The Language of Thorns

The Language of Thorns

Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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"Travel to Grishnaverse, 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, author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love." -- from the publisher
Publisher: New York : Imprint, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250173928
1250173922
9781250167095
1250167094
9781250167088
1250167086
9781250122520
125012252X
Characteristics: [281] pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Kipin, Sara - Illustrator

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r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

"She remains to this day, waiting for the lonely, the ambitious, the clever, the frail, for all those willing to strike a bargain. She never has t wait long. "

-When Water Sang Fire

r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

"You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that holloe plae 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 up with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it."

r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

"They pray their children will be brave and clever and strong, that they will tell the true stories instead of the easy ones. They pray for sons with red eyes and daughters with horns."

- Ayama and the Thorn Wood

r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

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a
akzfineart
Nov 07, 2017

THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo is a gorgeous anthology of six fairytale-like illustrated stories set in the Grishaverse. Whether you’ve read every Bardugo book or the Grishaverse is entirely new to you, there will be a story to enchant and frighten you. The illustrations were stunning and truly made the stories.

The format of the book: the writing would be in the usual place, taking up most of the page with illustrations surrounding it.

I loved that as you turned the page, the illustration would be added to, as if you’ve been given another clue as to how the story will end. The more you read, the more hints you’re given. The pages that followed the end of the story would be a completely illustrated two-page spread. It just added so much to the anthology.

The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because sometimes I get annoyed with that common fairytale narrative “a couple had a daughter but she was boring/ugly/useless so they treated her more like a servant but the daughter became used to it so oh well” or “she was so beautiful everyone wanted to marry her but also very kind”. I know they’re central aspects of a fairytale but they still annoy me.

Here are my individual ratings and thoughts on each short story:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood – 4/5 stars – I liked this one and it was definitely the right story to start the anthology. Bardugo explains in the author’s note where her inspiration for this story came from, but I saw different fairytales and myths in this one.

The Too-Clever Fox – 5/5 stars – This is probably my third-favourite story in the collection. I loved Koja, the “too-clever fox” and I didn’t guess the plot twist until it was too late.

The Witch of Duva – 3.5/5 stars – I’ve read this one before so it didn’t entertain me as much as the first time but I still didn’t guess the ending until halfway through.

Little Knife – 5/5 stars – I absolutely loved this one! This is probably my favourite out of all of them, simply because the ending truly wowed me. I didn’t see it coming and now I’m imagining so many possibilities, of what happened after the ending. Just superb!

The Soldier Prince – 4/5 stars – I liked the last half more than the first. I really loved the way it ended. This one was set in Kerch and when I read Six of Crows (hopefully soon) I’ll be looking for hints of this story in the SoC duology.

When Water Sang Fire – 5/5 stars – This one would’ve been my favourite because mermaids! if the ending of Little Knife hadn’t wowed me so much. This story deserves a gold star or something for drawing the most emotion out of me. I felt joy, sadness, anger and a need for revenge!! The ending had closure and I can pretty much guess what a sequel would entail but I still need one.

SPOILERS BELOW

That being said, the more I think about the ending, the more angry I am. I would’ve taken a happy ending over a character who’s fate is basically to become an anti-hero or villain. I actually thought Ulla and Signy would end up throwing the prince away and rule together as queens. I don’t know, that’s what I got from the way they interacted with each other.

SPOILERS END

I would still 100% recommend this book.

d
darladoodles
Nov 05, 2017

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns. This book in a nutshell. These six beautifully illustrated, enchanted tales spirit you out of the humdrum of everyday life. I loved reading this book and hope many others will discover its charm as well.

m
mightyminnie
Oct 30, 2017

This book was alright, super different but i didn't love it

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