The Language of Thorns (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6)
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.

The Language of Thorns (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6) Details

TitleThe Language of Thorns (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 26th, 2017
PublisherImprint
ISBN-139781250122520
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Short Stories, Fairy Tales

The Language of Thorns (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6) Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces. *shivers*Bardugo is definitely at her best when writing short stories. These dark, haunting and beautifully-written little fairy tales had me reading at every spare moment. They have that timeless fairy tale quality, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman and Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch: Three Times. And if you’re considering whether it is worth buying a hardcover copy of The Language of So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces. *shivers*Bardugo is definitely at her best when writing short stories. These dark, haunting and beautifully-written little fairy tales had me reading at every spare moment. They have that timeless fairy tale quality, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman and Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch: Three Times. And if you’re considering whether it is worth buying a hardcover copy of The Language of Thorns - definitely go for it. It is STUNNING.I actually wasn’t aware that three of the stories are ones that were available online beforehand and that I had read already - The Too-Clever Fox, The Witch of Duva and Little Knife - but I also don’t care that much because they are all fantastic and I read them again just to see them play out alongside the gorgeous illustrations. “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 the ones who do.” All of these stories take inspiration from classic fairy tales, but I wouldn’t really call them retellings (except maybe the last one - When Water Sang Fire). Bardugo tells brand new stories with nods to the classics, such as The Little Mermaid and Hansel and Gretel, often leaving us with a very different ending or message than what we would have expected.As she notes in the afterword, many fairy tales feature characters completing impossible tasks to win love or acceptance, but this has always felt... wrong somehow. Much of Bardugo’s work here is guided by a sense of dissatisfaction with traditional fairy tales; a sense that maybe the villains were not who we first thought, and that maybe the love of a handsome prince isn’t everything. It is freaking fantastic for twisted, unromantic minds like mine. It is so satisfying to have my expectations shattered; to read sentences like the following and smile because I know, I just know, that it’s about to be torn to shreds: “Come now, Ayama. You know how the stories go. Interesting things only happen to pretty girls;” I recommend this for anyone who enjoys fairy tale-style stories and/or retellings, regardless of whether you usually enjoy Bardugo’s books or not. I get a completely different vibe from her short stories and they are nothing like the Shadow and Bone trilogy or the Six of Crows duology. I would be happy if she just kept releasing short story collections and forgot about the novels, to be honest.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    January 1, 1970
    THIS WAS SO GOOD AND I'M NOT SURPRISED AT ALL ABOUT ITThis was delightfully dark and creepy and was the perfect fairy tale collection for a universe I have come to love. Leigh Bardugo is not only incredible at writing novels, she also writes outstanding shorter pieces. Her writing style is perfect for fairy tales. I'M OBSESSED. Also THE ILLUSTRATIONS oh my goodness I could not stop marvelling at them and how they formed a frame around the pages and something was added every time you flipped the THIS WAS SO GOOD AND I'M NOT SURPRISED AT ALL ABOUT ITThis was delightfully dark and creepy and was the perfect fairy tale collection for a universe I have come to love. Leigh Bardugo is not only incredible at writing novels, she also writes outstanding shorter pieces. Her writing style is perfect for fairy tales. I'M OBSESSED. Also THE ILLUSTRATIONS oh my goodness I could not stop marvelling at them and how they formed a frame around the pages and something was added every time you flipped the page until the story was complete. It made for such an enhanced reading experience. All of these tales are 5/5 stars honestly, but here they are in order of favourite to least favourite. 1. The Too-Clever Fox2. The Soldier Prince3. The Witch of Duva4. Ayama and the Thorn Wood5. When Water Sang Fire6. Little Knife (this one actually might be closer to 4/5 stars, it was kind of boring)For any fan of the grishaverse, this is a MUST read IMO. Whenever you read it, doesn't matter, just do it (personally I would read it after having read at least one of the books set in this universe, so then you're already familiar with the world and this just enhances your understanding).
