Night of Cake and Puppets

Night of Cake and Puppets

Title: Night of Cake and Puppets

Author: Laini Taylor

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2.5

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date: October 5th 2017


Five Stars

In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favourites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I have scuppies in my pocket and lust in my heart. Tonight’s the night.”

When it comes to getting her crushes attention, and possibly her first kiss, Zuzana is never going to take the easy road. Instead of walking up to Mik and introducing herself with the help of a few scuppies left for her by Karou she creates a night that is just as magical as she is. She leaves a treasure map in Mik’s violin case, and waits for him to follow the clues that lead to her.

Mik has noticed Zuze around the theatre where they both work almost as much as she’s noticed him, but he’s never quite got up the courage to speak to her. When he sees the treasure map in his violin case it’s not even a question of whether he will follow it. Zuze is a mystery to Mik and he wants nothing more than to be swept away by the adventure and fantasy she offers, even if it’s just for an evening.

“There’s a long pause.
But it’s not a bad pause, because Mik is looking at me like I’m the treasure from the high shelf that someone’s just taken down and put into his hands. I find I don’t mind being looked at like this. I don’t mind it at all.”

Night of Cake and Puppets is told from both Zuzana’s and Mik’s POVs, and we learn more about both characters who were only really touched upon in the first book of the series as their romance unfolds before our eyes. This isn’t an essential read to understand the story arc of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy but it’s well worth picking up, if not to learn more about Zuzana and Mik then to see the gorgeous drawings in the illustrated edition.

…The Characters

“I’m not looking for fate. I’m seventeen. I’m looking for kissing, and to move forward a few paces on the game board. You know, do some living.”

Zuzana has a larger than life personality, and while there is still a certain innocence about her she’s in no way meek or naive. She knows what she wants and she goes after it the only way she can, creating something truly unforgettable with a few well placed notes and a little magic.

It is easy to see what draws people to Zuzana. She had Mik’s attention long before she placed her map in his violin case and after everything Karou has faced Zuze is still there for her, an ever present link to Prague and Karou’s old life. Karou may not be present in body but she is in spirit, and the interaction between the two friends through their texts is full of light-hearted banter that only added to Zuzana’s and Mik’s story for me.

“My face responds without authorization from my brain, so the resulting smile feels like the biggest, most unguarded, goofiest smile I’ve ever unleashed in my entire life.”

Mik is adorable. He was nervous around Zuzana at first, a little unsure of himself, but his humour and kindness really shone through. He proves he can match Zuze step for step too, and even without the help of any scuppies he can create something special and magical for her in return.

…The Setting

“I don’t believe in prayer, but I do believe in magic, and I want to believe in miracles.”

One of my favourite parts of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series has been the world building. Night of Cake and Puppets takes us back to Prague, which is probably my favourite of all the settings the trilogy has taken us to, and adds even more magic to the city. Following both Mik and Zuzana we travel all around Prague, and revisit some of the places that are wholly Karou and Zuze.

Laini Taylor is one of my all-time favourite authors, and this book is a great example why. In this novella she’s given two beautifully written characters a sweet love story that left me wanting more. Night of Cake and Puppets is a quick read telling Zuzana and Mik’s story as they fall in love while the snow settles over Prague.

What did you think of Night of Cake and Puppets? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

11 thoughts on “Night of Cake and Puppets

  1. I keep meaning to pick a copy of this up… and to re read the dosab series … maybe I should pick it up so I can fit it in with my re read? I’m glad to see you enjoyed it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely not – the issue is mostly fitting in a re read in between all the new releases you want to read 😅😅 and I’ll be sure to pick up a copy some time

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve yet to read this one. I’d like to — I really liked Zuzana in the main trilogy — but I’m not big on novellas and, while the special edition is beautiful, it’s very expensive for the amount of story you actually get, which has put me off. If I can get it from a library or something, I’ll definitely read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zuzana was my favourite character in the original trilogy, and honestly I’m not a massive fan of novellas either. I think it’s hard to develop the characters and the story and the world properly when you don’t have as many pages as you would in a full novella, but this wasn’t an issue for me with Night of Cake and Puppets.
      Well in that case I hope you manage to find a copy in the library or something. 🙂


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