In this week's episode, we discuss Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This one is my pick to go along with our monthly book club challenges. Remember? This month's challenge is Holiday Escape: Escape into your favorite book, holiday themed or not. While this is not my very most favorite book of all time (honestly, I don't know if I have one of those) it is one of my most favorites and we hadn't yet covered it on the show, so here we are!
Let's step back for a moment and take a look at the title of this post. Don't you love the term bun valley? Bun Valley came to us from our Would You Rather question for this book:
You are a teenager. Your now-ex boyfriend embarrassed you and cheated on you with a beautiful girl. Now's your chance for a little petty payback. You have a wish to use upon them that will definitely come true. Would you rather wish for the person you found your ex with to have ever-growing eyebrows or wish for your ex to have a temporary but embarrassingly itchy butt crack while nude modeling?
We received a lovely reply on Twitter from one of our favorite superfans: yo bun valley itching while modelling is just *chefs kiss* the apex of revenge and we quite agree. Plus... bun valley.
So anyway, what does this itchy bun valley have to do with anything? It's part of the book of course! Karou, the main character, runs errands for the Wishmonger, Brimstone, in between her art classes in Prague. As payment for collecting teeth, because yes, she collects teeth for him, Brimstone pays her in wishes. Not big ones, like gavriels, but small ones like scuppies and shings. Scuppies are just powerful enough to cause mischief, like some delicate itching, and Karou wishes her cheating ex to have an itchy butt crack while he's naked in front of her art class. We think it's a very reasonable use of a wish. But(t) that's not all the story is about, though wishes are VERY IMPORTANT.
The story is about Karou on a quest to find her chimaera family, her only family: Brimstone, Issa, Yasri and Twiga after their workshop was sealed off and burned by angels. Wait. I thought angels were the good guys? Why are they burning stuff down? The angels are in a centuries long war with the chimaera (beings with animal and human body parts) and Brimstone's shop conceals a doorway to their world that Karou knows literally nothing about. When one of the angels, Akiva, sees Karou, he almost kills her, but decides not to because she seems very familiar to him. How is that possible? He's a soldier angel from a world Karou has never heard of. But he does seem familiar to her a little, too. So is he the bad guy? Better read to find out! The audiobook is fantastically narrated by Khristine Hvam, so you could listen to it, too. Or listen to the episode. Or all of the above.
Here's a recording picture from this week. We were talking about wishes. What would you wish for if you could wish for anything?
I would wish that you would watch our live Christmas episode next week! We're talking about the short story Dark Christmas by Jeanette Winterson. You can read it for free and then join in on the episode! It'll be tons of fun. We're also playing a game of Bring Your Own Book where you find the answers to prompts inside your own book. It's hilarious. Don't miss out! It's on Tuesday, December 22, at 12:00 pm PT / 8:00 pm GMT.
Until then, Amanda