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  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    January 1, 1970
    "It was only then that she saw the black-clad boy crossing the room toward her. The shadows seemed to shift as he passed, pulled along by him like a tide." Hello, Darkling. THIS WAS SO GOOD.YOU GUYS. I can't even function to write a full review so I'm going to wait.But.The last story.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??? IS SHE STILL ALIVE?? SEND HELPMy Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic is a bind up of six fairy tales that take place in the Grishaverse, which is the same world that her Shadow and Bone series and her Six of Crows series take place! All of these are expertly crafted. All of these are so very lyrical and beautiful. All of these feel powerful and impactful. All of these are absolutely haunting. And only Leigh Bardugo could bring me to tears while reading the sentence “I hope you stir the pot.”These stories The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic is a bind up of six fairy tales that take place in the Grishaverse, which is the same world that her Shadow and Bone series and her Six of Crows series take place! All of these are expertly crafted. All of these are so very lyrical and beautiful. All of these feel powerful and impactful. All of these are absolutely haunting. And only Leigh Bardugo could bring me to tears while reading the sentence “I hope you stir the pot.”These stories are also illustrated and Sara Kipin's art took my breath away. This whole book is a gorgeous masterpiece from the dust-jacket, to the cover, to the spine, to the art that progresses throughout the story that eventually leads to full-page beautiful artwork, to Leigh’s perfect writing that will make you evoke every emotion ever felt. This is easily one of the top books published in 2017. And my personal favorite in the whole collection, which moved me to a whole hot mess of tears, was When Water Sand Fire . If you can only read one of these amazing stories, please pick that one. It’s the longest, but the most fulfilling, and hopefully is the start of something beautiful. I'm going to break down each short story with my thoughts, opinions, and individual star rating!➽ Ayama and the Thorn Wood - ★★★★★ “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 the ones who do.” This story was actually heartbreakingly perfect. It surrounds a small kingdom, where the king and his wife have given birth to two sons, one that is loved and one that is not because of the way he looks. Meanwhile, a young girl in the village is treated like a servant to her family that only sees her beautiful sister. Their paths cross, and continue to cross, because everyone in the village believe both of them to be expendable just based on their appearance, but together they forge something more beautiful than eyes can see and together they can change the kingdom. And they teach that kingdom that the world can be so much more beautiful when you stop only looking physically. ➽ The Too-Clever Fox - ★★★★ “I can bear ugliness,” he said. “I find the one thing I cannot live with is death.” This is such a beautiful story about perspective and how we are never as smart as we feel we are. Also, sometimes being smart has nothing to do with knowledge, but completely with the actions you take. This story centers around the cleverest fox in all of Ravka. From birth, he has been at a disadvantage because of his looks, but he compensates by being a witty and clever trickster. Also, this story reads so much like an actual fairy tale story that we would read in our world, even. ➽ The Witch of Duva - ★★★★★ “There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.” You can actually read this short story for free HERE thanks to Tor! And I can’t recommend you read it enough, because this short story actually shook my entire world. This is such a perfectly woven and absolutely haunting tale about a village who is mourning their lost girls, while also trying to endure very hard winters. And the ending of this story is beyond words, and turned me into a crying, melted, weeping, puddle on the floor. Also, this one should probably have a few trigger warnings for abuse (physical/sexual) and just violence in general, even though these things are very vague in the story they are still there, just woven in quietly. ➽ Little Knife - ★★★★ “It is dangerous to travel the northern road with a troubled heart.” This is a lovely tale about beauty and owing it to no one but yourself. This is also a tale about never underestimating what greedy men will do for things they feel they are entitled to. This story actually reminded me very much of my favorite saint, Rose of Lima, and her life and the consequences of being so beautiful. And an unexpected love story will always be the best love story. ➽ The Soldier Prince - ★★★★ “This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” Give me all of the Ketterdam tales, please. And this was a super twisted, yet amazing, retelling of The Nutcracker. And Leigh perfectly mixes what you would expect from a mash up of The Nutcracker and the streets of Ketterdam. And Droessen might be the best character debut in this entire short story collection. Like, I’d love a full-length novel just about him and his entire backstory. But yeah, this is such a creepy little tale that I really enjoyed. ➽ When Water Sand Fire - ★★★★★ “This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.” Be still, my everything. This story. Lord, this story. This story gave me life. This short story was so perfectly crafted and the tale was so perfectly woven into a simple masterpiece. This was easily my favorite story in the entire collection. Also, this is the story that features one of the best characters ever written in modern day literature, the Darkling. This story surrounds two girls who live under the sea. One is ostracized for being different, and the other is forced to sing alongside her, but when they sing they’re more magical than any other singing group. After a turn of events, they are taken above the sea where magic grants them legs to walk among humans. But soon our main character, Ulla, realizes the heart of sea folk isn’t much different than the heart of men. And that pain and hatred can find a way inside of all of our hearts, if we let it. And I just am praying with all of my soul and with the entirety of who I am that we will cross paths with Ulla again in King of Scars. “I was not made to please princes.” I gave The Language of Thorns five stars overall, because out of a possible 30 stars (5 stars possible for each of the 6 stories) this collection accumulated 27 stars (90%). But, like, throw away all of those stars, because this book is one of the best things that 2017 has produced. It’s beautiful, detailed, thoughtful, whimsical, and every single thing I look for in good fairy tales. I can’t recommend this masterpiece enough.Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    My October 2017 Fairyloot! I added a link below this picture if you want to go see close-ups of the goodies =) ♥CLOSE UP PICSThese stories were awesome. Well, one that I read when it was free on Tor I only gave 3 stars because of the hunting but other than that, they were pretty dark and cool! I'm just going to add pictures of the postcards I got in my Fairyloot box because these are the same pictures they have after the story has been told. And let me tell you, all of these pictures on the post My October 2017 Fairyloot! I added a link below this picture if you want to go see close-ups of the goodies =) ♥CLOSE UP PICSThese stories were awesome. Well, one that I read when it was free on Tor I only gave 3 stars because of the hunting but other than that, they were pretty dark and cool! I'm just going to add pictures of the postcards I got in my Fairyloot box because these are the same pictures they have after the story has been told. And let me tell you, all of these pictures on the postcards and through-out the book are amaze balls! AYAMA AND THE THORN WOODThis one is my favorite. It's a telling of the not beauty and the beast =) It's wicked and cool! THE TOO- CLEVER FOXThis is the one with too much animal killing. I gave it three stars in my original review because it had some tales within tales THE WITCH OF DUVAThis one is really dark and cool. The woodsman who has a secret. His daughter who befriends a witch and some ewww involved! LITTLE KNIFEThis one is about a girl too beautiful to even behold. A bunch of idiots. And a river =) THE SOLDIER PRINCEThis one is another take on the Nutcracker. Like I have said before, I have not read the original Nutcracker but this one is really good as well. WHEN WATER SANG FIREThis one is about some mermaids. THE END! Don't y'all love my short little explanations? =D I loved the book, it's absolutely beautiful inside and out. The pages are stunning and each page is colored as well. I would recommend to anyone that love the author and fairy tales, myths and folklore! Happy Reading! Mel ♥
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  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    I think I just fell into the DARK WITCH'S WOOD OF MAGIC and I am literally bursting with love. Like please just insert ALL the heart-eye emojis here. What is this magical thing?!? I was smitten, I tell you. And plus the bookish-inception isn't lost on me ok. This is like a story within a story.Why must the Grishaverse be so AMAZING. I want 9.All the fairy tales have faint resemblance to ones I know! Like I could see Little Mermaid influences and the Nutcracker and Hansel and Gretel. But they're I think I just fell into the DARK WITCH'S WOOD OF MAGIC and I am literally bursting with love. Like please just insert ALL the heart-eye emojis here. What is this magical thing?!? I was smitten, I tell you. And plus the bookish-inception isn't lost on me ok. This is like a story within a story.Why must the Grishaverse be so AMAZING. I want 9.All the fairy tales have faint resemblance to ones I know! Like I could see Little Mermaid influences and the Nutcracker and Hansel and Gretel. But they're wayyyyy way different and DARK. And super super dark at times. And the best part?!? They were loaded with plot twists. It was like ever dumb fairy tale trope just got kicked in the teeth. We don't throw princesses into the arms of the first prince they meet. Beauty isn't everything. Princes suck. The beast is sweet. Here is the sea witch's origin story. The dark woods are not the only problem here. It captivated me on EVERY page with how amazing it was. And detailed!! And clever!! This book is literally the most clever thing.And there's SO much food in here. I pretty much wanted to eat my copy.And it's frikkin' gorgeous. Petition for all books of ever to be illustrated. That would be nice. I ADORED the artwork on every page and the double-page spreads were just...ugh my eyeballs just ran off with this book and married it at dawn.These are like fairy tales as they SHOULD be. Dark and feminist. Yes please. And like full cheers for having women be evil AND good AND clever AND complex. There's monsters and wooden dolls with identity crises and queer girls and endless endless magic that just inspires me. I seriously feel so FULL of magic right now. I could got eat a moon or write a book or, like, eat a pie. Options.
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  • Katerina
    January 1, 1970
    Who knew that genuine beauty can be found in midnight tales infused with a dash of twisted? “Bad fates do not always follow those who deserve them.” The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic is a collection of tales inspired by folklore and beloved stories, such as The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel and The Nutcracker, but they follow a different path. Through lush, marvelous illustrations and words that warm your heart only to tear it from your chest, between thorns drawing Who knew that genuine beauty can be found in midnight tales infused with a dash of twisted? “Bad fates do not always follow those who deserve them.” The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic is a collection of tales inspired by folklore and beloved stories, such as The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel and The Nutcracker, but they follow a different path. Through lush, marvelous illustrations and words that warm your heart only to tear it from your chest, between thorns drawing blood entwined with fragnant roses, Leigh Bardugo weaves six hauntingly beautiful and disturbing tales, that stir a wave of unease that you cannot quell. You think you know where the story goes, but the ending is always unconventional, and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth; they teach you that, perhaps, you got all the stories wrong. The heroine does not always ride into the sunset on the back of her one true love's steed. Her one true love may be cruel, greedy or manipulative, the ones meant to protect her those who inflict devastating pain, and fairy god-mothers do not save the day. While your hair curls from the steam rising out of the witch's pot, and your fingers grow sticky with the burnt sugar of the candies you savored, you delve into dangerous magic, you're outsmarted by pretty facades and deep down, you're greatful your grandmother did not narrate you those tales when you were only a child, craving adventure and romance, because she would have doomed you into a childhood deprived of sleep. But mind that with her deliciously creepy tales, Leigh Bardugo takes you back to Ravka, Fjerda and Kerch, to lands familiar yet peculiar, where you once experienced joy, heartbreak and love.You feel at home. “This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.” Ayama and the Thorn Wood follows a loud but neglected girl and her encounters with a terrible beast, while The Too-Clever Fox focuses on an ugly but cunning fox trying to outsmart a devious predator. The Witch of Duva is the story of young Nadya, who lives in a vilage near haunted woods, where girls go missing and an evil stepmother drives her to the witch's lair. In Little Knife a poor man tries to win the heart of the duke's beautiful daughter, who doesn't use his wits and courage to pass the trials set but the greedy duke, but calls to magic instead. Only magic has, as always, a price. The Soldier Prince narrates how the creations of a wicked clocksmith came to life and claimed their destiny, and my personal favorite, When Water Sang Fire, goes back in time, when mermaids took human form and sang tempests and storms. “When no one is looking at you, or whispering to you, who are you then?” A collection of six lavishly illustrated tales that blend folklore with wondrous creativity and a pinch of darkness, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic is the perfect read for cold weather and thirsty hearts in search of magic.Review also posted on BookNest!
