I forgot to do something when I reviewed Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And that is to praise Laini Taylor’s writing style because while her pacing is off, her sentence structure is absolutely gorgeous.
I’d make a typical Notable Quotables post…except for the fact that I’d have to quote the whole book because every single line is amazing.
From Zuzana’s puppetry, to the systematic division of wishes, to Madrigal’s whirling emotions, every single word in this book has been carefully chosen. Taylor’s vocabulary is broad and she shows it off without being pretentious about it. Her description of Prague alone paints a picture of the city so vividly:
The first time she’d come to Prague, she’d gotten so lost exploring these streets. She’d passed an art gallery and a few blocks later doubled back to find it, and… couldn’t. The city had swallowed it. In fact, she had never found it. There was a deceptive tangling of alleys that gave the impression of a map that shifted behind you, gargoyles tiptoeing away, stones like puzzle pieces rearranging themselves into new configurations while you weren’t looking. Prague entranced you, lured you in, like the mythic fey who trick travellers deep into forests until they’re lost beyond hope. But being lost here was a gentle adventure of marionette shops and absinthe, and the only creatures lurking around corners were Kaz and his cohorts in vampire makeup, ready with a silly thrill.
Taylor even has the ability to make the cliche “Once upon a time” sound majestic:
Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters.
But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone.
There’s a solemnity to it. There’s a chill.
I have no doubt that Karou’s crazy artistic mind sprung as the brain child of Laini Taylor because Taylor is an artist with words. And it’s not closed off at all. Unlike Milton’s whose high writing style pushes the reader away, Taylor’s draws you in. The writing is almost seductive in that sense—it pulls you in because it’s beautiful and intriguing and you want to see more of it because, hell, it could be talking about people ripping their teeth out with pliers but you don’t care because it sounds good.
Funnily enough, that actually happens in the novel.
It’s the kind of writing I want to be able to do one day. Like Ransom Riggs’ style. Geez, I’m jealous of these people!
Any authors whose writing style you would love to have? Let me know in comments!