Sunday, January 3, 2016

Night of Cake & Puppets Review: Zuzana

Book: Night of Cake & Puppets
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Standing: Book 2.5
POV: 1st person alternating between Zuzana and Mik, present tense
Setting: Prague, Czech Republic
Genre: YA paranormal

Source: ebook
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 100
Release: November 26th, 2013


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.

A cute and witty read!

This novella falls right in-between the first two books of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series. Zuzana takes centre stage, as Karou is now travelling the world looking for wishes. Karou has left Zuzana 5 scuppies (5 small wishes) and Zuze has every intention to put them to good use: to get the guy she's been crushing on to notice her, and potentially kiss her. And so begins an elaborate plan to get Mik to meet her...

I've read a lot of reviews of the series where people fall into one of two categories with Zuzana: either they love her, or they hate her. For me, I liked Zuzana and the lengths she goes for Karou, but I didn't necessarily love her 100%. This novella enforced that notion again for me. Zuzana's actions--and ultimately the plot--were fantastic and very creative, which I enjoyed. However, it took a few pages for me to settle into her narration, as her voice grated a little on my nerves. I felt a little like she was rambling as a means to hide her nervousness of the situation, which gave it a diary-like/too much information sense. But it died down quickly, and plunged right into the both drastic and hilarious plot.

The romance was definitely a dreamy one, in the dream-like sense. Magic plays a very important part in Zuze's set up. The author clearly did her research on Prague, puppet making, theatre performances, and different myths in Czech Republic, and let it show through the double meanings of the items Zuzana leaves for Mik to find. Both Zuzana and Mik's thoughts about each other were adorable to read about, as they both really admire each other but never have had the courage to speak up. Their doubts for the other's feelings are also funny to read about, as it's heavily ironic since we know just how mad they are for each other. Their romance is hands-up fairytale worthy!

It was definitely a cute and imaginative read, filled with lots of history and magic. The method Zuzana uses to get Mik is definitely bold, one that matches her personality quite perfectly. If you're looking for a high-risk spin on how to get a guy with a little bit of magic, definitely pick this one up!


  1. Great review, Erika! I haven't heard this book before so thank you for sharing! The romance sounds interesting and I think I'm gonna love this one. :)

    Denise @ I am Shelfless

    1. It's very cute and bold, so I definitely recommend it! :)

  2. I'm glad you liked this one! I usually skip most prequels/novellas, but this one doesn't sound Half bad.

    1. I usually skip them too, haha. But this is one I gave a try, and it was worth it!

  3. I'm not much of a novella fan but I do want to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Nice review!

    1. Thanks! The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is definitely a unique one, so I highly recommend you pick it up soon! :)