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    Ok so first of all - I adore fairy tales, folk tales, mythology, retellings... if there's any way to condense those under some umbrella or label, then that is my FAVORITE thing. I absolutely love when stories have traces of a familiar story, theme, or pattern, but then do a totally different twist. So obviously I would normally be excited about this book no matter what... but then on top of that it involves the GRISHAVERSE?!Aaaahhh this was good. I mean, I expected to like it (because it's Leigh Ok so first of all - I adore fairy tales, folk tales, mythology, retellings... if there's any way to condense those under some umbrella or label, then that is my FAVORITE thing. I absolutely love when stories have traces of a familiar story, theme, or pattern, but then do a totally different twist. So obviously I would normally be excited about this book no matter what... but then on top of that it involves the GRISHAVERSE?!Aaaahhh this was good. I mean, I expected to like it (because it's Leigh Bardugo... enough said). But I completely fell in love with this little gem of a book. The stories are utterly magical, gritty, creepy, and SO original. They feel like traditional folk tales, yet have such a unique tone to them at the same time that just feels like the Grishaverse. Leigh really does have a gift with words. And I am SO PLEASED with how she went against the expected traditional fairy tale messages and created such dark, refreshing endings.I had already read a few of the stories that had been published as individual novellas, like The Too-Clever Fox (which I initially thought might be about Nikolai because of course). But even the stories I was familiar with seemed totally new in this context! There are amazing illustrations that slowly grow over every single page like a flipbook. IT'S SO COOL. The whole book is seriously stunning. The cover underneath the jacket and the quality of the paper (yes I am geeking out over the physical book too) and everything was just so prettyyyy. I am seriously blown away by this and cannot recommend it enough if you're a fan of Leigh's Grisha books or darker fairy tales.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished reading this and honestly where the fuck is The Darkling, I'm so confused.----UPDATE: Just found out my soul mate Daddy Darkling in this book and I'm having a hard time breathing. Fucking hElp mE IM DYING*implodes*-----------y'all don't even know how bad I want my daddy Darkling to be in this
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  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    [loses my shit and calls a sex hotline] kaz brekker and the darkling could be in this book. kaz brekker better be in this book. excuse you? no i do not want to talk dirty. listen to me. I NEED TO KNOW WHETHER KAZ BREKKER AND THE DARKLING WOULD BE IN THIS BOOk.... hello?? anyway, can't wait to finish this book and spend 12 continuous hours screaming into my pillow!!!!!!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    These are so, so utterly beautiful. I have not actually read the Grisha Trilogy [okay. now I have.], only Six of Crows, but Bardugo's attention to detail in planning her Grisha world comes through in every one of her books that I've read. This one is no exception. Somehow, these stories are more than just folktales; they feel both like folktales told by your grandmother and ghost stories told by your friend beside a campfire. It wasn't the cannibal witch that bothered me. It wasn't even the se These are so, so utterly beautiful. I have not actually read the Grisha Trilogy [okay. now I have.], only Six of Crows, but Bardugo's attention to detail in planning her Grisha world comes through in every one of her books that I've read. This one is no exception. Somehow, these stories are more than just folktales; they feel both like folktales told by your grandmother and ghost stories told by your friend beside a campfire. It wasn't the cannibal witch that bothered me. It wasn't even the selfish stepmother. For me, the real villain was Hansel and Gretel's father, a man so weak-willed, so cowardly, that he let his wicked wife send the children into the woods to die not once but twice. Don't go back, I would whisper as we approached the inevitable final illustration—happy father reunited with children, evil stepmother banished—and I was always left with a feeling of unease as I turned the last page. Above all, this collection subverts its source material in ways clever and creative and, always, compelling. If you're a fan of trope subversion, you'll love this.Also, please just look at the art. // THE STORY REVIEWS# Ayama and the Thorn Wood - ★★★★★This is like a mashup of Cinderella and Beauty & the Beast. It's a story about the power of being heard in a world that wants to shut your voice off. It's brilliant, and all the stories within are even more so. # The Too-Clever Fox - ★★★★☆I can't believe a story this short managed to make my spine tingle. Here, Bardugo tells the story of a clever fox and a hunter who is just as clever. This novella reads exactly like a word-of-mouth-tale, with an archetypal trickster character and several minor plot twists. This gets a five because I happened to guess a major plot point.# The Witch of Duva - ★★★★★This is one of the best short stories I have ever read. I ended in near tears. It's filled with Leigh Bardugo vibes. You can read this here. # The Little Knife - ★★★★★Oh my god this was just beautiful? It's a story about agency, especially of women. And the last illustration is genuinely one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. # The Soldier Prince - ★★★★☆This story is eerie and heart-tingling and utterly fabulous. I adore how each fairy tale changes in vibe based on what country it originates from; this is a Kerch myth, and you can completely tell. # When Water Sang Fire - ★★★☆☆This was very good, and the artwork - especially the mermaids - was some of my favorite from the whole book. I also love the subversive nature of the retelling. But... idk, I feel somewhat baited? I thought the two girls were a couple for around ten pages when they're in fact just friends. VERDICT: What a collection. Highly recommended for anyone who's a fan of the Grisha world.Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best YA fantasy! what will happen?this is gonna be just pure reader response here, with no attempt made towards any objective assessment or critical analysis. when it comes to bardugo’s fairy tales, i’m just a box full of puppies and all i can do is grin. i’d read three of these stories before this collection was published, as free tor shorts. i reviewed ‘em here, if you really do need to have your critical analysis beast fed, or if you just want th oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best YA fantasy! what will happen?this is gonna be just pure reader response here, with no attempt made towards any objective assessment or critical analysis. when it comes to bardugo’s fairy tales, i’m just a box full of puppies and all i can do is grin. i’d read three of these stories before this collection was published, as free tor shorts. i reviewed ‘em here, if you really do need to have your critical analysis beast fed, or if you just want the links to where you can read the stories for free:The Too-Clever FoxThe Witch of DuvaLittle Knifeeven though i’ve read dozens more since then, those three stories are still top-ranked in my “free tor short hall of fame.” they are the perfect kind of fairytale - not cheesy or gentle, not dark and edgy just to shock or subvert, but … honest. they are as close to feeling “real” as a fairytale can get, in their beating hearts and blood beneath the magic. coming across them, i felt like i’d discovered something exquisite - it felt like a gift, like pure magic and wonder handcrafted for me. and when i heard this was going to be published and realized i’d already read half of the book, it is a testament to just how good those stories are that i didn’t feel a scrap of disappointment. i only felt, “oh, good - now they can truly be mine, away from my computer.” and now they are. the three stories i hadn’t read were every bit as good as the ones i had, and the artwork - it’s phenomenal. as each story progresses, it grows its own illustrated borders page by page simultaneously across the verso/recto, until the images connect triumphantly, or devastatingly, followed by a single, full-page illustration serving as an explosive “THE END.” the illustrations are quite cheeky in their details, too, which makes them perfect companions to these little story bombs.she’s so good at these that as much as i enjoy her longer books, if she decided to devote herself entirely to fleshing out her imaginary lands through folklore like this, i would applaud her choices without reservation. maybe i will write more at a later date, but for now, just this happy cheer.also, i'm really glad i have a signed copy, otherwise this page would feel like it was missing something ***********************************************five perfect perfect perfect stars. review to come, but for now - much swooning delight.come to my blog!
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  • The Serendipity Aegis ~ ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, this writer just keeps getting steadily better... The stories here? Totally insane! Unexpectedly cool and twisted, in an incredibly good way. Actually, we have since ages read and heard fairy tales. How often have we strayed with our thoughts from the usual to contemplate what happens after all those princes marry all those girls and everyone gets their happy ever after. Does everyone get it? Do those gnomes or spirits get to be happy? Are jhinns ever set free or do they go to suffer from th Ok, this writer just keeps getting steadily better... The stories here? Totally insane! Unexpectedly cool and twisted, in an incredibly good way. Actually, we have since ages read and heard fairy tales. How often have we strayed with our thoughts from the usual to contemplate what happens after all those princes marry all those girls and everyone gets their happy ever after. Does everyone get it? Do those gnomes or spirits get to be happy? Are jhinns ever set free or do they go to suffer from their own peculiar shade of PTSD back in their bottles? Do the fairies and godmother(s) get to go happy or free or have wonderful adventures? Here the author made some very cool twists I loved! Things rarely are as they appear.Q:IN THE YEAR THAT SUMMER STAYED too long... THE FIRST TRAP THE FOX ESCAPED was his mother’s jaws. ... IT IS DANGEROUS TO TRAVEL THE northern road with a troubled heart. ... IN THE END, THE CLOCKSMITH WAS to blame. But Mr. and Mrs. Zelverhaus should not have let him into the house. This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails. ... When water sang fire... YOU WISH TO STRIKE A BARGAIN, and so you come north, until the land ends, and you can go no farther. You stand on the rocky coast and face the water... Be still and listen. Think of it as part of the bargain. ... (c)Q: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 as the boy did. (c)Q:We all know the story of how the queen became a queen, how despite her tattered clothes and lowly position, her beauty drew the notice of the young prince and she was brought to the palace, where she was dressed in gold and her hair was woven with jewels and all were made to kneel before a girl who had been nothing but a servant bare days before. (c)Q:That was before the prince became a king, when he was still wild and reckless and hunted every afternoon on the red pony that he’d done the work of breaking himself. (c) Sorry? A pony??? Breaking? A guy, wild and reckless, hunting on a pony????? Ok, that's imagery I could have surely lived without.Q:The clocksmith was called Droessen, though there were rumors he was not Kerch, but Ravkan—an exiled nobleman’s son, or possibly a disgraced Fabrikator, (c) Gosh, this reads horrible in any language I can think in and probably in most ones that I can't. Can anything be done to persuade this author to stop spoiling her beautiful, beautiful prose with all those HORRIBLE names she seems bent to stick in any of her books?Q:Shura Yeshevsky ... Genetchka Lukin (c) Yeshevskaya, Lukina would be the correct forms... Q:She was tall and lithe as a young linden tree, and she moved with a grace that was almost worrying—as if, being so light upon her feet, she might simply blow away. (c) Q:You know how the stories go. Interesting things only happen to pretty girls; you will be home by sunset. (c)Q:Well, she thought, for she had learned to keep silent even when alone. At least I do not have to work today, and I will see something new before I die. (c)Q:Perhaps, she thought, I will just drop dead before I ever reach the beast and I have nothing to fear at all. (c)Q:But just because no one bothered to listen to Ayama didn’t mean she had nothing to say. (с)Q:But Ayama remembered the quince and took the sprig from her apron pocket. The flowers were fresh and unwilted, their white petals still damp with dew and tinged with pink. The blossoms glowed like a constellation in her hand. When the townspeople looked upon them, they could taste the tart flavor of quince on their tongues; they could feel the soothing touch of shade falling over their skin. These were no ordinary flowers. Now the people listened as Ayama stood with the sprig clasped in her fist and told them of the beast’s promise, and when she had finished, they led her all the way to the palace, murmuring in wonder, forgetting that the girl they now looked upon with awe still had the marks of their pinching fingers on her arms. (c)Q:... Her pockets shall be weighted with jewels and all shall sing songs of her courage.”Ayama returned his smile, for it was impossible not to bloom in the prince’s sunny regard. But what she really wanted was a glass of water. ...the prince said, “Extraordinary! We shall raise a statue in this girl’s honor and celebrate her birth there every year.”Ayama thought that was a fine proclamation, but what she really wanted was to sit down and take off her shoes. She supposed if the prince had bothered asking, he would know that. But he was not as fond of questions as his brother. (c)Q:Her family was rich now and had many servants, but they’d gotten so used to ordering Ayama about that they’d forgotten how to treat her as a daughter. ... People tipped their hats to her in the street now, but they never stopped to talk or ask how Ayama was faring. The beast might shout and snarl, and he might well devour her, but he’d at least been interested enough to listen to her speak. (c)Q:Do not behave as a tyrant and then tell me to scold a tyrant to behave. Show mercy and mercy you may be shown. (c)Q:... she realized that in all the silent days and nights since she’d left the wood, she’d been storing up words to offer the king’s son. (c)Q: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 the ones who do. (с)Q:Why not stay a bit longer? Why not rest awhile here? Why not tell another story? (c)Q:She tucked the sprig of quince flowers into her braids, and it was as if she carried the cool leaves and the shade of the wood with her. (c)Q:There is a great difference between not eating a person and trusting a person. (c)Q:... No prince is worth your life.”Ayama supposed it depended on the prince. (c)Q:“‘Come away with me to my palace by the sea,’ said the prince, ‘and all will pay you homage and you will want for nothing in this life.’ And as you may know, when you have had very little and worked very hard, that is no small offer. (c)Q:... she’d thought on this story quite a long time as she’d walked through the wild lands, and how the ending she’d been told as a child had seemed far more enchanting before she’d actually met and spoken to royalty. (c)Q:“It’s true they were selfish and silly in many ways,” said Ayama. “But they also loved their youngest sister dearly. As soon as they found her missing and a golden feather on the chair, they guessed what had happened, for they had seen plenty of the world. They saddled their horses and rode all day and all night to reach the palace by the sea, then pounded on the doors until the guards let them in.“When the sisters entered the throne room, making a racket and demanding that their sister return home to them, the prince insisted that they were just jealous sorts who wanted to be princesses themselves, and that they were wicked girls who liked to drink and dance and be free with their favors. In fact, the sisters did like all those things, and it was precisely because they’d seen so much and done so much that they knew better than to trust handsome faces and fine titles. They pointed their fingers and raised their loud voices and demanded to know why, if the prince loved their sister so, he should let her be made to perform tasks to prove her worth. And when he did not answer, they stomped their slippered feet and demanded to know why, if the prince was worthy of their sister, he should bend so easily to his parents’ will. The prince had no answer but stood there stammering, still handsome, but perhaps a bit less so now that he had nothing to say.“The sisters apologized for not doing their share of the chores and promised to take the girl to parties so she wouldn’t have to settle for the first boy who flew in through her window. The younger sister saw the wisdom in this bargain, and they all returned home together, where their days were full of work made easier in the sharing, and their nights were full of laughter and carousing.”