In the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor, Karou’s best friend is an absolutely amazing “rabid fairy” named Zuzana. Zuzana has the biggest crush on a co-worker she knows only as “violin-boy,” and her rabid-fairy-ness flees whenever she’s around him. In the series, she and violin-boy, later known by his name (Mic), eventually do meet, but it’s all behind the scenes. This book is that behind-the-scenes meeting, with the characteristic drama one would expect from Zuzana.
Honestly, I’m not sure if this book would be in any way interesting to someone who wasn’t already in love with Zuzana, Mic, Karou, and the books they populate. I have no way of determining if this book would even read as a full-on standalone. Perhaps it would, and perhaps it would be a wonderful little quirky love story that might introduce people to the bigger world and series. Or perhaps it would fall flat and/or make no sense. But as I am one of those people who is already in love with Zuzana, Mic, Karou, and the books they populate, I was also absolutely in love with this book. I’d read a whole trilogy of Zuzana and Mic alone. What else is there to say? It’s an amazing book, at least for fans. And a great book to end the year.
Bonus: the physical copy comes with many, many illustrations, plus a scene from the original series turned into graphic novel form. I imagine that I’ll also get the audio version and listen to the story in voice as well – it’s the sort of story that would be magical on audio, especially if there is music to accompany sections! – but I had to start with the print version for the illustrations. Jim di Bartolo’s art is beautiful and just perfect for the book.
Reread via audio in January 2018 – Kristine Hvam and Kevin Collins narrate the audio, and it’s just as brilliant as I was hoping. No music, sadly – Mic’s violin serenade would have been awesome in there – but still brilliant. Fun story, good audio. Lacking illustrations of course, so get the print version just for those if you read via audio!