Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. First off, epic titles. I get a kick out of every time I say them. Daughter. Of. Smoke. And. Bone. I dream of coming up with names as cool as these.

I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone back at the beginning of the year and promptly wanted to go back to Prague. And that’s really saying something because I hated Prague. Our hostel was still being built and the toilet kept leaking, the water edging from the ensuite ever closer towards our beds. It rained. And I mean it bucketed down. My partner’s mother gave us ponchos before we left home, but, at the first sign of rain, we soon realised they were kid size ponchos and we were too stubborn to buy an umbrella. And the trams were contradictory. We thought we were heading into the city centre, but in fact we were heading out. Always out and away. This happened a ridiculous amount of times. So you can imagine how Prague isn’t my favourite city, yet reading Laini Taylor’s first novel made me CRAVE to go back and give the city another chance.

Because Laini Taylor’s writing style is beautiful. It’s like standing in a summer shower, shoes off and toes sinking deep into sun-warmed grass. Or watching the sun rise over the ocean, the only one awake for kilometres, and being glad you crawled out of bed at the arse-crack of dawn. Or lying on an old picnic blanket that smells like sun-soaked fur while gazing up at the sweeping breath of the Milky Way. Maybe all of those at the same time. Just flick open any book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, close your eyes and point and you’ll hit an amazing line of prose. “A collaboration between nature, time, and hands, the space was raw and flowing, unplanned and improbable” (Gods and Monsters 129). See? Just epically beautiful.

The only reason I took so long reading the entire series is that a) I wanted to savour every word, and b) I was trying so hard to focus on my PhD and reading Laini Taylor’s wonderfully turned phrases was like a sucker punch to my very fragile student ego. I did cave and read Days of Blood and Starlight while waiting for my proofreader to get back to me and I had the excuse that that was all I was doing. Waiting. However, I held off on the final novel even though I bought it weeks ago. It was going to be my reward read. Having officially submitted my PhD yesterday (WOOT!), I’ve devoured the novel in one sitting.

I can’t pick what I loved most and I couldn’t bare to spoil anything, so I’m going to go with EVERYTHING! And Zusana and Mik because, duh, they’re amazing. I wait with baited breath for Laini Taylor’s next novel (but in the mean time she’s written lots of cool short stories too).

Now, though, I’m going to read the series again from start to finish!