Currently I'm a librarian and before that I was an archaeologist, a journalist, and definitely a bit of a world traveler. I tend to mostly read science fiction and fantasy, though I do love a good mystery and I'm a bit of a book dabbler overall. I've been doing Goodreads for awhile, but a friend thought I might enjoy this as well. Let's see, yeah?
Well, I guess since this Night of Cake and Puppets was released after book two it is more of a delicious dessert to the current series, but I feel that it fits in very well between books one and two. And now that I am typing this I realize that I'm very behind on reviewing the books I've read -- and that I never did speak about the first two books in the series.
Well they are all absolutely five stars (even though I doubted that book two would be that way for the first half).
So, at any rate, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was, because of the awful cover -- the U.S. cover, to me, gives the impression of stereotypical mushy teen angst book with probably a lot of angst and maybe a circus, rather than a book full of fascinating mythology, tons of adventure, plenty of tension -- was a reluctant read for me that turned out to be an amazing read. It's one of my favorites for the year. I absolutely love the characters and the world -- both Prague and the secret world -- and all the magical mysteries that surround our heroine, Karou. The second book, Days of Blood and Starlight, continues directly from the first book with just a small interlude in between that the novella Night of Cake and Puppets fits in, even though it was released afterwards.
I can see why Night wasn't just a part of Days, because Days is a depressing read. It's harsh and tragic (and, unfortunately, a bit annoying for part of it). It's also excellent and has me very bummed that book three doesn't get released until April! (I guess, since I finish my Masters degree in May and is such a big milestone, it just feels a million years away and not just five months...)
Night is sweetest confection, it's beautiful and wonderful and fascinating even though it's basically just a little love story that contains so little of the magic that infuses the novels. I don't know how the novella would stand on its own, but as a story that explores secondary characters of the books (which are very much beloved by this point) it works perfectly. The reason I recommend that the novella be read before the second book is because the second book is so very dark in comparison from the first book, so I think reading the novella would really help ramp up the tension. I can see that it also works afterwards because it's a bit of niceness to cut back the horror after the second book, yet doesn't negate the cliffhangers of book two since the novella takes place before it.