Mini Reviews: My Lady Jane & Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Hello friends, happy Friday! I haven’t done mini reviews for a while, and I thought it was the occasion to do it again with two wildly popular books I… ended up liking. But not as much as everyone else did.

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

My Lady Jane, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

Thanks to my official bookish sponsor -seriously. that will become an official title soon. I mean, it sounds cool??- Kat, for recommending this book to me.

I was told that My Lady Jane would be A LOT of fun to read and the popular opinion was right on that. If I didn’t laugh out loud all the time, I did a little bit and I smiled a whole lot while reading this. Taking the historical setting of the Tudors and the time where Lady Jane Grey was queen of England for, like, only a couple days, the authors are completely spinning history around and making this a book with its cast of crazy characters, a hint of fantasy, intrusions of the narrators here and there with snarky comments, and so on.

The characters were REALLY funny. Told from three different point of views, we get to follow Jane, Edward and Gifford (called, G.) as they try and take back the throne, don’t want to get into a forced marriage but end up falling in love, kill mythical bears, have adventures and discover that they have it in them to turn into actual animals. Like, a horse. Because yet, there’s a hint of crazy magic in there. Like. WHAT. I loved following the characters and their stories, they all were different and had their little quirks and I was rooting for them. Especially Jane. I mean, she loves books.

I think the main issue for me in this book was… well, pretty much a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I had a bit of a hard time getting into the story and never really felt compelled to read on. It was a fun read, but I wanted to be a little more hooked to the story and the characters and sometimes it felt a bit like it was dragging on and on. I still had a lot of fun though!

“Because he was English and that’s what the English do under stress: they drink tea.”

My rating : 3 drops !

KEY WORDS
Historical fiction (VERY TWISTED), fun, fun, FUN.

TO READ IF
If you’re looking for a fun read and enjoy crazy twists on actual historical events. Just if you want a good laugh, really.

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylorgoodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was my first Laini Taylor book. I have been hearing amazing things about her writing style, the worlds she creates, just… everything. Maybe I have been hearing too much? If I enjoyed this book overall, I wasn’t blown away by it and it makes me so very sad.

If there is something I can’t deny here, it’s the author’s talent for world-building. When I first started reading this book, I felt a bit lost and confused, as characters, names where thrown here and there without any explanations. I was eagerly waiting for the fantasy and EXPLANATIONS to come around. This lasted for about 10% or the book and then, I was served. It’s a complex world, with its own rules and magic and creatures, it has a lot of details and thoughts given into this, I really appreciated it.

Something that bothered me here, though, was how confusing the story got, at times. Divided between flashbacks and present-time a whole lot of the time, it threw you here and there with pieces of a puzzle you have to put together, especially in the second part of the book. It just kind of lost a bit of my attention there, which is a shame.

The characters were interesting and I enjoyed reading their stories: Karou was a great main character with her artistic passion and her little quirks, her strength and her need to have her family. Her determination to find the truth. I rooted for her. I really enjoyed the fact that the main character’s best friend, Zuzanna, was HERE, present and it was just overall a great friendship so bonus point for that.

On the other hand, I had a bit of a hard time with the relationship between Karou and Akiva felt a little insta-lovey to me, which prevented me from completely rooting for them. I wanted them to be okay, obviously, but in their whole story and history, I could feel the insta love and not the relationship building from stratch, something that frustrated me a little bit.

Overall, I still had a good time reading this book and WHAT WAS THAT ENDING????? I know I will be reading more from this author, because I am very curious about the worlds she builds.

“Love is a luxury.”
“No. Love is an element.”
An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.”

My rating : 3 drops!

KEYWORDS
Fantasy, angels, great world-building, insta-love, best-friends goals, monsters.

TO READ IF
You enjoy great world-building, stories about angels and monsters, don’t mind insta-lovey relationships.

 

Did you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read them?

Did you read any of Laini Taylor’s books? Are you into historical or funny books? DO YOU HAVE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ME??

Let’s chat in comments! 💬

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

91 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: My Lady Jane & Daughter of Smoke and Bone

  1. I’m dying to read My Lady Jane, but I am sooo in love with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It’s definitely my favorite book in the series, and one of the best opening of the series I’ve ever read 😀 The insta-love bugs me a little, as well as how possesive Akiva seems, but overall I love the book ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll read My Lady Jane at some point, I’d love to hear what you think! 🙂
      DoSaB was pretty great, I loved the whole concept of the story overall! 🙂
      thank you!! 🙂

      Like

  2. Hey! Happy 2018, Marie 🙂

    I haven’t read My Lady Jane yet, but it is on my list along side The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I’ve been waiting for the prices to go down on the Book Depository.

