Written by Laini Taylor

Published by Little Brown, September 27, 2011

My star rating: 4.5 stars


Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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? (Goodreads)

spoiler free graphic


I’ve come to realize that Laini Taylor books are almost impossible to review! Her stories and characters are something that you have to go into blindly and let the story unfold, page by page, to get the full impact. So I’ll try to review this but I’m making no promises!

First of all – her writing. I mean, can we all just agree that she is STELLAR??!! This girl was born to write books. Her writing is just so vivid and emotional. I had a clear picture of everything from colours, lighting, character descriptions, setting, temperature, smells, tastes – everything! I read Strange The Dreamer (<—– full review) back in January and that was my first book of hers. I will admit that I think Strange was even more beautifully written than this, but this was still in her fantastic style – rich and sophisticated.

Karou – Hands down one of my favourite female characters ever written!!! If you’ve read this (which I’m sure you have already. I’m positive i’m the last book nerd who hadn’t read this book!) then the beginning with the “itch” damn near killed me! I admired her from that moment on! But the character development in this book was a little broken which, due to the nature of the story, is normal. This was kind of written as a “before” and “after” story. We learn of all these characters and then we are thrust back in time, many years ago and in a different place, to find out where all these characters came from and what made them who they were today. I absolutely fell in love with the “after” Karou that we see in the beginning of the book. So fearless, bold, and artistic. I loved her friendship with Zuzana! They had this friendship that I truly admire. Both of them are brutally honest, feisty, and hilarious! Karou is also dealing with a jerk of an ex boyfriend who she keeps trying to put in his place and he refuses to take no for an answer. It was interesting to see how she balanced her secret life with the life as an art student. I hope there’s more of her relationship with Zuzana in books 2 and 3!

Honestly, that’s about all I want to say in the realm of specifics – if you haven’t read this yet (What are you waiting for??) I don’t want to mention a single character and spoil anything. Like I said before, this is a book that you need to slowly discover and unfold all on your own to get its full effect. There’s so much mystery to this book! That’s something that I normally hate. I hate reading things and just having to accept them without any reason why. I hate having more questions than answers. But Laini Taylor is a genius when it comes to this!! I had no freaking clue what was happening in this book! I didn’t know what her secret life was, why her hair was blue, who the people were in her sketchbook and so much more. But I was never once bogged down with the unknown. Even though I was lost when it came to the reason behind the story, the events that were happening were so engaging that I read on at lightning speed! Another thing I admired about this book was that it included a few overdone tropes – but you don’t really realize it until you’re finished! She finds a way to take something that you’ve seen a million times and spin it into something so unique and different!

I absolutely loved the “feel” of the last part of the book. It was told in a way that felt as if we were learning of a new folklore tale. It had this ancient fairy tale feel to it all. Back in a time where there was a war with angels, stories of moons and suns, light and dark, love and hate.

As this is the first book in a series, there was obviously a lot of character, plot, and world building. It wasn’t done in an info dumping way, but I felt that I couldn’t connect to certain characters because it took a while for their stories and true personalities to be released. I have a feeling that all of that will only strengthen in books 2 and 3.

Have you read this series before? Are you considering it? I honestly don’t know what took me so long to get into this series! I can’t wait to start book 2 tonight!! Woo hoo for a good series marathon!!

Until next time, happy reading!