Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo


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, #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 that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves. Add it on Goodreads.

My Thoughts

Rating: ★★★★★

Ever since this book was first announced, I was beyond excited! I absolutely adore reading fairy tales, and not the happy and cheerful ones. No, I mean those dark and haunting fairy tales as they were originally written. Knowing Leigh Bardugo, I expected this book to be great. I was wrong however, it wasn’t just great, it was perfect, wonderful and hauntingly beautiful! Everything and old-school fairy tale lover like me could hope for!

“It was the wounds from the thicket that had proven all the sweet blossoms and starlight had been real.” 

First of all, I have to gush about the beautiful writing of these stories! Captivating, mesmerizing, haunting and magical are words I would use to describe it. It is so lyrical and poetic that you just can’t get enough of it! The writing really pulled me in and kept me turning page after page in the need for more of it until all of a sudden, I had already read half of the stories in one sitting. Leigh Bardugo really has a way with words that keeps you on the edge of your seat! Honestly, she could describe the most boring thing and it would still be written in such a beautiful way that I would love it anyway!

“But hope rises like water trapped by a dam, higher and higher, in increments that mean nothing until you face the flood.”

The stories themselves were also everything I could want and more! They were dark and twisted and never ended in the way you might expect. That would have to be my favourite thing about them, all throughout reading the story, I knew that something unexpected would happen but it still surprised my every singe time! They were so much darker and thrilling than I thought they would be and I loved them all the more for it!

Another aspect I really appreciated was the beautiful setting, as they are fairy and folktales of the Grishaverse, a world I have fallen in love with after reading both the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. She wrote stories for all parts of the world which makes it really interesting to read! Besides the setting, the characters were also intriguing. I loved how unique and different they all were! Not a single character was similar to another. Each story was individual and still, together they made for a perfect collection of tales!

“This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.” 

Do I need to give another reason to get this book? Because if all the above isn’t reason enough, there is also the beauty of the book itself. It features a stunning artwork for each story and every page is so beautifully illustrated! The entire book is just a fascinating work of art!

To sum it all up, this book is absolutely gorgeous, the writing as well as the book itself! Its hauntingly beautiful tales feature unique characters in an intriguing world where nothing is as it seems. Each story keeps you on the edge of your seat, every twist leaving you breathless! If you love the Grishaverse, or if you love fairy tales in general, I would definitely recommend this book! And you don’t even have to have read any of the books in the Grishaverse to appreciate this one. All the more reason to pick it up!


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