As much as I enjoyed author Laini Taylor's epic fantasy Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I couldn't get behind the romance between the two main characters, Karou and Akiva. I mean, #1: He got her first incarnation executed (and then neglected to tell her about it). And, #2: When he met her again in her second incarnation, he ended up killing her family. Those two things are pretty serious Deal Breakers, in my opinion. I wouldn't have forgiven the guy. But hey--that's just me.
However: Zuzana and Mic, two side characters in the series... What can I say? I heart, heart, HEART them! So much! They are the Ultimate Couple for all the right reasons. They're romantic, they're funny, they have fantastic chemistry, and, as an added bonus, they're both non-magical people existing in a magical world.. Also, no love triangles or drama. While reading the Smoke & Bone series, I was happiest reading the scenes that included these two characters.
So imagine my extreme delight when I finally, finally got my hands on Night of Cake & Puppets, a companion to Smoke & Bone that focuses entirely on Mic and Zuzana (originally published as an ebook, but recently came out in hardcover). In fact, it's about the night they finally got together. And it's adorable!
As we know from the first Smoke & Bone book, Zuzana has a huge crush on Mic (a.k.a. "Violin Boy"), but is too shy to act on said crush. Well, turns out Mic feels the same way about Zuzana (but is also too shy). Armed with a string of wishes, gifted to her by Karou, Zuzana decides to discover once and for all if this thing could happen. On a snowy evening, she leads Mic on a treasure hunt all around Prague. The end result: Herself, of course.
Told in alternating viewpoints, the night unfolds. And concludes better than either could have hoped.
There is magic.
There is cake (as promised in the title).
And there is kissing! (This is SO MUCH a kissing book)
Night of Cake & Puppets is a sweet, simple romance that was fun to read and 100% met any hopes and expectations I could have had for the story. In fact, it was better! --AJB