    I am totally with you on Daughter of Smoke and Bone though. There was SO MUCH HYPE going into that book, and though Taylor’s writing is lovely, the story fell totally flat for me. I loved Karou’s weird family and all of that, but the romance did nothing for me. It felt, like you said, very much like insta-love and all the proclamations they made were telling us to care rather than making us care, you know? It was one of those series that I always sort of meant to continue reading but could never summon up the enthusiasm for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAPPY 2018 to you!! I have missed you so much ❤ I hope your December went well and that your year is off to a great start ❤

      I hope you will read My Lady Jane, I'd love to know what you think of it 🙂

      I'm glad you felt the same way about DoSaB – I expected a bit more from it because of all the hype as well. That's exactly it – I wanted to FEEL something, but I just felt like a spectator, a little bit, and it made me sad. I don't know if I will continue with this series either now :/

      Like

      1. Aww, I missed you too! Thanks for saying that. It feels good to get back to blogging. I think sometimes you just get burned out and need to step away for a minute in order to keep going, you know?

        I know! It’s a disappointing one. I really want to read Strange the Dreamer but I don’t want to be the only person who didn’t like it…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly…. it’s something I need to learn to do a bit more often 😂 but it’s great to step back. Otherwise we just go crazy and end up hating everything 😂

        I am a bit nervous about reading Strange the dreamer as well. I’m curious about the book, the hype and I loved the world-building in DoSaB, which makes me want to read it a lot. But I’m scared to feel “meh” about it as well and be the black sheep.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read either of these books, but I want to read both! My Lady Jane sounds like a blast, but I have to be in a specific mood for it! I haven’t read a book by Laini Taylor, but I have read a short story, which I really enjoyed. Here’s hoping I’ll enjoy both of them! I’ll have to keep in mind that Daughter of Smoke and Bone is confusing, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, what was the short story you read? I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope you will read DoSaB at some point. It was a bit confusing for me,with all the flashbacks, but I hope you will love it 🙂
      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

      Like

  4. My Lady Jane had a lot of hype 2 years ago and I was really interested in picking it up but since then I haven’t heard a single soul talk about it. Which is strange. I am really interested in funny stuff in history (that’s why I loveee Hamilton 😂) so I might give it a go even if it’s not accurate.

    (The thing that I have a huge problem with is if I would rather buy the physical or digital copy of the book. Because if it’s just meh and I don’t want to re-read it I’d feel bad spending teh money but ebooks are so much harder to re-read ummm.
    Ok this comment deviated greatly from what this post is actually about ups.)

    I’m sad that you didn’t like Dosab as much as I did but I see where you’re coming from. I had the most problems with the romance but I read it a while ago.

    I lovee your mini-reviews ❤!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well…you’ll probably hear more about it since the sequel is releasing soon? 😛 It’s weird, though- how everyone is talking about a book at some point, then it just disappears, haha. I hope you’ll give My Lady Jane a go though, I have a feeling you could love it 🙂
      AND PLEASE DEVIATE, I SO GET your dilemma here, you are just like me hahaha. If you’re not too sure, I’d say, get the e-book, it’s always… safer, in a way? 🙂

