Though I'm not generally a fan of fantasy, this novel by Laini Taylor, a National Book Award Finalist, is an exception. It's her use of language that kept me enthralled.
"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."
And so begins the story of Karou, the strikingly beautiful blue-haired artist and Akiva, the vengeful angel who is the epitome of beauty. Karou's past is shrouded in mystery, though her present life is filled with art school and running mysterious errands for the equally mysterious Brimstone. Brimstone is, well, a chimera, a monster. But he and the other chimeras are the only family Karou has ever known.
Enter Akiva, one of the avenging seraphim angels who have been at war with the chimeras for a thousand years. Akiva has a bone to pick (no pun intended)with the chimeras. They killed the love of his life. He is moments away from bringing down his sword on Karou's head when something about her stays his hand.
Their relationship is complicated, tangled in the mists and rife with torn alliances. Will they end the wars or will they destroy each other?
Laini Taylor takes the star-crossed lovers scenario and makes it her own. Laini's use of language is magical. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and can certainly see why she was a National Book Award finalist for her novel, Lips Touch: Three Times targeted for middle and high school age groups.