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Laini Taylor

Laini TaylorLaini Taylor is an artist who created Laini’s Ladies line of gifts and stationery. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband Jim Di Bartolo, an illustrator, and their daughter Clementine. She likes mangoes and chocolate. Learn more at Laini Taylor’s website.

Click here for more stories by Laini Taylor.

Marion chats with Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor, who wrote the YA fantasy Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and was shortlisted for the National Book Award for Lips Touch: Three Times, has a great smile, a winning way with an audience, a wicked sense of humor and pink hair.

Taylor was on the last leg of her book tour promoting Daughter of Smoke & Bone when I met her at Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma, California. Taylor attended the Santa Rosa Junior College, just up the road from Petaluma, and graduated from Berkeley with a degree in English, so she is practically a local, even though she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her artist husband Jim and their daughter Clementine.

She spent a few minutes with me, discussing grow... Read More

Rebecca chats with Laini Taylor

Yesterday I was very lucky for the chance to meet with Laini Taylor and discuss her recently-completed DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy. Arriving in Christchurch, New Zealand for our biannual Writer’s Festival, Laini was kind enough to share some insights into her epic story. Involving a star-crossed romance, a perspective flip on angels and demons, and an upcoming film adaptation, her trilogy has ensnared thousands of readers -- and hopefully you as well.

Here are the New Zealand covers of Laini's books:

I hope you enjoy the interview! Special thanks to Ruby Mitchell, who not only set up the meeting, but handled the filming process with my trusty Tablet! Read More

Faeries of Dreamdark

Faeries of Dreamdark — (2007-2009) Ages 9-12. Publisher: When the ancient evil of the Blackbringer rises to unmake the world, only one determined faerie stands in its way. However, Magpie Windwitch, granddaughter of the West Wind, is not like other faeries. While her kind live in seclusion deep in the forests of Dreamdark, she’s devoted her life to tracking down and recapturing devils escaped from their ancient bottles, just as her hero, the legendary Bellatrix, did 25,000 years ago. With her faithful gang of crows, she travels the world fighting where others would choose to flee. But when a devil escapes from a bottle sealed by the ancient Djinn King himself — the creator of the world — she may be in over her head. How can a single faerie, even with the help of her friends, hope to defeat the impenetrable darkness of the Blackbringer?

Laini Taylor Faeries of Dreamdark 1. Blackbringer 2. Silksinger Laini Taylor Faeries of Dreamdark 1. Blackbringer 2. Silksinger
Available from Audible.

Blackbringer: Laini Taylor has crafted something nice here

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Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor has crafted something nice here. She’s got some great characters, first of all. I admit, I didn’t connect very well with the main character, Magpie, at first. She seems a bit like the typical “tough girl” appearing in fantasy these days (you know, the one who is the utter polar opposite of the “doormat”), at the beginning. But Taylor uses her story not only to develop Magpie, but to unfold and reveal her deeper layers. She doesn’t just stomp and demand, sniping at everyone for perceived slights and making stupid moves to prove her “independence.” It becomes very easy to like her when she admits her mistakes, apologizes when she’s rude, and has the strength to ask others for help. (Can you tell I’m getting tired of having to swallow angry, mean-spirited women as “strong female characters”?)

The supportin... Read More

Silksinger: Meticulous details make a wonderful setting

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Silksinger by Laini Taylor

When last we left the intrepid — and tiny — heroes of Blackbringer, Magpie, Talon, and company were leaving on a task set to Magpie by the Magruwen (the Djinn King). Their mission: To find the last five of the Djinn who created the world.

In Silksinger we meet Whisper Silksinger, the last remaining member of a clan of faeries who weave flying carpets (because they’re all “scamperers,” meaning their wings are too small to carry them). She, too, has a mission. Her clan has long been the protectors of the Djinn known as the Azazel. As the last Silksinger, she must bring the Azazel (only an ember smoldering away in a teakettle) to his throne, where he will, she hopes, awaken. It’s a burden Whisper carries alone, as she doesn’t believe she can share her secret with anyone else.

Along t... Read More

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone — (2011- ) Young adult. Publisher: 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?

