Enveloped in mystique, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is definitely a book I do not regret reading, especially after all the humiliation I endured for not doing so earlier. I delved into it with high expectations, and while most of them were met, they were easily displaced as the novel progressed. To avoid ruining the book, my review will be somewhat vague, as the blurb is intricately worded so as not to give readers a clue of what they are about to get into. I liked that aspect, so I find it my duty to maintain it.Karou is an eccentric art student living in Prague. She keeps to herself, often avoiding her ex-boyfriend Kaz, while delighting in conversations over goulash with her best friend Zuzana. She is what many would call a 'free soul' and is very independent for her age. She is not normal though. With her natural, shocking blue hair and her expert fighting skills, Karou is a unique being, except she does not know her origins. She does know that the drawings of mythical creatures in her sketchbook are real though - so real that she was raised by them and runs bizarre errands for them. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the revelation of Karou's history, her blood and battles.In regards to this other plane, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is magnificent in terms of world-building, especially considering that it is a plane that has became exhaustive in its genre. Taylor tantalizingly spills the features of this other world, leaving readers to pick up the pieces one by one. Admittedly, there were many long passages riddled with infodumps though. Despite this, I cannot dismiss my appreciation for what Taylor does - she hones a world raging with unique conflicts. Her imagination is boundless, and this radiates across every page.Readers are given sufficient world-building, so when the plot is ignited, emotions are rolling. When black hand-prints on random doorways begin to obstruct the plane that Karou's foster family resides, she finds it her duty to find them. Through this daring, adventurous mystery, she learns who she really is. Another intended catalyst of the plot is the mysterious Akiva. He is magnetized to Karou, often finding himself stalking her. When the two actually meet, the novel to me became droning, as a star-crossed romance ensues, disrupting the action-packed pacing with its fogginess. I find nothing wrong with romance, but the connection between the two is forged in the past, hence, the predictability rate of Daughter of Smoke and Bone shoots to a level never before seen in its early pages. The novel discontinued with its oozing originality, reverting to the typical trends. This really disappointed me.I did really enjoy Taylor's writing though. It is consistently vivid and poetic, often reflecting the magical air so often ascribed to Prague. Taylor masterfully produces a haunting, gripping tale that captivates readers. Here is a sample of this stunning writing in one of my most-loved quotes from Daughter of Smoke and Bone."Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star."While I am not raving about Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I cannot deny that it was a memorable read, ending on a very open note. I look forward to following Karou now that she is enlightened on who she is in Days of Blood and Starlight, which seems to be even more cherished by lovers of the fantasy series.Pros: Great world-building // Lofty writing // Strong main character // OriginalityCons: Very slow pacing // Very predictable romance // InfodumpsThis review first appeared on Oh,Chrys!