Friday, May 2, 2014

All things Laini Taylor!!

Summary courtesy of 
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 

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?

Review – This book series has been on my “To Read” list for quite a while! Once I did, I couldn’t help but be swept away by author, Laini Taylor’s, beautiful imagery and masterful storyteller dialog. The first in the series,”Daughter of Smoke and Bone” grabbed me from the first words, “Once upon a time, an angel and devil fell in love. It did not end well”. Karou with her flaming blue hair is artistic and confident, attends art school in Prague. Everyone is impressed by her creative drawings of mysterious horrific beasts. They are so masterfully drawn that you’d think they were real… which of course, they are. Karou is not as she appears, she’s been raised by beasts called “chimaerae”. Her  task is travel through portals scouring the Earth in search of human and animal teeth for her guardian, Brimstone, though in the beginning she’s not sure why. Mysterious black handprints begin to appear above the portal doors and Karou finds herself face to face with a Cherubim, hauntingly beautiful yet deadly to her people. Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone blurs the lines between what is perceived as good and evil, righteousness and oppression, love and obsession. The Trilogy offers the reader a complex plot with multiple twists. A masterfully written mix of realistic fiction and fantasy. I would highly recommend the book series to young adult fantasy enthusiasts.

(Summary from
      Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
      In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices,Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Review: The Days of Blood and Starlight is the second in the “Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series”.  Author Laini Taylor continues her award winning series revolving around Karou, Akiva and a host of other compelling characters. This time I borrowed the audiobook from the library to listen to on my commute. OMG!!! Narrator Khristine Hvam is phenomenal! Ms. Hvam breathes lives into the characters Laini Taylor creates. I would highly recommend listening to this series or, in fact, anything other audiobook which features Khristine Hvam as the narrator. Now that I've experienced Karou and Akiva’s story on through Khristine’s voice, I have to continue to the last of the series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, in audiobook format. 

What’s next?? Of course…. the last in this series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, preferably on Audiotape!!!


Laini Taylor author visit at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. 

Rhoda Crowell, Jackie Hart, Laini Taylor and Deanne Goudreau

A couple of friends who are also fellow Laine Taylor enthusiasts, Jackie Hart and Deanna Goudreau, traveled with me to Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley Massachusetts for an author visit hosted by the Odyssey Bookshop on Thursday, April 24th. What a great experience to listen to Laini Taylor, ask questions about her experiences as an author or how she developed the characters and plot of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.
The Odyssey Bookshop also had fun activities like glitter tattoos and costumes for “selfie” pictures. All in all it was a fun experience and a thrill to meet Laini Taylor!

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