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
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 goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.