      Thank you so much!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reviews Marie!! 🙂 I have heard good things about both of these books!
    I’m definitely picking up Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It just sounds interesting to me, plus I have heard amazing things about Laini Taylor’s writing style. I’m glad to hear about the friendship aspect of it, insta-love bothers me in most cases so I’m hoping this book will be an exception (as I do have a few of those). We shall see when I actually get the book and read it! 😀
    My Lady Jane does sound interesting and I do like historical fiction (from time to time), but it’s just not a priority for me. I might read it in the future, but I’m not too sure about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait for you to read DoSaB, I hope you will love it! The story was great overall, I just wish I could have connected with it and with the romance a bit more :/
      And if you’re ever looking for a fun read, My Lady Jane will be for you. I am not a fan of historical fiction, but that one was really… twisted haha, I had fun reading it 🙂
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh so glad you loved it! I can’t wait to start seeing reviews coming for the sequel. I’m eager to see if it’s as funny as the first one 🙂
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. These mini-reviews are pretty spot on about how I felt about them. I liked both but wasn’t planning on reading the sequels for either. I did find out the next book Janies book is going to be about Jane Eyre so I think I am going to give that one a shot. I loved Jane Eyre but also get sad at the ending of the book. So I am wondering what they are going to do to it. Loved this post.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I am so glad you feel the same way! I was worried about being the black sheep on that one, haha 🙂 I am intrigued about Jane Eyre as well and what they will do to her story, haha. Hope it will be good 🙂
      Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve read and LOVED Laini Taylor’s series but I can totally understand why some people wouldn’t like the Insta-love aspect of it (I’m personally a bit of a sucker for it). I haven’t read My Lady Jane although I have heard about it… It doesn’t really sound like the sort of thing I’d love though so I’m not sure if I’ll read it… Great reviews!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I am so glad you loved this series! 🙂 Do you think the books get better, or did you prefer the first book? To get a feeling whether or not I should continue, haha 🙂
      My Lady Jane was a fun book for sure, but if you’re not too into historical settings and kind of…well, absurd books haha, this probably won’t be for you 🙂
      thank you so much for your comment, Lara!! ❤

      Like

  8. You know I love DoSaB but I would agree with you that structurally the story leaves something to be desired. The big chunk of flashback is very disruptive. The short stories/ novellas of Laini. Taylor’s which I’ve read are exquisite, all the lovely writing and world building in these compact stories. If you’re into illustrations definitely read Lips Touch Three Times and Night of Cake and Puppets for alllll the Zuzana. I quite want to readMy Lady Jane, I do really like history but sometimes when the story is humorous and whacky like that j find it quite irritating. Oh and the second and third DoSaB books are huge and heavy, but the story is better put together imo if you’re willing to stick to it ( especially number two. DoGaM is biiig and messy but also good)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s what… kind of killed the flow for me, the big chunk of flashbacks. I felt a bit lost at times and it made me… not so connected to the book, unfortunately. I am glad that you would recommend the sequels anyway, maybe I will try and read them 😀 I definitely want to read more of Laini Taylor’s books, I will have to try her short stories 🙂
      Hm… to be honest, I think you might find My Lady Jane a bit too irritating then, haha. 🙂
      thank you, Shanti! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can definitely understand your qualms about Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I was so confused by what was happening at one point and felt like I was reading a different story at times. I did think there was a strong case of insta-love to start with, but now that I understand the history between Akiva and Karou it doesn’t feel like that as much. The second book is my favourite in the series. It’s painful sometimes and the angst makes me sad, but it provides a deeper insight into the characters.

    I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about My Lady Jane, all of it relating to how hilarious it is. I feel like it reads as a filler book more than anything. One of those books you turn to when you’re in need of a laugh. I’m definitely interested in the book, but there’s no sense of urgency when it comes to reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES that’s exactly it – I felt like I was reading a completely different story at times and it left me confused and a bit… disconnected from everything. I’m glad you enjoyed the second book, maybe I will give it a try at some point, I love a better insight into the characters 😀

      Yes that’s it, it’s more of a filler book, but it is a lot of fun. If you’re just looking to laugh and to read something relaxing, that’s the book for you 🙂
      thank you, Lois!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great reviews! I loved Laini Taylor’s writing, but I didn’t like the relationship between Akiva and Karou either. I LOVE Zuzanna though, my favourite character – she’s hilarious. Shame you didn’t love My Lady Jane, it does sound like a fun read though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YES, Zuzanna was an incredible character, I wish she got more page-time ahah, she was SO great 🙂
      My Lady Jane was really a fun read, I hope you’ll want to try it out sometime 🙂
      Thank you so much!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been thinking of picking up My Lady Jane, but to be honest the size of the book scares me a bit haha. But I’m always up for a good laugh. AND ALSO LOVE that there is a hint of magic. That is really cool and not at all what I would expect from a historical fiction novel.

    I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone when I first read it 5 years ago! But I know I definitely had trouble with the last book in the series, because of all the POVs and how there were a million more characters than the first one. I’m not sure what I would think if I went back and reread them all though.

