Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA Fantasy
From Goodreads: 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?
What I thought:
Let me start out by saying how much I truly enjoyed this book. The writing is fabulous and the story is captivating. I couldn’t put it down and read it in a day! Now, I happened to be recovering from bronchitis at the time and couldn’t move or even speak without coughing so I didn’t have much that I could do besides reading!
Karou lives in two worlds. She is a 17 year old art student in Prague who entertains her friends and classmates with the magical world she captures in her art journals. A world that is filled with fantastical creatures and magical stories of the WIshmonger and the wishes he trades in. Except this world isn’t imagined at all but the world orphaned Karou grew up in with these fantastical creatures as her guardians and family. Karou travels through magic doorways between the human world and the chimaera world until one day these doorways are all destroyed, cutting her off from her family.
I love Karou. She is just fun! She lives this magical life (blue hair that grows out of her head that way, wish beads that she wears around her neck, her drawings of another world) and has mastered the art of telling the truth without telling the truth! It is fun to watch. She is the perfect heroine for this story. Independent. Sarcastic. I love her.
Akiva is wonderful as well. He is a beautiful warrior angel who finds Karou in the streets outside one of the doorways into the chimaera world.
The one and only thing I struggled with in this book is the quick change in directions the author took in the developing relationship between Karou and Akiva. One moment they are enemies and fighting in the streets of Prague with the intent of killing each other; the next they are in love. I would have liked to see a bit more time taken to develop trust and a relationship. I think one might need more time to trust a man that just stabbed you! That said, it really didn’t detract from my love of the story. I can’t wait to read more!