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Publisher's Summary

In this new stand-alone novella from New York Times best-selling author Laini Taylor comes the story of a romantic, funny, and fantastical first date. 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 listeners 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.

©2013 Lani Taylor (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Amy
  • JOSHUA, TX, United States
  • 02-24-14

Rabid Fairy + Violin Boy = Magic

It was nice to spend time with YA Fantasy's favorite secondary couple and have them in the spotlight. Zuzana's fiesty, humorous, intelligence was the recipe for insta-love. Her embrace of magic and endearing friendship with Karou has us friends for life.

The romance between Zuzana and Mik in DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT had me wanting to know more about them. How they met? How they fell in love? I mean the dude traipses through the Moroccan dessert with the woman he loves, because he wouldn't want to be anywhere else but where she is. AMAZING!

NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS started a little slow, while Zuzana establishes the backstory of her work with puppets. But it doesn't take long for you to be wrapped up her in tale of the "Biting Puppet" and on to how she stalks the quiet Violin Boy. I was swept away once again with TAYLOR's language as she sets out to create the perfect meeting for the Rabid Fairy and Violin Boy. It was beautiful, playful, romantic, and full of imagery that dances around in your mind and in your heart. I WANT A STORY LIKE THIS ONE.

I want to do some living with my lips.

KHRISTINE HVAM captures Zuzana's spirited soul and the evening is magical. I wasn't quite ready for KEVIN T. COLLIN's Mik though. He was fleshed out in my mind in KHRISTINE's likeness and KEVIN's brusque Eastern European accent hardened the sensative Mik for me a touch. But overall, it made for a beautiful Valentine's Day listen for me. I can't wait for GODS & MONSTERS on audio.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • anne
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 08-03-14

Just straight up ADORABLE!!!!!

What made the experience of listening to Night of Cake & Puppets the most enjoyable?

Zuzanna!!! she is one of the cutest characters ever to hit the page!!!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Zuzanna of course...but Mick was super cute too...and the narration was awesome...2 of my fave narrators...

What does Khristine Hvam and Kevin T. Collins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They become the characters....with a little humor, some teenage angst and new love...they were so sweet!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This was a light quick listen...and the whole thing was adorable from beginning to end!!!

Any additional comments?

I loved this little short..Zuzanna and Mick were meant for each other...well worth the 3.50....and I would listen again...it was a perfect first date!! 2 thumbs up...now give us one with Liraz and Ziri!!! lol

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love, Love, Loved It!

What made the experience of listening to Night of Cake & Puppets the most enjoyable?

The story is super sweet and so lovely. You can't help but smile and root for them.

What other book might you compare Night of Cake & Puppets to and why?

The rest of the "Smoke and Bone" books

What about Khristine Hvam and Kevin T. Collins ’s performance did you like?

They were fabulous. It was like the characters were really there talking to you. I love Kristine Hvam and Kevin T. Collins was incredible. I hope to hear more from him.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This was a short story, but I hope they make movies out of this trilogy of books

Any additional comments?

If you love the other books, pick this one up too. You won't be dissapointed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Carolina
  • Montreal, QC, Canada
  • 05-14-14

Lovely and Magical

Originally posted at: A Girl that Likes Books

Life doesn’t need magic to be magical. But a little bit sure doesn’t hurt

Why I read this book

Ever since I started reading the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy I've likes Zuzana. She is a fun character to read and to hear, since I am doing this series in Audio. So when I learn that there was a tiny novella dedicated to her I had to read it.

What the book is about

Taylor gives us in this book the story of Zuzana's and Mik's first date. With a bit of help from Karou and a lot of input from her own unique persona, Zuzana finally makes the first move and marvels Violin Boy with a wonderful night in Prague.

First impressions

Independent of the magic in this story, this is such a lovely first date. Two people that have liked each other all along, but cannot gather the guts to ask each other out finally getting the little push they needed.

Final thoughts

While the reason why I like Daughter of Smoke and Bone so much is because it doesn't revolve solely on a lovey dovey couple but mostly in effect difference and ignorance can affect everything, this novella was sweet without being sickeningly so.

It showed a side of Zuzana that was endearing without losing her strength, which happens so often, like you have to choose between one and the other. And Mik is adorable; the way he talks (Kevin Collins does a wonderful job impersonating him), the way he expresses himself, is absolutely charming. The fact that the story is told from both POVs is a plus, and when it finally merges it is…well, I don’t like to say perfect, but I guess for this two it was.

Listening to this novella, right before going through Dreams of Gods and Monsters gave me a whole new light for their relationship as well as the one between Karou and Zuzana. Almost 3 hours of delightful charm and sassiness.