    Awesome reviews Marie!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get it haha. I got it as an e-book and didn’t expect it to be that long… which is why it felt a bit like it was dragging, at times, haha. Still, it was a very fun read and the magic in it was surprising and a lot of fun. I hope you’ll read it someday 🙂

      Oh, wow. I am not a fan of multiple POV hahaha. It’s funny, though, I think if we re-read books we read a while ago, we would feel differently about them. sometimes, it’s scary to think about re-reading because of that haha 🙂

      Thank you so much, Valerie ❤ ❤

      Like

  12. Ahhhh I’ve wanted to read My Lady Jane for so longggg!! I’m glad that you enjoyed it and it was funny, but it’s sad to hear that it was difficult to get into, especially after all the hype that you had for it!!

    Ahhh and daughter of smoke and bone!!!!! I’ve wanted to read that for so long!! I’ve had nothing but great things about Laini Taylor’s world building!!! It sucks that the book was instalove-y tho 😦

    Great mini reviews!! I loved reading them!
    Have a great 2018!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Even if this wasn’t entirely for you, I am proud that you ventured some more into the realm of fantasy 😀 I am sure I can find some more stuff to ease you into it and make you love it. Maybe more along the lines of This Savage Song but less dark? Because I can definitely do that!!
    Also, “Marie’s official book sponsor” I like the sound hahaha although it sounds a little like I am buying you the books haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YES that would be GREAT, if you have other suggestions, I am all ears. Even if right now, my physical TBR is kind of big and I need to slow down on the book-buying hahaha.
      Oh damn, I didn’t think of that haha you’re right, will have to come up with a new title for you :p

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is VERY insta-love… actually it is the picture book of it but Laini Taylor always is really. But yeah the world building is like a 10 for me… it’s the poster child for WB, which is why I always recommend it. My Lady Jane, I started but didn’t finish yet. I agree with you that I laughed some and smiled so far but I ALWAYS remember I’m reading it! I want to fall into a book and not realize time has passed and to so relate to the characters, but these guys felt deliberately out of place in history, so it was hard to bond. I’m going to try to finish it but i’m not in a hurry. Spot on reviews Marie! Sorry you didn’t love, love Daughter… but its good you enjoyed both on some level! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I didn’t know that Laini Taylor always i insta-love in her stories? That’s good to know, haha 🙂
      YES that’s exactly it! Oh Dani I am so happy you feel the same way, haha. I always remembered I was reading a book and wasn’t quite immersed into the story, made me so sad 😦
      Thank you so much!! ❤

      Like

  15. Oh I’m so sorry these were not fantastic reads as they promised to be! Especially DoSaB, which I loved but still had a few issues with.
    I completely agree the instalovey vibes turned me off a bit and especially after learning *the twist*, which I didn’t like at all! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was genius and completely made sense, but I was so in love with Karou by then and to feel like it wasn’t Karou anymore… I don’t know, it threw me off a bit.
    I was just as confused as you for the first few chapters and it took me a while to get into the story and world but once I did, oh boy… It was a snowball of emotions! Zuzana and Karou were sooo lovely and I wish YA had more friendships like theirs ❤
    As for My Lady Jane, I have still to read it but I hope I can do it soon. I'm not expecting to be completely blown away but I am hoping it'll be as funny as people say. I hate when a book promises to be laugh out loud funny and then can't even make me chuckle… Ugh.
    Amazing mini reviews, Marie ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you ended up enjoying DoSaB! I really enjoyed the read as well, even if it had be a bit confused at times. I totally get it about the whole Karou thing… I was confused about who she was and everything and… had a hard time wrapping my head around her. I agree, I SO wish we got more friendships like theirs, especially in fantasy books, it’s clearly missing! 🙂
      I hope you’ll read my lady jane soon and that it will make you laugh 😀
      Thank you so, so much, Sophie!! ❤

