Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication date: September 26th, 2017
Page Count: 281
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.
“This goes to show you that sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always ones who do.”
First off, I am not familiar with Grishaverse. I have never read LEIGH BARDUGO’s Shadow and Bone trilogy so reading The Language of Thorns was an entirely new experience. I don’t think it’s crucial for you to be familiar with Grishaverse, but I would expect you could have a deeper appreciation for The Language of Thorns if you were.
The Language of Thorns is a collection of 6 short stories from various regions in Grishaverse. I don’t often read short stories collection simply because I don’t like investing that much time in a story only for it to end so quickly. But The Language of Thorns was pleasantly entertaining. Its details in the fantasy realm of Grishaverse were very grotesque and intense, which I loved. Naturally, there were some stories which I thought were too draggy for my taste, but The Too-Clever Fox was one of my favourites in this.
The Language of Thorns ultimately tells the tales of unconventional characters and how your typical fairy tales shouldn’t end the way they did. It questions the typical happy ending of folklore we normally hear about, and turns the story around to bring a sense of uncertainty and curiosity. I love how this book shined light on nimble, presumably weak characters who at first glance, were thought to be the villains in this story or unfit to survive the tale. But as each story unfolds, strength is revealed within each character. And not only to survive the situation they’re thrown in, but to make something for themselves and change the story entirely.
“She had not been much to look at in her youth, and she knew well that only courage is required for an adventure.”
Now lets talk about those beautiful illustrations The Language of Thorns is so famously known for. Each tale brings a different feeling of euphoria and wonder as the illustrations develop with each page. I was blown away by how beautiful the illustrations were done. Details are added with each page turned, and you can’t help but to try to find hints to how the tale will end from each added detail. But that said, at the end of each tale, the illustrations develop into its final version revealing the ending. I would suggest you try to avoid this part before finishing each tale so as to not get spoiled!
If you need a reason to read The Language of Thorns, then let it be for these beautiful illustrations. The stories will no doubt amaze you, as Bardugo brings us on this exciting journey in a familiar land filled with curious creatures, magic and power.