic possible; she makes other worlds likely.
This is why I love her.
She is clever enough to leave no loose ends while at the same timenot resorting to a sickly sweet Happily Ever After. There is instead: Satisfaction. Understanding. And Hope (which is after all the meaning of Karou's name).
Best of all this book leaves room for another series, while still satisfactorily concluding this one. Oh Laini, you are too awesome.
I won't tell you what happens because I hate spoilers, I won't give you many details because you need to read this for yourself. Really. You must.
So go. Now. Get this series. Get this book. You will love it I promise.
MRS READALOT RATES THIS BOOK: ♥♥♥♥♥
Who should read this book:
- people with awesome imaginations
- people who love action-love-alternatereality stories
- lovers of great writing
- people who like their magic a bit gritty
- people who love to sink their teeth into other worlds
- lovers of well-written fiction
- lovers of strong female protagonists
- people who love originality and adventure in their stories
Avoid this book if:
- You have no imagination, no sense of adventure, no love of magic, and your favourite author is Stephen Hawking.
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