Thursday, December 12, 2013

Night of Cake and Puppets

Night of Cake and Puppets
Laini Taylor
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013
Reviewed from e-book
Audience:  Ages 16 to 20
ISBN:  9780316369855
Publication Date:  November 26, 2013

Do you remember Karou mentioning in Daughter of Smoke and Bone that Zuzana lured Mik to her with a treasure map?  Well, this is that story.  Told from both Zuzana and Mik's perspective, the reader gets to tag along as these two crazy kids who are already in love with each other actually meet and talk for the first time.  Zuzan, the rabid fairy, is unusually shy when it comes to Mik, mostly because he is kissable, and she has never given that designation to anyone ever before.  Mik is equally nervous around Zuzana because he sees her as an adventuring girl that is completely out of his league.  The end result is perfect and the whole story will make readers long for the final part of the DSB trilogy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, out in April 2014.  Until then, this makes a quick read that will keep readers satisfied.

Of course I pre-ordered this title the minute I found out it was being published, but it's still taken me two weeks to read it!  Life can be an evil strumpet sometimes.

Moving on.  What started out as a short story I'm sure, actually became quite long.  It might actually be qualified as a novella, since it's around 100 pages.  Zuzana's whole courting strategy does make complete sense.  She can't talk to the guy, but she makes herself the treasure in this treasure hunt.  The whole story is rife with the type of lyric writing that Taylor is known for and that I can never give justice to.  For instance, once Mik and Zuzana have found each other and they are frozen from the adventure, Mik says this:  "I want to warm my face against her neck and steam her up like a mirror and write my name on her with my fingertip."  How lovely is that?  Excuse me while I go open a window!

As much as I love Karou and Akiva (and I do), Mik and Zuzana were the comedy relief that was necessary in Days of Blood and Starlight.  And you can already see that he is favorable toward the type of magic and mystery that Zuzana drags him into by taking him to Marrakech.

It's all so lovely!  The falling snow on a bridge in Prague, the hot tea from Poison, the rich chocolate cake, the puppets, the legends, and of course the kiss.  Just wonderful.

It's becoming a growing trend that authors release short stories or bonus scenes between books in a series.  I've read a few for the Lunar Chronicles, and Divergent.  What do you think?  Do you enjoy that authors are giving readers bonus content?  I have to say that I enjoy it.  Especially when it involves a biting puppet and cake.

Happy Reading!

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