      Like

      1. Thank you, Marie! I sure hope I love it too ^^
        I’m glad I wasn’t the only one struggling with Karou’s new identity… It was just so weird to me. I got used to it more and more, though, and by the next book I think I was okay with it 🙂 Hope the same happens to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Great reviews for both of these books Marie, and I’m glad you enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone even if you weren’t completely blown away by it. 🙂 I feel like Laini Taylor’s strength really is in her world building, it’s something that’s incredibly well done (in my opinion) in all her books so I’m keeping my fingers crossed you enjoy the other two books in this trilogy and Strange the Dreamer a little more. I actually need to re-read this trilogy, maybe I’ll be able to get around to it this year you never know. 🙂
    Also yes I loved the humour and the characters in My Lady Jane, I’m actually really excited for My Plain Jane being released because I hope it has that same humour (I’m sure it will). Shame there was something missing but I guess sometimes the books just don’t live up to the hype. It happens every now and again doesn’t it? 🙂
    Still great reviews, and hopefully the next books you pick up you’ll enjoy lots more. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both of these books were pretty good, I just think that the hype kind of killed them for me a little bit haha. Still, they were a lot of fun to read. I agree that Laini Taylor knows how to create GREAT worlds, I was really amazed by the world-building in DoSaB and for that, I am looking forward to reading more from her 🙂
      Thank you so much 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah every so often that happens with the hype. It’s a shame but sometimes books just can’t live up to our expectations. At least you enjoyed the world building, because I think that is probably one of my favourite aspects of Laini Taylor’s books!
        That’s all right. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Yay, I love mini reviews! I’ve read DoSaB and really enjoyed it but I did have some of the same problems as you, with the instalove and flashbacks breaking the flow a bit, but Laini Taylor’s writing really made up for a lot of it haha!
    I’ve heard a lot of good things about My Lady Jane but I’ve never gotten around to it. It sounds really up my alley though so maybe I’ll give it a shot. It is rare for me to laugh out loud at books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I did read the rest of the series. The second book was better than the first in my opinion, but the third book was a little bit of a let down (What is it with final books in series?) I’d still recommend continuing over all though.
        Ooh I’m glad to hear that! I might get it on Kindle.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve heard SO MANY GOOD THINGS about My Lady Jane, so, naturally, my expectations are quite high! I’m sorry you didn’t love either of these that much! ❤ I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I wasn't a huge fan of the sequel. I still need to read the third book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! ❤ ❤
      I'm sorry haha, I hope that you will still read DoSaB at some point and that you will enjoy it. It was good, entertaining, I liked the world-building but unfortunately I felt a bit too confused :/

      Like

  19. You read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone I see 🙂 Laini Taylor’s world-building is great! Also, yes, I didn’t like this book quite as much as the rest of the series because of the insta-love.

    I keep meaning to read My Lady Jane, but have never gotten to it.

    Like

    1. I did! Yes, her world-building is fantastic. I’m glad you liked the rest of the series 🙂
      I hope you will read My Lady Jane at some point, when you need to read something light and fun, it’s perfect 🙂
      Thank you so much!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  20. These are two books I have been seeing around a crazy amount but I kind of don’t think they are for me? It’s not that they sound like bad books, but they generally seem to be just okay and my interest is in picking up the really good reads! But thanks for these reviews, they were really informative 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great Reviews! Despite issues, I’m glad you enjoyed My Lady Jane. I have it in my tbr but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Daughter Of Smoke and Bone was a good trilogy but to be honest, it really wasn’t that amazing. I really hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Awesome reviews! I’ve heard quite a lot of mixed things about my Lady Jane- but I’m still really curious about it cos it sounds absurd and fun 🙂 And shame you weren’t completely blown away by daughter of smoke and bone- I can see where you’re coming from with regards to it being instalove, but the explanation always made it make sense to me why they connected so fast so I didn’t mind it (I also just loved the writing too much to care before that point) But I’m glad you’re curious enough about her world building enough to pick up more of Taylor’s work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂
      I hope you will read My Lady Jane someday, I would love to know what you think of it. It was such a fun and… well, really absurd book as well hahaha 🙂
      Yes, I’m still curious about the rest of the series and Laini Taylor’s work in general, so I can’t wait to read more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Marie!!!
    I felt the same way about Daughter of Smoke and Bone! Glad to hear that I am not the only one who is not head-over-heels about this book haha… I also thought the relationship between Karou and Akiva was too insta-lovey for my tastes. And YES that ending?!!!? I was expecting more to happen in this book, rather than being deferred to book #2. I was so surprised when I turned the page to realize that the book has ended! However I do agree that the world building and Zuzanna are awesome 🙂
    Great reviews ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ah, I’ve been meaning to read My Lady Jane since it was SUPER hyped, but historical fiction is not my thing so I have to REALLY be in the mood for it. 🙈 And I agree!! Daughter of Smoke and Bone was magical, but it DEFINITELY was insta-lovey — and insta-love was actually present in Strange the Dreamer as well so I’m like hmmm. 🤔 Anyways, great reviews!! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Historical fiction is not my thing either, usually, but… I enjoyed that one? It was a mix of historical-fantasy-magical elements and comic so it was a lot of fun to read 😀
      Oh and would you still recommend Strange the Dreamer, despite that insta-love? ❤
      thank you, May!!

      Liked by 1 person

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