Laini Taylor Daughter of Smoke and BoneLaini Taylor Daughter of Smoke and Bone 2. Days of Blood & Starlightfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews         fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Fresh and engrossing

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."

The “angels” and “devils” of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke Bone are not quite what those words would lead you to expect, but are given an original twist. The angels are closer to the angels we know — specifically the fearsome, fiery warrior type of angel, not the gauzy kind that helps adorable children cross bridges. They differ from the popular conception of angels in that they’re placed in a religious context of Taylor’s own invention. Their enemies are the chimaera, a race of human/beast hybrids whom the angels revile as demonic. These two races dwell in the realm of Eretz, parallel to our own world, where a war has raged between them s... Read More

Days of Blood & Starlight: Paradise Lost meets Romeo and Juliet

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Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke Bone was one of my favorite books last year, a sparkling, quirky gem of a fantasy. Karou, with her blue silk hair and the eyes on her palms, captivated me. The mysterious story ended darkly, but it was filled with humor and whimsy.

Days of Blood Starlight has plenty of darkness, at least at the beginning. Karou has left Prague and her art student life and fled to Marrakesh, where she is helping her people, the chimaera, building magical bodies for their spirits to inhabit. Karou is grieving the murder of her family and the immolation of her love affair with Akiva, a seraph – the enemy of her people.

The most disturbing thing is that she has allied herself with Thiago, the Whi... Read More

Dreams of Gods and Monsters: A spectacular ending

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Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

What do you get if you cross Paradise Lost with Romeo and Juliet? Laini Taylor’s DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy, a story that centres on an epic war between angels and demons with a pair of star-crossed lovers caught in the middle. Only the angels and demons aren’t exactly what you’d expect. In the world of Eretz, “angels” are winged humanoids known as seraphim and the “demons” are half-human, half-animal hybrids known as chimaera. Their conflict has been going on for centuries — and has finally spilled over into our world.

When this third and final instalment begins, the world’s population is riveted on live footage of thousands of angels sweeping through the skies and descending upon Vatican City. Riots, vigils, baptisms, suici... Read More

Night of Cake & Puppets: Charming YA romance

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Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

For years Laini Taylor’s been a favorite here at FanLit, and now I know why. I picked up Night of Cake & Puppets, a stand-alone novella set in Taylor’s DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE world, because it was short and available on audio at exactly the length I needed for a recent car trip: two hours and forty-five minutes. Perfect. That’s not all that was perfect about Night of Cake & Puppets. Everything was perfect about Night of Cake & Puppets. Well, except I wish it had been longer. Longer would have been perfect.

Night of Cake & Puppets is about Zuzana and Mik’s first date. Zuzana, in case you don’t know, is the best friend of Karou, Laini Taylor’s heroine in the SMOKE & BONE books. I haven’t read those books, but that didn’t decrease my e... Read More

Strange the Dreamer: Complex and compelling

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

On first look, it might seem that Laini Taylor was a little too ambitious with her latest offering, Strange the Dreamer (2017), kind of like an overenthusiastic cook that goes a bit overboard with their cake ingredients. The blurb doesn't help matters, citing a war between gods and men, a mysterious city, a mythical hero, a librarian, alchemy, nightmares and monsters as some of the components of the story — which will no doubt have raised an eyebrow or two. But just like its protagonist, Strange the Dreamer is far from what you first expect.

Our story opens with Lazlo Strange, a war orphan brought up by monks. He is, as the title suggests, a dreamer, and spends his days fighting mythical warriors in an orchard... Read More

Lips Touch Three Times: I want to squeal like a crazed fangirl

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Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

I'm having a hard time reviewing Lips Touch: Three Times. Intelligent language seems to be failing me. I don't want to write a review so much as I want to jump up and down and squeal like a crazed fangirl. Lips Touch is chocolate in book form. It's dark, it's rich, it's delicious, and it's precisely to my taste.

Lips Touch is a collection of three stories; the common theme, as you might guess from the title, is the kiss. In fairy tales, a kiss is often the catalyst for transformation. Laini Taylor is, without a doubt, writing fairy tales here. From the threads of older stories, she weaves new tales that have all the power of the old.

The first story, "Goblin Fruit," is set in the present day and features an unpopular high school student, Ki... Read More