DISCLAIMER: This is the third and final book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. If you have any interest in reading this series and have not read the first and second books, please know that there could be spoilers ahead! Thank you!
Started: April 25, 2016
Finished: May 12, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. Common enemy, common cause. When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. What power can bruise the sky? From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
What to say about the end of a trilogy that I love so much?
First of all, I want to just ramble about Laini Taylor’sincredible writing. The prose has such a poetic quality to it, and it’s just so beautiful to read. The words she uses and the way that she crafts sentences is a form of magic to me, and I never wanted it to end. I love her writing, and I look forward to reading more of her writing in the future, although I don’t know if it will ever hold such a special place for me that theDaughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy does.
Now let me talk about the actual trilogy.
I read the first two books two or three years ago, and fell in love. I fell in love with the story, the world, and especially the characters (I might actually be in love with Akiva). The idea of this story that simultaneously takes place in our world and a world that we can hardly dream of was so intriguing to me. The second book is my absolute favorite in the trilogy, so it was very hard for this book to live up to the hype that I had built up for it.
This book lived up to that hype.
But it also…didn’t.
It lived up to the hype in every way that I thought it would. It was a good conclusion to the story, and the characters were as perfect as ever. The writing was absolutely gorgeous, as Laini Taylor’s writing always is.
It didn’t live up to the hype with the story.
I was so excited to read this book when it first came out, but I simply forgot about it. This trilogy, as much as I loved it, faded to the back burner of my mind as other books (see: City of Heavenly Fire) were being released shortly after. Since then, I have checked this book out four times from the library with the intention of reading it quickly, and only this fourth and final time was successful.
I expected a more thrilling conclusion to this fantastic trilogy, and I was disappointed. This was the only aspect I was disappointed about, and other parts of the story made up for it so well. If I had read this book when I intended to, the week it came out, then I feel like I would have enjoyed it so much more than I actually did.
This book took me longer to read than others, and I believe the slow-moving story was part of that. I’m also not much of a fantasy reader at all (although I do appreciate good angel stories, and this is one of them), so getting into this world took me quite some time. The story didn’t keep me from finishing it quickly once I got into it (and once finals were over). I read two hundred pages today trying to finish this book because I simply wanted to know how it ended.
The ending was a perfect ending for this trilogy. It was everything I wanted for these characters, even if it wasn’t quite in the way I expected it. The ending could not have been better, and it made up for the story being less excited than I expected.
The characters were as wonderful as I remembered it, and I think the character development was spot on. Karou was an entirely different person than I remembered it, and I appreciated that because it showed just how far she had come in this series. She wasn’t the only great character development, but she was the big one that I enjoyed the most.
Overall, I really liked this book, and the less than exciting story was only a small fraction of this book, because there was so much that I loved about it. I will miss this trilogy and these characters, but I’m glad that I finally read the ending to one of my absolute favorite trilogies.
NEXT READ: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys