Tag Archives: Days of Blood and Starlight

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) – Laini Taylor

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) – Laini TaylorTitle: Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: November 26, 2013 by Little, Brown
Source: Gift
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 12, 2013
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3), Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

    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.

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First of all… If you’re at all invested in this series, read this novella! Amy instantly gifted it to me via Amazon after we finished reading DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT (or were we even done at that point??) because she said it was a must-read and so incredibly cute and YES. Every part of that is true! I opened this on my Kindle as soon as I could and read it in one sitting.

Zuzana and Mik are two of my favorite characters. I love the little rabid fairy that is Zuzana and frankly, I just want her to be my best friend. She reminds me so much of my own friends pretty much all of the time and as my favorite character of the series, it was so exciting to read a novella from her point of view and in first person versus Laini Taylor’s usual third person that we see in the full-length novels.

The story that we see in NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS is how Zuzana and Mik finally meet and end up talking for the first time, which actually turns into their first date (that Zuzana sets up). We get a glimpse of this story in DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT and I’m SO glad that Laini Taylor wrote this novella so we could experience it first hand because it really was a magical night for Zuzana and Mik!

I love how ferocious Zuze is but how Mik pretty much turns her to a sappy, love-stricken girl. Isn’t that so true? I know I’ve found myself being so much sappier in a relationship than I ever thought I would allow myself to act and I have no shame about it at all! Zuzana is bold, creating a treasure map for Mik to follow (keeping in mind that she hasn’t even actually talked to him yet) with the treasure being… her. Haha! Oh, she’s just so darn cute. She also uses a bit of Karou’s magic in the form of wishes to help her make the treasure hunt extra special! I’m also really glad that we got to see Mik’s point of view here too because you can see how strong his affection for Zuze was right off the bat and it just made me fall in love with their relationship even more!

If you’re a fan of this series, do yourself the favor and read NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS. It’s absolutely adorable and I can’t see how you would be disappointed! If you’re not a novella person, you might be after this one!

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Mik // Character Obsessions: Playing the violin, avoiding Italian brats, watching Zuzana from afar.
I was totally stoked that we got to read Mik’s POV in this novella as well. We get a bit of Zuzana in the previous full-length novels, but nothing really from Mik’s eyes so to see his growing affection for Zuzana and how much they both like each other before they’ve even officially met… It just made my heart melt! He’s so adorable.
Zuzana // Character Obsessions: Creating her treasure map, working on wishes, luring Mik.
Oh, Zuze. She’s just too adorable and I love her character. I really wish she could be my best friend. I love that she puts herself as the treasure in her treasure map haha. She’s bold and confident but the thought of Mik turns her into total mush and her obsessing over little hearts and kissing… Sigh. These two are just so cute together!
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Kept Me Hooked On: This romance. THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. Yes, I had to capslock it.
Left Me Wanting More: All Zuze & Mik. More more more! I love Karou, I do. But Zuzana and Mik totally steal the show in this series. Yeah. I said it. It’s also a nice, light feel when this series is just so heavy! In a good way, but still.

Addiction Rating
Read it!!!!

Not a novella person? Don’t want to pay the money to buy it? Come on guys, just do it. This is such an amazing and adorable story.

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BOOKS LIKE NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

The Night Circus   Graceling

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) – Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) – Laini TaylorTitle: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: November 6, 2012 by Little, Brown
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 8, 2013
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3), Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

    Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
    This is not that world.
    Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

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** There WILL be spoilers for the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so please beware! **

Hope. Above all else, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT is about hope. The girl Karou who bears its name. The idealistic relationship between Karou and Akiva. The hope for peace between chimaera and seraphim. The hope for any survival of the chimaera at all. This book is dark. This journey is tumultuous. This writing is beautiful.

It’s hard to know where to begin writing this review. I feel like I’ve gone on a serious journey with these characters. I knew when I picked it up that I was going to be extremely emotionally invested in it and that was absolutely true. The very beginning of the book was a bit slow for me action-wise. The finale of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was a big one, throwing lots of information at the reader and ending the book with a big bang. DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT has its own grand finale, but the walls came crashing down at the end of book one and they need to slowly be built up again — and I don’t mean that in a negative way. Truths were revealed, wounds were exposed, and I personally felt like I needed a bit of time to ease myself back into this world so it actually worked out well for me. My only (MINOR) complaint was that it did seem like it took a while for the “big” things to happen, but once they started, it was like a freight train that couldn’t be stopped!

Karou does not have it easy in this book. She’s partially heart-broken — feeling a deep betrayal by Akiva — and partially war-hardened, convincing herself to just push him aside and focus on helping the chimaera in the never-ending and brutal war. She’s still coming to terms with all of her fresh memories as Madrigal. She’s still torn between the natural warrior in herself and her desire for peace and a life with Akiva. Karou has so many things going on that you really just feel for her! It was definitely emotional seeing her side of this story.

I love that Laini Taylor isn’t afraid to take the book where it needs to go, meaning that whatever POV we’re supposed to see a specific scene from, we do. The third person allows the reader to transition easier from one POV to the next and we get so many scenes not only from Karou’s eyes but so many more characters, including some of my personal favorites like Zuzana! (So happy to see more of Zuze & Mik in this book!)

The ending. OH MY GOSH, THE ENDING. So many mind-blowing things happen and it seems like just when things are about to quiet down and resume normal pace, something else happens. I was laughing, I was crying. I was shocked and horrified. I was elated. The end of this book totally ran my emotions through a meat grinder and I ended up with a book hangover, not knowing what to think or where to go. This, of course, left me DYING to pick up book three which I guess I won’t have to wait TOO long!

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Ziri // Character Obsessions: Battles, staying lucky, getting to know Karou again.
Ziri. Oh, Ziri! He was one of my favorites. I absolutely loved his backstory with Madrigal and seeing how much he’s changed over the years and yet how much he’s stayed the same. I loved his relationship with pretty much everyone and he was such a fantastic addition to this story!
Zuzana // Character Obsessions: Loyalty to Karou, helping when she can, being a badass and yet adorable.
I want Zuze to be my best friend (and in a way, she totally reminded me of two of my best friends so maybe that’s why I loved her so much)! She and Mik are two of my FAVORITES and I just love her friendship with Karou. I’m so glad we got to see so much more of her in this book!
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Kept Me Hooked On: A world I never thought I would fall in love with. Chimaera and seraphim are so not my thing. That being said, Laini Taylor MADE them my thing. These books are just so incredible and they really find a way to make you connect with them.
Left Me Wanting More: Answers because HELLOOOO, the ending!!! I am just dying for book three. What can I say.

Addiction Rating
Read it!!

The beginning does start out a bit slow, but seriously. This book is so worth all of the pages, all of the tears, and all of the feels! The twists, the surprises, the emotional connections… Laini Taylor’s writing is really something to admire.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

Shadow and Bone   Last Sacrifice

On the Same Page: Days of Blood and Starlight

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WELCOME TO THE FIRST POST FOR “ON THE SAME PAGE”!

ON THE SAME PAGE is a new feature that Amy from Tripping Over Books, Alyssa from Books Take You Places and I have put together! It started out as the three of us forming an informal book club and reading the same book together but several months ago, we decided to make this a full-on feature and we’ve finally got everything ready for our first very official post! We actually had a sneak peek when we all reviewed Rose Under Fire back in September (at the time calling the feature “Three’s Company”) but we wanted the feature to be perfect so we held off until January to give us plenty of time to make it exactly the way we wanted it!

So what do we do? Besides reading a book together, we’re bringing you different aspects about the book that we feel are important. Whether we were inspired to create a playlist, digging a little deeper into the history of that particular setting, or pulling our favorite quotes, each of us will be bringing a different side of the book to share!

We actually have a few other important changes and merges regarding On the Same Page so be sure to check out the official page for it for more details!

Phew, now that we’ve got all the details out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff and the feature! For January, Alyssa, Amy and I read DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor. It was quite the emotional read (review coming soon!) and we each had specific ideas for what we wanted to talk about with this book. For me? It was all about branching out into fantasy.

BRANCHING OUT INTO FANTASY

How Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series helped me fall in love with fantasy

      Days of Blood and Starlight

I’m not usually a fantasy girl. The extent of my fantasy reads up until last year ranged from Harry Potter to the occasional high fantasy like Graceling and Prophecy and after enjoying those, the promise that I’d start A Song of Ice and Fire because that was high fantasy too and I believed I would enjoy the series! I enjoyed magic, the paranormal and the supernatural, but there was always one thing standing in my way of fantasy and that was… how fantastical it was. Silly, right? I could believe in magic. I could get on board with vampires. But for some reason fantasy was always overwhelming for me. Paranormal and books like Harry Potter always appealed to me because they had roots that tied back to the world as we know it. The wizards of Britain separate their magic from the Muggle world, the vampires can’t let humans know they exist and so on. Too many fantasy books I had tried were too much of the unknown. Magical powers, new beings, AND a new world? It was just too much for me to latch onto.

My opinions have much since changed, but before I started blogging, I basically wrote off any book that had a map. *GASP* I know, right!? How much do I love maps now? (Tons.) At the time, I wasn’t reading the right books and was trying to dive headfirst into a genre that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with yet and for me, that just wasn’t the way to do it. All of the “new” concepts, characters, ideas, and lands just made it difficult for me to follow the plot and I quickly became disinterested or just couldn’t allow my brain to feel like this world could ever exist.

I also had an issue with what I like to call “creature fantasy”. This was the reason I didn’t enjoy the Lord of the Rings series (another gasp! I know.) and what made me so hesitant to pick up new fantasy reads. Hobbits? Dwarves? Elves? Then I had to learn these new creatures AND their interesting names AND the lands AND the villains? It was a lot for me to try to take in when it just wasn’t what I was used to. I also just couldn’t wrap my head around what these new creatures where supposed to be and humanlike creatures just didn’t feel believable.

I was extremely hesitant to pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone last year. I was incredibly concerned with how big a part of the book the chimaera were and I was afraid this would turn out not to be a Brittany book. I had nothing to fear!

From starting Daughter of Smoke and Bone to finishing Days of Blood and Starlight, I’m starting to believe that I can really fall into fantasy if I read the right kind and really what I consider “right” for me is constantly changing for me as my reading tastes expand. I never thought I would care so much for chimera and seraphim but Laini Taylor’s writing is so beautiful and her plots are so delicately interwoven that every character becomes vital to the story and the reader really finds themselves wholly invested. These books made me really come to care for the characters and I was able to so easily lose myself in this story.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone really opened up the doors to fantasy for me. It made me confident to try new fantasy reads, more so than just high fantasy. It opened the doors I had closed off in my head to new ideas and different reads. It just goes to show you that the more you open yourself up to new genres and ideas, the more opportunities you have to discover new things. I’m so thankful for my fellow bloggers who had encouraged me to read this series and pushed me to step a bit out of my comfort zone to try a different kind of fantasy than I was used to!

Don’t forget to check out Alyssa’s and Amy’s posts for Days of Blood and Starlight today too!

Alyssa — Books Take You Places ||  Amy — Tripping Over Books