I don't endorse a lot of books on my blog; I read something new nearly every week, and it would get tiresome to all of you if I was constantly saying "read this! it's awesome!". I'm making an exception for this book, because, well. Let me just say: Read this! It's awesome!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I won't give away much, because you should discover it like I did: unfolding page by page like a flower with an unexpectedly complex fragrance. I did not know much about this when I picked it up on a whim on Friday: EW just reported that the rights were picked up for a film adaption, but I had not heard anything else. I liked the book jacket description. I needed a new book. Done.
I couldn't predict how quickly and utterly I would be caught up in it, and how completely enchanted I would be by the tale. From the start, the blue-tressed Karou and her fanciful sketchbooks full of drawings of strange creatures, tooling around Prague, was someone I wished I could sit and drink tea with . . . and then it got better. Because, those fanciful creatures Karou draws aren't from her imagination: they're her family.
I wanted to live in this book, to meet Brimstone the Wishmonger and Issa and (certainly) Akiva and Zuzanna. I felt like they leapt off the page, and the complex mythology tied in with Karou's world is at once familiar and original, and easily (and beautifully) visualized. Much of the book was spooled out vividly in my head, so much so that I found myself itching to pick up my own sketchbook and start drawing them all, and I haven't been drawn to do that by someone elses's writing in years. And, I immediately wanted to dye my hair blue and start playing with knives (not that weird if you know me, but still strange enough).
Read this book. If you're a fan of fantasy (I'm sure most of my readers are), you will be as enchanted as I am. I actually cried reading this, out loud, real tears. That sounds weird, but I do not cry while reading (not since Phillip Pullman's Amber Spyglass). Read this. And then suffer with me waiting for the next installment;)