Okay, I’m going to preface this by saying that I am not really a fan of angel/demon stories. A small part of this is because I’m religious, but mostly because… blech. Boring. I just don’t think there is much you can do with that approaching it via the conventional methods. Fallen angel. Misguided angel. Whatever.
The Daughter of Smoke & Bone books, on the other hand, is so richly imagined that I just want to wrap my mind inside it for hours at a time. Which of course is exactly what you want from a book. I devoured these books on audio. Which isn’t hard when you work graves, but that’s hardly the point. The point is: I loved them.
While this series is indeed about angels and demons, it is really about two fantastical nations that are ancient, rich with history, and happen to have been at war with each other since time out of mind.
I can’t even really go into how the main characters fit into this without giving a lot away, but I can tell you that I am so, so impressed with this world. The descriptions are beautiful, the characterizations rich, and the monsters are, well, monstrous. What I love about it most, maybe, is that it is filled with shades of grey. There are good characters and bad characters, but they aren’t all on one side of the battle or the other. And they don’t always know what they’re fighting for.
And oh, Taylor has a knack for ripping your heart out. Which personally, is something I love in a good story. Just when you think that things are about to get better, they get so much bone-crushingly worse. On the flipside of the coin, though, just when your heart has been ripped through the shredder, something happens like a gift—a boon—something that tells you that after everything, Taylor is a merciful god, at least.
Also, the settings are superb and full of escapism/wanderlust fancy that made me want to quit my job and move to Europe. Ish.
If you haven’ read this yet, go out and get it. It is fabulous. You will not be sorry. Well, until you realize that the next installment doesn’t come out until 2014.
By the by, this Thursday I’ll be starting a new weekly series involving literary nerdliness. Come back and check it out!