Review: Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2.5) by Laini Taylor

Release Date: November 26th 2013
Published By: Little, Brown Books (US), Hodder & Stoughton (UK/Aus)
Pages: 100
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 5 out of 5


In Night of Cake & Puppets, Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Told in alternating perspectives, it’s the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike. 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 meet him, 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 finally leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy’s not going to know what hit him.

Review: Once again, Laini Taylor has blown my mind! Yes, Laini is the one author that will turn me into a fangirl, makes me gush and could easily turn me into that person who collects heart shaped rocks - but that is because she never fails to amaze and captivate me. And yes, she managed to make me fall in love, and then left me desperately wanting more after this 100 page novella.

This astounding story explores the night that Zuzana and Mik went on their first date - well going on a date is a bit of an understatement, it was more an adventure. A treasure hunt to be precise. The story follows both Zuzana and Mik as they hike all over Prague in one night (yes, all over Prague… and yes I have noted the places for my visit there next year), all so Mik can seize his prize - Zuzana.

I was utterly mesmorised from the first sentence, right up until the very end. I loved everything about it, the humour, the tenderness, the anxiety, Zuzana’s childhood stories, the glimpses of Karou, the memory of Kishmish - and even a cameo from Kaz (although, it is Kaz, and what’s to like about him?). The setting is idealistic, creating a somewhat eerie but yet beautiful backdrop to this one night where magic truly happens.

In this awesome novella, we get to see more sides to our favourite rabid fairy and her violin boy. With humour that you would expect from Zuz, and sweetness that you would expect from Mik - this story also shows the more vulnerable and even more endearing side to them both. They truly are the cutest couple ever - and following both their POV’s during this one amazing night is just magical.

Laini once again floored me with her amazing creativity, her beautiful and lyrical writing, and her ability to capture an essence and hand it to you while you are reading the wonderful words she has written. And her descriptions of Prague are once again astounding! Her ability to evoke such beautiful images from words is nothing short of amazing (and trust me, I’ve been to Prague, and she is spot on - and when I go back, I just know I am going to be disappointed that there is no Poison Kitchen).

If there is one person in this world who’s mind I would like to live in, it has to be Laini’s - she is phenomenal; she is a great story-teller, she conjures beautiful visualisations, and she creates all the feels - oh the feels - so many feels! As amazing as Night of Cake and Puppets is (and it truly is), it has left me wanting even more of Laini’s writing. Sadly though, I have read everything that she has had published, so I am now hanging out until April 2014 for the final in this incredible series - Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Don’t get me wrong - I am in no way regretting reading this novella, it’s just now that I am left with a taster of this amazing world, when all I want to do is jump in it head first and live in it forever.

So yes, I utterly loved this unexpected (but highly appreciated) novella. I would love for Laini to give us more novellas - any novellas, all novellas, anything really! Preferably about Brimstone. Actually a book about Brimstone would be good - but I’m not greedy ;) But I know that may never happen, and I really do appreciate this adorable story that I never thought we would get to see - Thank you Laini for this amazing story about the Night of Cake and Puppets!



“I am a rabid fairy. I am a carnivorous plant. I am Zuzana. And violin boy’s not going to know what hit him.”

“It’s not stalking if you don’t follow them home, right?”

“I’m hoping the talking portion is just a thin layer between the dazzling portion and the kissing portion, like the frosting between layers of cake.”

“The fact that I can’t even muster any true self-disgust tells me how deep this goes. I’m doomed.”

“I love vengeance like normal people love sunsets and long walks on the beach. I eat vengeance with a spoon like it’s honey.”

“He radiates non-orificeness.”

“All he says is ‘Hi’, but he says it like he’s breathing it out on a plum of awe, and it melts me.”

What do you think?

  • Carolyn says:

    I loved this novella too. Laini certainly has a way with her words that make you crave more.

    I love Zuzana and am really glad she got her own story. And yes I agree about Brimstone’s story needing to be told.

    The downside of this novella was that it made me want 3 things:

    1. I really really really want to go to Prague
    2. I don’t know how I am going to wait until next April to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters
    3. I was really craving cake whilst reading this.

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