Monday, 25 September 2017

Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Orion Children's Books 
Publication date: September 26th 2017
My rating: 3 stars. 

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, no. 1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love. Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns. Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price. Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, no. 1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love. Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange - to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse. This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art by Sara Kiplin that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

It goes without saying I will read anything Bardugo writes, her writing is spell-bindingly beautiful, that before you know it you’re whisked away into an enchanting world that you never want to leave. With The Language of Thorns Bardugo gives you so much, with characters who are fierce, to those who you’d never expect to be duplicitous, I really couldn’t have asked for anything more! The Language of Thorns features six fabulous short stories, in my review I thought I’d focus on two of my favourites. 

Ayama and the Thorn Wood.
“You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that hollow place can never be filled – not with all the good food or sunshine in the world. That emptiness cannot be banished, and so some days we wake with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it.” 

This was a wonderful start to a collection of short stories and probably one of my favourites of the entire book. I think because the story really was turned on its head that I found myself greatly appreciating this aspect. I’m also always a fan of characters who are underdogs, I tend to find myself rooting for them and wanting to succeed over the course of the story, and this was the case with Ayama. Her parents were really awful to her, the way they treated her actually made it seem like she wasn’t a member of the family at all and just another servant. And the way they had no care in the world, when they sent her to tame the beast for the king made me super mad. But Ayama was more quick-witted than most people had expected her to be, and so the way things turned out, I was a huge fan of. 

The Witch of Duva
I was always a fan of Hansel and Gretel when I was younger, I would always find myself shouting at them not to go into the strange cottage or be lured by any tasty treats. I thought that The Witch of Duva would be Hansel and Gretel all over again, with little girls going missing throughout the story, with our MC Nadya herself being unable to resist the enticing scent that was coming from the woods. But I’m glad that despite the similarities, Bardugo takes us completely by surprise with her plot twist. I usually find myself to be quite a good judge of character, so to say I was a little shocked and in awe of how this story turned out, could be the biggest understatement. 

The Language of Thorns was truly a delight to read, it was made even more beautiful with the gorgeous illustrations for each short story. I for one can’t wait to see these in the finished editions of this book!


  1. It seems like you really enjoyed the anthology! But only three stars? :/ Three-star ratings are *bad* though. I'm glad you weren't disappointed by this collection! Sometimes reading new stories by favorite big author's can be scary.

    Have a lovely week, Jasprit. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. I really like Bardugo's books too, but I'm a bit hesitant about this one mostly because I don't care for short stories all that much. Ayama and the Thorn Wood sounds so good though! I like stories with underdogs too.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jasprit!

  3. I really need to finish her trilogy that I started and read her other as well. She really is a great writer.

  4. Short might work, or not. It all depends

  5. I LOVED Six of Crows but I'm struggling through Crooked Kingdom so I don't know. So tempted though.

    For What It's Worth

  6. This caught my eye since I love a good short story collection, glad to hear it's good. Plus Leigh Bardugo is coming to the are so I'll have a signed copy soon most likely! Looking forward to giving this one a shot. Nice review!

  7. I feel so sad that you didn't love this one. Sniffs. But I'm glad you enjoyed some of the stories at least, yay. <3 Lovely review Jasprit :) Hugs.


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