Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #71: Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #71: Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini TaylorNight of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5
on November 26, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 89
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
five-stars

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.

Yup, there’s no doubt about it. Laini Taylor is the queen of rabid fairies. A fairy goddess. There is so much magic, literal and figurative both, in her stories. This short story, with less than a hundred pages, has more life in it than most fiction. My big issue with these ebook novellas is that they so often seem like the fatty scraps left from a meal that I’m expected to pay for and eat happily. Not so with Night of Cake & Puppets. This is a small dessert, yes, but it’s so rich, luscious and chocolatey that the price is so completely worth it.Night of Cake & Puppets is sweet, indulgent, and perfect.

Zuzana and MIk are the means by which light and happiness are brought to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series. Aside from them, pretty much everything is dark and unhappy and feels-crushing. They serve an important role. Karou may be hope for the world’s survival, but Mik and Karou are hope for the existence of real, true, fairy tale love. Of course, that makes them sound incredibly cheesy and like the kind of couple I cannot stand. This dessert is not made of cheese, okay? It’s not cheesecake; it’s rich chocolate cake.

The story told in Night of Cake & Puppets is referenced in the actual series and my but it needed to be told. Also, Laini Taylor, shocking no one, can write dual first person POVs that sounds perfectly unique and one hundred percent like the characters. Writing goddess people, I am serious about this. The writing in the novella is every bit as strong as that in the novels themselves. I wish I could just paste the whole thing in my favorite quotes section, but I doubt the publisher would be thrilled with that. Were I to highlight every line that was meaningful to me, hilarious, or perfectly phrased, I would have highlighted 75% of the story at least.

Getting a look into Zuzana’s head is completely amazing. Zuzana has been my favorite all along of course, and I’ve always shipped her with Mik, but my love is at new heights now. See, Zuzana is this intense little person, full of snark and daring. What we don’t see as much of in the series is her nerves and self-consciousness. She doubts herself the same way we all do. In fact, her treasure hunt to herself was a plan born of her fear of talking to him. It’s so damn cute and I want to hug her. Also, her comments on feelings and children basically feel like they were taken from inside my head.

If I ever had any doubts about how perfect Mik and Zuzana are for one another, this would have laid them to rest. Though I didn’t have doubts. Still. Zuzana’s scavenger hunt is ridiculous and Mik not only goes along with it but loves every moment. He’s thoughtful and totally willing to jump through hoops for Zuzana. He enjoys the challenge and the silly. Then there’s their conversation once they meet: the banter, the random, the awkward, the swoon. PER-FUCKING-FECTION, I SAY.

Laini Taylor writes both fluff and misery perfectly. Seriously, goddess. I am building my altar now. Also, I think Night of Cake & Puppets is my favorite part of the series. Dear publisher, please make a print version, so that I can hold it and hug it and pet it.

Favorite Quote:

I mean, who would I be if I’d been raised on milquetoast bedtime stories and not forced to dust the glass prison of a psychotic undead fox Cossack? I shudder to think.

I might wear lace collars and laugh flower petals and pearls. People might try to pat me. I see them think it. My height triggers the puppy-kitten reflex—Must touch and I’ve found that since you can’t electrify yourself like a fence, the next best thing is to have murderer’s eyes.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif amelie kiss

6 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #71: Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor”

  1. Katie says:

    I TOLD YOU THIS WAS GOOD OMG. Zuzanna is perfection.

    Alsoalsoalso I was tweeting with someone who alerted me to a theory about the new Stephanie Perkins-edited short story collection MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME and how Laini Taylor’s short story might very well be about Ziri and Liraz. *squee!!!* Go look at the cover! In one of the couples, the boy has horns. IT MUST BE THEM.
    Katie recently posted…Top 10 Favorite Bookish FriendshipsMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      SO GOOOOOOOOOD.

      Oh. My. God. I am both thrilled and concerned. If they’re in the Christmas book, then will they not get their own spinoff series? Also, did the chimaera have Christmas? O_o

  2. Yes!! This story = perfect dessert. TRUE LITERARY LOVE.
    Lenore Appelhans recently posted…BEA Recap Part 1: The BooksMy Profile

  3. I JUST read this today and it was SO FREAKING ADORABLE. You’re so right about Zuze and Mik balancing the series. I haven’t finished Dreams of Gods & Monsters yet but I can tell it’s going to be so dark and they’re just going to keep things from being totally depressing. As rabid fairies do.

    The quote “I can see them think it” cracked me up so much! Two of my best friends are short, like 5 foot nothing short. Whenever we go out, people ask if they’re my little sisters and you can just see the glower forming. Only one of them has developed murderer eyes though, so you know, it’s all good. 😀
    Terri @ Starlight Book Reviews recently posted…Top 10 Tuesday: Cover Trends I’m Tired OfMy Profile

  4. Meg says:

    ZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIKZUZEANDMIK

    SO MUCH LOVE. ETERNAL GRATITUDE TO LAINI TAYLOR FOR PUTTING THIS STORY INTO WORDS WE CAN READ AND HAVE AND SNUGGLE AND OMG THEY ARE SO CUTE AND MAGIC I CAN’T STAND IT.

    WHY ISN’T THERE A PRINT VERSION? WHY CAN’T I THROW MONEY AT IT AND HAVE IT?

    PERFECT GIF IS PERFECT.

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