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Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone)

Review

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone)

Laini Taylor delivers a magical, enchanting and charming romance in this little companion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS follows Zuzana, a character in Taylor’s previous trilogy, and Mik, the "violin boy" she is trying to win over. We first met these characters during the first book, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, where we see them together as a couple without the tale of them becoming one. In this novella, Zuzana draws a treasure map for Mik that leads him all over the wondrous city of Prague. The prize? Herself! And she uses a little bit of magic to help her.

"Laini Taylor did not disappoint. She graced the novella with her lyrical writing, hilarious dialogue and charming love --- as usual."

I knew that I was going to love this book from the start. First of all, Zuzana is one of my favorite characters in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy; spunky, sassy and smart --- what’s not to love? The only way to describe Mik was a precious cinnamon roll --- so, so sweet! I absolutely adored them in the trilogy and definitely wanted to read about the origin of their romance. Laini Taylor did not disappoint. She graced the novella with her lyrical writing, hilarious dialogue and charming love --- as usual. It’s the kind of story where you can’t help but grin like an idiot every two pages!

Story-wise, the characters made this book shine. Zuzana is just a girl with a best friend who lives with monsters and has a crush on a musical cutie. Perfectly awesome! Mik is just trying to find the courage to ask out the girl of his dreams. What a sweetheart! We also get mentions of Karou, the best friend and protagonist of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, who is also awesome. Laini Taylor just understands teenagers; we just want cake, magic, fast replies to texts and adventures. Is that too much to ask? Content-wise, my favorite aspect of the book was the beautiful art, which was drawn by Taylor’s talented husband. The drawings were just stunning and added humor and even more magic to it! Jim Di Bartolo, the artist, also drew a scene from DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE — I definitely want a full graphic novelization of that in the future.

The only thing I would change would be the amount of literal magic in it. I know it makes no sense, as Zuzana and Mik are not magical — Zuzana used Karou’s magic to help with her plan. Maybe since I’m used to Taylor’s whimsical and mythical tales, I’m not used to her writing a story in which the focus was not magic. I also love masquerades and dark deeds, so I wanted that (maybe like a ball?) in this, which also makes no sense. That’s just my personal preference, and the rest was phenomenal.

If you are missing the essences of magic, charm or enchantment in your life, NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS is the book for you. After all, as Zuzana said, “Life doesn’t need magic to be magical (but a little sure doesn’t hurt).”

Reviewed by Daniella R., Teen Board Member on October 17, 2017

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone)
(Daughter of Smoke & Bone #4)
by Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo