December 12, 2018

Abbreviations #71 | Practical Magic, The Lost Sisters + Night of Cake and Puppets

I have a fondness for the film inspired by Practical Magic, so I was looking forward to checking out the actual book it was based on. The story is about two sisters - Gillian and Sally Owen - who are among the many Owens women who have always been seen as witches, as different, in the small Massachusetts town they reside in for over two centuries. Determined to escape the confines of their lives, they take very different paths only to eventually find themselves reunited by a little twist of fate. Now, it admittedly took me a little bit to really get into this novel, because I found the shifting perspectives and storytelling style a little confusing initially. But once it clicked, I pretty much tore through the story! It helped a lot that I still felt very invested in both sisters and their stories; it also was really interesting to see a little more about the other Owens girls (specifically Sally’s daughters) too. While I think I’ll always be partial to the film (which has a very different overall tone), I’m glad I finally took the time to check this one out.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman | Publisher: Penguin | Publication Date: July 1, 1995 | Source: Owned the Kindle book

If you’ve been reading the blog since last year, you’ll know that I loved The Cruel Prince (and that I also loved the sequel, The Wicked King - my review will be up soon!). In The Cruel Prince, Jude is a mortal girl who was spirited away to the land of Faerie as a child along with her sisters and has spent nearly half her life as a resident there. She’s determined to carve out a place for herself, despite the opposition she faces, and the entire series centers around her machinations and experiences. The Lost Sisters, however, is a novella told entirely from the perspective of Jude’s twin sister Taryn and it basically reveals what’s been going on with her parallel to Jude’s journey in The Cruel Prince. Like the two novels in this series, I really enjoyed Holly Black’s writing. It’s whimsical, it’s immersive, it’s compelling - and I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started! I liked that we also got an alternate take on events, and that we were given the opportunity to get to understand Taryn a little better… though I’m still not a fan of hers. While I don’t necessarily feel like this one is required to enjoy the series on the whole, it’s still a fun addition to it and something I think fans of the series will want to read.

The Lost Sisters by Holly Black | Series: The Folk of the Air #1.5 | Previous Book in Series: The Cruel Prince | Publisher: NOVL | Publication Date: October 2, 2018 | Source: Owned the Kindle e-book

I actually read Night of Cake and Puppets when it was originally released as an e-novella, but it took me until October of this year (Halloween specifically, which felt appropriate) to finally crack open the physical version that had been released in 2017. The novella is set in the world of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, but centers around two secondary characters - Zuzana and Mik - and their magical first date. Friends, this story just makes me so happy! It was a delight to dip my toes back into the magical world that Laini Taylor has created, first of all, and it really makes me want to reread the entire trilogy. And it was just lovely (and gave me all the warm fuzzies) to be privy to the magical meet cute-slash-first-date that Zuzana and Mik get to share. I loved that the physical version of this story had illustrations and doodles; it made the (re)reading experience even more special. It was the perfect way to cap off an incredible reading month, and it’s a novella I would count among my favorites for sure.

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor | Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5 | Previous Books in Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: September 12, 2017 | Source: Owned the hardcover


  1. Yay for mostly enjoying all of these :D I am not really a fan of Laini yet, ack, as I have only read Stranger so far, and I did not love it at all :\ Sigh. But hoping to read more books by her one day :D Glad you adore her books. <3 Hugs. Lovely reviews Alexa :D


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