In the third part of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou’s fears become real – but she isn’t taking it lying down.
Spoilers follow for chapters 16-23.
So I wasn’t expecting a skip forward in time here, but then again I wasn’t ready for the story to take the turn it did at this point. I am still loving it wholeheartedly, though, so I’m in for a penny, as the saying goes.
It’s actually become a point to consider, because the scenes that take place beyond Brimstone’s door, and everything that follows, are giving this story more of an epic fantasy feel instead of the YA-ish urban fantasy I’d settled into at the start. Between that escalation and all the life that Karou and company are giving me, I’m so, so hooked on this. I have no idea how many more surprises might be waiting, but I’m dying to find out!
Keep the Faith
So Karou’s decision to go snooping around behind Brimstone’s door gets her into some apparently life-threatening danger, and instead of sharing any secrets with her that might explain a thing, Brimstone loses his shit and tosses her out of the shop. First of all, WHAT THE HELL, DUDE. Best Goatdad has a Worst Goatdad side after all.
That’s not terribly surprising in retrospect, but it’s bad enough for Karou, who is experiencing all of her worst fears coming true here. Not long after effectively being disowned, the angelic mission is completed and the mortal world’s portals into Elsewhere go up in flames, including Karou’s portal to the shop. Now she’s not only in trouble with her monster family, she’s entirely cut off from them. Oh yeah and she’s still being hunted by Akiva.
Not that this is her top priority; as a few months pass, we come back to Karou as she’s set upon a mission of her own, to find Brimstone and, presumably, to find answers. But can she possibly get them from the angel who’s hunting her down before he simply kills her? Does Akiva truly want to just kill her or will he have too many questions of his own by the time he finds her? And he’s totally going to find her, right?
So a hunter is hunting … a hunter. Because let’s be real, Karou is not just a desperate victim of unfortunate timing and circumstances, here. She’s not crying about her situation; she’s determined to find a solution to it. It definitely makes this story a hundred times more interesting than I’d expected!
As The World Falls Down
Meanwhile, apocalypse fever is sweeping the globe – but is this massive magical/monster war really going to be contained away from the mortal world just because they locked all the doors? With Karou determined to find a way back through, it seems unlikely, right?
But let’s not forget that I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT HER MAGICAL DEAL IS. I am imagining and questioning so many theories, so wildly, that it feels like my brain can’t hold still whenever I read this book. Signs point to Karou having chimaera power, but if that’s the case, why does she look so human? And I have to assume that there’s something special about her, because it seems like it’s the only reason Akiva hasn’t just taken her out yet.
(My heart wants an epic romance, there. I can’t help it.)
So, clearly Karou is something/someone mega-powerful, yet for all intents and purposes she’s still a complete wild card. Oh and she’s a wild card who’s gone and made a deal with a fallen angel to get her answers KAROU NO THIS WILL NOT END WELL WHAT HAVE YOU DONE.
I honestly can’t decide if I want to take detailed notes as I go, or if I just want to break out the popcorn, here. It’s the best.