“And what lesson am I to learn from this story?” asked the beast when she was done.“That there are better things than princes.” (c)Q:For when Ayama had awoken after her adventures, it was the wounds from the thicket that had proven all the sweet blossoms and starlight had been real. (c)Q:“Why do you bring this beast to my door?” the king demanded to know. “I told you to return with his heart.”“And so I have,” said Ayama in her loud, clear voice that echoed like a horn of war over the listening crowd. “His heart is mine and mine is his.” ...“I will love an honest monster before I swear loyalty to a treacherous king.” (c)Q:... they drew their daggers and fell upon Ayama.But no matter how many blows the soldiers struck, Ayama stood unharmed.Then she took the hat from her head, and all the people saw that she was a girl no longer. Her tongue was forked; her eyes glowed like opals, and her hair twined in serpents of flame that licked at the air around her in ribbons of orange and gold. She was a monster, and no blade could pierce her skin. With her thorn knife she slashed the brambles that bound the beast’s wrists. (c)Q:After a courtship of many stories, Ayama and the beast married beneath a blood moon, and pride of place was given to Ma Zil, who had sent Ayama again and again into the thorn wood. She had not been much to look at in her youth, and she knew well that only courage is required for an adventure. ... So it was that the valley to the west came to be ruled by a monstrous king and his monstrous queen, who were loved by their people and feared by their enemies.Now in the valley, the people care less for pretty faces. Mothers pat their pregnant bellies and whisper prayers for the future. They pray for rain in the long summer. They pray that 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. (с)Q:A lesser creature might have despaired at such cruelty, but the fox saw vanity in his mother’s carefully tended coat and snowy paws.“I will tell you,” he replied. “When we walk in the wood, the animals will say, ‘Look at that ugly kit with his handsome mother!’ And even when you are old and gray, they will not talk of how you’ve aged, but of how such a beautiful mother gave birth to such an ugly, scrawny son.”She thought on this and discovered she was not so hungry after all. (c)Q:But if Koja had words, then he had hope. (c)Q:“I can bear ugliness,” he said. “I find the one thing I cannot live with is death." (c)Q:I am stringy and tough. Only my tongue holds savor. I make a bitter meal, but excellent company. (c)Q:“Come now,” said the fox. “Let there be no more crying. I have spent my life finding my way out of traps. Surely I can help you escape your brother.” (c)Q:Freedom is a burden, but you will learn to bear it. (c)Q:“It is always the same trap,” she said gently. “You longed for conversation. The bear craved jokes. The gray wolf missed music. The boar just wanted someone to tell her troubles to. The trap is loneliness, and none of us escapes it. Not even me.” (c)Q:In the wood, even songbirds must be survivors. (c)Q:But Lula was not only clever.She was wise. (c)Q:Papa, forgive me, but what way is this to choose a husband? Tomorrow, I will certainly have a lot of firewood, but will I have a good man? (с)Q:Will you remain here with the father who tried to sell you, or the prince who hoped to buy you, or the man too weak to solve his riddles for himself? Or will you come with me and be bride to nothing but the shore? (c)Q:She was terrifying in her beauty, bright like a devouring star. (c)Q:The river carried her all the way to the seashore, and there she stayed. She said her prayers in a tiny chapel where the waves ran right up to the door, and each day she sat by the ocean’s edge and watched the tides come and go. She lived in happy solitude, and grew old, and never worried when her beauty faded, for in her reflection she always saw a free woman. (c)Q:Now, if you have been foolish enough to wander from the path, it is up to you to make your way back to the road. Follow the voices of your worried companions and perhaps this time your feet will lead you past the rusting skeleton of a waterwheel resting in a meadow where it has no right to be. If you are lucky, you will find your friends again. They will pat you on the back and soothe you with their laughter. But as you leave that dark gap in the trees behind, remember that to use a thing is not to own it. And should you ever take a bride, listen closely to her questions. In them you may hear her true name like the thunder of a lost river, like the sighing of the sea. (c)Q:And yet, though he could smile readily, charm easily, and play the part of a gentleman, he had never truly understood people or the workings of their steady-running but inconstant hearts. (c)Q:But as the years passed, Clara stayed the same strange, dreamy girl who might let a sentence trail off because some secret, unspoken thought had caught her, who would endure language lessons and cotillions with distracted grace, then smile and drift off to some dim corner where whatever invisible world her mind had conjured might unfurl without distraction. (c)Q:I loved you when no other would, and you chose me for your queen. ... She would find herself atop a great white horse, clutching her beloved’s waist, whooping with joy as they sailed through the night, past the clouds, and into the lands beyond. ... She would try to smile at the drab world around her, though her cheeks were still warm with sunshine, though her tongue was still sweet with the taste of honey wine.