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Book Club Kits: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

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

Read an excerpt from the novel.

Discussion Questions

  • Using the phrase, “This is a story about… ,”supply five words to describe Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Explain your choices.

  • Why do Karou’s sketchbooks have such a following among the other art students? What fascinates others about this world that she captures?

  • After seeing Karou’s sketches, Zuzana asks, “how do you make this stuff up, maniac?” Karou answers, “Who says I do? I keep telling you it’s all real.” Why would Karou make such a statement, knowing that she must continue to protect her secret? What keeps Zuzana from believing Karou?

  • Why does Brimstone chastise Karou for using the wishes she earns “frivolously.” Give some examples of Karou’s frivolous use of wishes. What do you think Brimstone would consider a worthwhile use for a wish?

  • Brimstone tells Karou that he doesn’t wish, because, “There are things that are bigger than any wish.” What does he mean by this statement?

  • After her failed relationship with Kaz, Brimstone tells Karou, “When an essential one comes along, you’ll know. Stop squandering yourself, child. Wait for love. It will come, and you will know it.” Do you agree with his assessment? What makes Brimstone capable of offering such sage advice?

  • Karou collects languages, which are often given to her by Brimstone as birthday presents. What might be her motivation in doing so? What does having this unique collection afford Karou? If you could “collect” a language (or two), what would it be? Why?

  • Trust is a major theme throughout the novel; offer specific examples where a character’s willingness (or unwillingness) to trust others (or himself) proves advantageous or disastrous.

  • Why did Chiro betray Madrigal?

  • When Brimstone visits Madrigal in prison, she tells him that she and Akiva broke the wishbone together. She says, “I finally made a wish on it. Or …a hope, I suppose, as there was no real magic in it.” Brimstone responds by telling her that, “Hope is the real magic.” What does he mean by this statement?

  • What is evanescence? Why is it such a terrible sentence for Madrigal?

  • Consider the following quote from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. “Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is accord. Harmony.” What does this statement mean? Do you agree or disagree?

  • How would you characterize the relationship between Karou and Akiva? Do you feel that it changes over the course of the novel? If so, in what ways?

  • Considering Karou and Akiva’s perspectives, in what ways is Daughter of Smoke and Bone a story about things that have been lost? What does each of them find along the way?

  • As the novel closes, Karou and Akiva are once again separated. Predict what will happen to them in the next installment of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Will you read the next book?

Book Trailer