I had no plans to read this book at all…until it was released in hardback with some amazing illustrations! While Zuzana and Mik are two of my favorite characters in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, I would have been okay even if I hadn’t read this novella.
Title: Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 12, 2017 (in hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, paranormal, romance
Length: 256 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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-favorites 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.”
Let me start off by saying the printed version of this book is absolutely stunning. It’s incredibly worthy of all the pictures you see floating around on #bookstagram or what not. I checked out a copy from the library, so while I couldn’t admire it without the dust jacket, the art and illustrations inside are very well done, and you really get a sense of how quirky Zuz is. 🙂
While I thought the entire premise of the book kind of silly (okay, maybe not Zuz being a complete mess when it comes to Mik but rather the idea of the treasure hunt where she is the treasure), I liked getting into Zuz and Mik’s head and ways that we didn’t in the trilogy. It’s very obvious later on in the series how much Zuz and Mik love each other and how they go above and beyond for each other (and for Karou!) as well.
I loved Taylor’s writing style in this series, even with this novella. It’s whimsical and magical, and it was fun revisiting the world even though we weren’t with Karou or Akiva. While I won’t be adding this book to my own shelves (I’m not really one to buy novellas), it was a nice read, but one, as I stated previously, that I would have been perfectly fine even if I hadn’t read it.