Character Connection: Karou

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Cover of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorKarou, the main character in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, is a 17-year-old girl attending an arts school in Prague. She has funky blue hair; a short and awesomely sarcastic best friend; a beautiful, arrogant ex-boyfriend; amazing artistic ability; and a double life.

Karou carries around a sketchbook with her wherever she goes and her friends at school love looking through it every week to check out the continuing adventures of The Chimera, creatures cobbled together from bits and pieces of all kinds of animals. There’s Esa the snake women, Brimstone with his ram’s horns, a crow-like creature whose name I can’t remember, and more. All of her friends think that Karou is making up The Chimera and their adventures. She’s not–they’re the closest thing to family that she has.

Karou is just awesome. She and Zuzanna play off each other really well. Both smartasses but also genuinely caring about each other. She and the ex-boyfriend are fun to watch. He with his narcissism and she unrelentingly knocking him down a peg or two. She and Akiva are…magic.

She manages to attend school and at the same time use this weird portal system to carry out errands for Brimstone, collecting teeth from around the world for him. She might be in Siberia one day and in Borneo the next. She questions Brimstone, but when he continually rebuffs her curiosity about the teeth, she mostly respects his wishes. But you can’t blame a girl for being curious, right?

She’s hugely loyal to her adoptive family and is willing to go to the ends of the earth for them.

Karou has a huge heart and she’s not afraid to act on her convictions. She knows a tooth trader who wished for knowledge and got it, at the cost of his sanity. While everyone else rebuffs him, she remembers how kind he was before and treats him with kindness now in return. In her travels, she’s seen some unforgettably violent scenes. When she feels righteous anger about a situation, she’s not afraid to act with violence of her own. One scene in the past is never greatly elaborated upon, but it was enough to make me slightly queasy and thankful that Karou had her knives with her and knew how to use them. When the situation doesn’t call for violence yet demands some kind of retribution, she can can get awfully creative with the small wishes she carries around with her. Skillfully placed itches, untameable eyebrows… She has a wicked sense of humor that shows itself here.

She’s highly trained in martial arts and she can kick ass with the best of them. She has a set of swords that she loves. But mixed with that is the light-hearted girl just trying to make it through high school. She’s an interesting contradiction.

And then you find out her whole story and she’s even more awe-inspiring…

(As an aside, I have no idea if I spelled any of this correctly because I listened to it on audio. Feel free to correct me in the comments)

Who have you connected with recently? Link your post on Mr. Linky, then be sure to go check out the other Character Connections!

Character Connection meme hosted at The Introverted Reader

Who do ya love?

Or love to hate?

You know you’ve got a lot to say about some larger-than-life characters, and this is the place to say it. Write a straightforward post. Draw a picture. Vlog, write poetry, write fiction, cast the role, be as creative as you want!

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader on the first Thursday of every month.

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. I loved this book and Karou's character. I'm going to try thinking up a post about her for this challenge tonight… hopefully I can write one, if not then I'll be back to check out the next one. 🙂

  2. I'm excited to read this one. I need to just pick it up but I'm afraid my expectations are still a little high.

  3. Taylor didn't spend a whole lot of time describing the artwork, which probably worked out for the best. It's easy to get bogged down in those descriptions, and if they suck, they suck hard. The book I'm re-reading now has great descriptions of artwork, probably because the author is married to an artist. And they're totally apart from the story so you don't have to read them if you don't want to, but it adds so much if you do. Each section is introduced with about a page-long description of a painting.

  4. +JMJ+

    Artist characters in novels are so fascinating because their visual medium becomes so subordinate on the the authors' skill in "painting" with words. I hope Laini Taylor did Karou's drawings justice!

    I'd ask if the book comes with illustrations, but you "read" this in audio, so never mind! 😉

    Thanks again for hosting Character Connection! Since it's Giveaway Month for me, which means a lot of books to promote, I already have another post ready for next week. =)

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