When I first started reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the queasy feeling that this was going to be one of those annoying ‘yeah it’s good, but not for me’ books soon settled into my stomach. Mostly because I found Karou impossible to relate to: the blue hair, the strange upbringing she didn’t even understand herself, the unnecessary ‘what was I thinking’-ex, the over the top best friend … but also the foreign city and language, making me feel very far away from the characters. It seemed like every aspect of those first 200 pages went against the grain for me and I was struggling to get invested in the story and care about the characters. When you don’t really get (or like) the MC, you know you’re in for a rough read.
About halfway in however, the story changes into something more lush, more crazily fantastic and unlike anything I’ve ever read before, yet, strangely more relatable! I loved loved loved Madrigal and found her story to be one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read. I really wish the entire book was like the last 150 pages – I would have bowed before Laini Taylor as my queen if that had been the case. But as it stands, I’m torn between 4 and 5 stars because I did not enjoy the beginning of the story much at all … Does the end make up for it? It does … But then again there are plenty of books that get me hooked from the get-go, and they thus fully deserve their 5 stars. So I’m going with an actual rating of 4,5 for now and rating it 4 stars on Goodreads … Might change that later when I forget about Karou and remember Madrigal fondly.