Review: Night of Cake and Puppets – Laini Taylor



A brief synopsis

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.


Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (4.35 stars)

My rating: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5 stars)


Two nights it took me to read this book, namely because I kept getting distracted by looking at all the gorgeous artwork by the talented Jim Di Bartolo. I loved reading about the Daughter of Smoke and bone trilogy, initially by mistake because I thought I was going to be reading about the Darkling (Shadow and bone trilogy). I am so glad that there is a physical copy of this book out! The book itself is gorgeous and just everything inside is perfection (even if I was secretly hoping it would be a 300+ page novel as a surprise from Laini…).

There is a lot of controversy online lately regarding novellas, as a popular author is saying that readers should buy one of her already published books if they want to read about a 11k word novella. Then saying that if people cannot afford it, then go to a library, as she claims to have received a message from a reader saying they pirated her books and read them that way online. This author is problematic (despite me being completely invested in the Raven Cycle Quartet, I mean hey, nobody’s perfect?) and this isn’t really something I want to go into further. Just that Laini has done the right thing here, and publishing it in hardback with artwork from your talented husband? major props.

Right, let’s finally get down to this book. Zuzana and Mik. I love Zuzana so much and I was glad to see her published, as well as have sneak peaks into her artwork, as well as Karou’s sketch book. Zuzana is fierce and decides to go after the guy she wants, not wanting to mope around any longer. Mik also ends up playing Zuzana at her own game and they are just perfect together.

This book made me miss the dosab series and I am just glad that my bby Zuzana got her own book. The art work is just something else. Laini and Jim are like the most creative power couple ever and honestly she could write her name on a tissue and I would still pay to read it.

I don’t know how else to describe my feelings without crying all over you. This book was romantic and beautiful inside and out, and made me feel very nostalgic for this series. Laini has outdone herself yet again and I just have no words for how happy reading this book has made me.