|Daughter of Smoke and Bone|
As Daughter of Smoke and Bone opens, a new front is opening in the war between the seraphim and the chimaera. Seraphs are closing the portals between our world and their world. Karou is stranded on our side by a seraph named Akiva. They fight in Marrakech and nearly kill one another. Strangely, they feel a connection that doesn't have anything to do with being foes.
It's clear that this book is meant to set the stage for the other two books in the trilogy. Unlike many other trilogy writers, however, Taylor has a gift for not drowning the narrative and plot with exposition. Characters don't just suddenly spill their guts to Karou. She has to fight for most of her knowledge about magic and wishes and the war.
As I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I was strongly reminded of Brian Vaughn's Saga—down to the wings and the horns some of the characters sport. They both have a grit to them. They don't pretty things up or skirt the edges of violence or sex. They both revolve around a seemingly endless war that the combatants don't remember the beginning of. And both series feature two lovers who are determined to stop the fighting. I haven't read the other two books in the series, so I don't know if they grow more or less similar. I don't care all that much, because I'm enjoying the hell out of both series.