I want to build spires in their minds and dance shadows through like marionettes, chased by whispers and hints of the unspeakable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Erica
  • United States
  • 04-16-14

A Return to the Style of Daughter of Smoke and Bon

While the second in the series had a very different feel, Night of Cake & Puppets felt much more like the first in the series, for which I was grateful. While I was initially displeased at the addition of a second narrator, it totally worked. The story was fun and engaging and it was wonderful to hear more about Zuzana and Mik. Completely recommend it, thought probably only if you are into the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A gorgeous novella

Night of Cake & Puppets is a romantic, humorous novella about series-protagonist Karou’s best friend Zuzana, and is the story of her unique first date with Mik. This novella features Laini Taylor’s signature gorgeous writing and did the trick of coaxing me back into this series.

Sometimes novellas are kind of throwaways, but this one is so gorgeous, romantic and magical that it’s a treasure in its own right. As a reader of the first book in the trilogy I was familiar with the characters and able to follow along easily, despite the time lapse. And as far as I can tell this novella doesn’t spoil book two, but readers will get more out of it by reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone first.

Since the book is Zuzana and Mik’s love story it’s a nice surprise that the book shares alternate points of view. Zuzana is smitten with Mik and hatches an intricate treasure hunt to profess her feelings. Mik is up to the task, and the treasure hunt is full of magic and whimsy. Zuzana and Mik’s budding love story had me completely charmed. It’s the perfect winter romance to tide you over until the final series installment.

Though this novella is primarily about Zuzana and Mik, the friendship of Zuzana and Karou is carried through via text messages and phone calls. Zuzana and Karou are so funny together and supportive even when they are apart.

I listened to the audiobook, performed by Khristine Hvam and Kevin T. Collins. I chose the audiobook primarily because of Hvam, and because I’m planning to continue listening to the series. Hvam is masterful in her performance and conveys Zuzana’s kooky/aggressive/vulnerable personality just right and with a ton of personality. Kevin T. Collins performs Mik’s chapters and it’s my first experience with his narration (He also performs the Beautiful Creatures books.) Collins makes Mik sound like the endearing character he is and is a worthy counterpart to Hvam’s Zuzana. The story is set in Prague and both narrators read with accents that make the setting come alive. I’m excited to continue on with the next audiobook.

This novella is a cut above the rest and is a gorgeous must-read (or listen!) for fans of DoS&B.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfect Short Story while waiting for Book 3!

In a novella from Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, comes the story of a romance between Zuzana, Karou's human best friend, and Mik, the violin player. For those that have read the first two books in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, you will have met Zuzana and Mik, but for those that haven't discovered this series yet, this short story is a great place to learn about two secondary characters, that deserve a story of their own.

I listened to the audiobook of both Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight and was absolutely mesmerized by Khristine Hvam's narration. Zuzana leaps off the pages of the books and practically springs out of my ipod with her energy and I loved every second of her scenes. When I heard she was getting a novella of her own I was excited - although I'm pretty sure she thinks she deserves a entire book!! The reason I love Zuzana so much is that she has a fantastic friendship with Karou. She is there for Karou through thick and thin and believes in Karou. More than the romantic angles of both of their lives, I love the friendship between Zuzana and Karou. Karou plays a mild part in this story, via text messages, but this story is all Zuzana. And Mik of course!

The story is romantic and fun and tells of Zuzana and Mik really meeting for the first time and finding each other and a first date of sorts. It is so romantic and it made me want to run out and seize the world as Zuzana and Mik do.

I LOVE Khristine Hvam's narration of these characters. I haven't listened to her narrate any other series yet but I plan to soon. She's narrates Zuzana and Karou so perfectly and I couldn't imagine anyone else doing the narration. I recently finished listening to Kevin T Collins narrate Beautiful Creatures so it was interesting to hear him narrate Mik, which is a completely different accent. He does a great job of narrating Mik's feelings as he goes on a treasure hunt of sorts for Zuzana. Kevin T Collins' is definitely on my radar of narrators to listen to more in the future.

Recommended for urban fantasy fans and readers that are looking for something a little different, but still romantic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Poor distracting accents

Love the author and her storytelling. This is the first of her books I’ve listened to on Audible. The accents were so bad that they detracted from the story.

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Performance

I’ve listened to the entire daughter of smoke and bone trilogy on audible and so I got used to khristine hvams narration of Miks voice. So when they used a different narrator for Mik in this audiobook it threw me off a bit. That is all.

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Loving my bite of cake

Pleasantly wrapped in a warm happy feelings with a huge smile and yes laughing out loud at times is the way I would describe my bedtime story before drifting off. I love these two characters and I love the way the narrator's fun way made them come to life even more . Can't wait till my daughter is old enough to share this whole series. She's going to love it just like me .