Sunday, 25 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

North American cover
Again, it isn't Wednesday.  Also, there won't be much of a wait involved, because I've been a bit slow off the mark to blog about this particular release.  It comes out in North America and the UK on September 27th, which is this coming Tuesday.

Here is a book I've been looking forward to since, er, probably last summer, when the author, Laini Taylor, announced on her blog that her next book had been sold at auction and had an American publisher.  The reason I was so excited was that I had read her previous, National Book Award-winning collection of two short stories and one novella, Lips Touch: Three Times.  The first story is a modern retelling of Christina Rosett's "Goblin Market", the second is set in British Raj India and involves bargaining over souls with demons and a voice that can kill, and the third is a novella involving dual identity, strange demon-like creatues, and a long-running love affair.  The prose is rich and the imagery fantastic.  I gobbled that book up in about two nights, even though I'm sure I should have been working on my Master's thesis.  So, please go read Lips Touch if you like YA fantasy.  I'm sure you won't regret it.

UK cover
There are two other reasons I'm really looking forward to this novel.  First, it centres around a myterious teenaged girl named Karou, with naturally (kind of) blue hair and tattoos who is an art student in Prague.  Her only family are a group of chimerae and she is sent on missions to collect teeth, which are then traded for wishes.  This books also has the wonderful prefatory line: "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.  It did not end well..."  How much better could this be?

The second reason I'm looking forward to this book is that the publisher has offered up the first few chapters as a free preview online (you can find the first five chapters in the widget on the author's blog).  Great dialogue, fun characters, mystery.  The first 50 pages have totally hooked me.

You can read a glowing review of the novel in the Los Angeles Times here.

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