Reading Pathways: Magical Worlds and Dreamy Fantasy with Laini Taylor

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If you are seeking ethereal worlds, fabulism, and a touch of romance, I highly recommend some books by Laini Taylor for your collection.

Her young adult Daughter of Smoke & Bone series is celebrating its ten-year anniversary now, so what better way to celebrate than by introducing yourself to Laini’s tales?

When recently asked how she feels about the novels celebrating an anniversary, Laini Taylor said: “The publishing journey with this trilogy…has been extraordinary, and has lived up to and exceeded all my wildest writerly dreams, with the many wonderful forms that reader engagement has taken, and the opportunities I’ve gotten to travel and meet fans around the country and the world.”

Now here’s your chance to travel into some gorgeous worlds with characters you will adore when you follow this suggested reading pathway to Laini’s books.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

In this tale of magic and intrigue, around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, put there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth has grown low. And in Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Karou fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages, and not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. But is she ready to find out the truth about herself?

This book, along with the sequels Dreams of Gods & Monsters and Days of Blood & Starlight, is celebrating ten years of publication with gorgeous new covers by Berlin-based artist Jelena Kevic Djurdjevicand, and a box set. You’ll definitely be tempted to read the rest after digging into the whimsical world in this first novel in the series.

Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Based on characters only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone novels, here we meet Zuzana, who is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” and even her older brother fears her wrath.

Yet, when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage disappears. Now, Zuzana is determined to make the first move, 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 leading him to the treasure, which is herself. How will it end? You must read to find out, and it is a completely enjoyable book.

This romantic tale will have you swooning and even giggling at times, and the magic is on point, perfect for fans of stories that are as unique as they are touching.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

In a world where the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around, Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was just five years old, he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it.

Giving him a chance to go to Weep, a stunning opportunity presents itself in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors. Yet, in order to make the visit and opportunity happen, he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

Yet, mysteries abound around what happened in Weep 200 years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world, and who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams? Lazlo is about to be immersed in a world that he could’ve never imagined.

This novel will have you excited to pick up the second in the duology, Muse of Nightmares, for a continuation to this universe.


While these books will have you super excited to enter Laini’s worlds, I also recommend Blackbringer, book 1 of the Dreamdark world, and Lips Touch: Three Times.

Have you read these picks or plan to grab them soon? What’s your favorite Laini Taylor tale if you’ve read her novels? Let us know on Twitter at @BookRiot and let me know as well at @AuroraMiami.