(c)Q:Wanting is why people get up in the morning. It gives them something to dream of at night. The more I wanted, the more I became like them, the more real I became. (c)Q:But a rat can’t live with seven heads always talking and arguing. It took us hours to make the simplest decisions... (c)Q:Your desire must be stronger if you wish to get free of the cabinet, if you wish to be real. (c)Q:Only take me with you to your home and I will forsake this place. We can stay forever in the land of dreams. (c)Q:The nutcracker thought of the road again, but now he saw the road was a future—one his father would want him to choose for himself. He imagined the snow in his hair, the ground beneath his boots, the limitless horizon, a world full of chance and mishap and changing weather—gray clouds, hail, thunder, the unexpected. (c)Q:The young man left silently through the front door of the house and headed east along the road, toward the sun rising in the gray sky.At the beginning of everything, he discovered loneliness in the quiet of his own thoughts. (c)Q:She considered her options and decided there was nothing for it but to become a writer. She sold her pearl earrings and moved to Ketterdam, where she took a small apartment with a window facing the harbor so that she could watch the ships come and go. There, she wrote fantastical tales that charmed children, and under another name, she penned rather more lurid works that kept her in nougat and sweet cream, which she always took care to share with the mice. (c)Q:he took up the family business and boarded one of his father’s vessels to fetch a shipment of tea from Novyi Zem. But when it was time to return home, he hopped another ship, and then another, stopping in ports only long enough to mail a postcard or, occasionally, a parcel. He sent home a packet of tea that made a flower bloom beneath the drinker’s tongue; another that, when sipped before bedtime, assured you would dream of the city of your birth; and a blend so bitter one sip would make you cry for three hours. Frederik’s parents wrote letters begging him to return and take up his responsibilities. Every time, he vowed to do just that. But then the wind would change direction and the sea would lift, and he would find himself shipboard once more, certain another world must wait beyond the next horizon. (c) Reminded me a bit of the beautiful short stories of Alex Grin. This is one of the things his heroes might find themselves doing.Q:Now their laws are different. They know the land is a place of danger. Yet still they long for a taste of mortal life. This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart. (c)Q:The dwelling place of its kings and queens was distinguishable only by its six spires that rose like grasping fingers around a craggy plain. Those bony spires were layered with the scales of trench-dwelling creatures so that, in the daytime hours, they glowed with blue light like a captured moon, and at night their chambers and catacombs gleamed phosphorescent in the heavy dark. (c)Q:Song was not just a frivolity then, something meant to entertain or lure sailors to their doom. The sildroher used it to summon storms and protect their homes, to keep warships and fishing boats from their seas. They used it to make their shelters and tell their histories. They had no word for witch. Magic flowed through all of them, a song no mortal could hear, that only the water folk could reproduce. In some it seemed to rush in and out like the tide, leaving little in its wake. But in others, in girls like Ulla, the current caught on some dark thing in their hearts and eddied there, forming deep pools of power. (c)Q:But hope rises like water trapped by a dam, higher and higher, in increments that mean nothing until you face the flood. (c)Q:Ulla felt the cold settle in her bones, the night rushing in, vaster than the sea. Still she followed. (c)Q:The storm had brought Ulla to the cold shelter of the northern islands, to the darkened caves and flat black pools where 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 waits for long. (c)
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  • Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)
    January 1, 1970
    Please just take all of my money.
  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    Having to wait on the release for this illustrated collection of original fairy tales since the start of the year was nearly excruciating. I even went ahead and read The Too-Clever Fox by Leigh Bardugo a month after the news to calm my eagerness. But here I am finally ready to dive into my long awaited review for this collection!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 su Having to wait on the release for this illustrated collection of original fairy tales since the start of the year was nearly excruciating. I even went ahead and read The Too-Clever Fox by Leigh Bardugo a month after the news to calm my eagerness. But here I am finally ready to dive into my long awaited review for this collection!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.“And what lesson am I to learn from this story?” asked the beast when she was done.“That there are better things than princes.”#1: “Ayama and the Thorn Wood.” An original retelling of a forest that demands to hear only the truth and nothing but the truth, which made for a clever, wordy, high-spirited read. It also delivered a compelling mix of Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White, excelling at capturing the chilling and gleaming atmosphere.“And can this ugly beast not speak for himself?”The beast looked upon his father and said, “A man like you is owed no words. I trust Ayama to tell my story.”#2: “The Witch of Duva.” A twistingly clever take on the wicked stepmother trope. Seriously, that ending couldn't have messed me up more. Leigh Bardugo was making it quite the challenge to move on seamlessly from story to story while delivering such blows at each end.“Karina who had given herself to a monster, in the hope of saving just one girl.”Also, coming to the realization that AURORA's Runaway fit like a glove for this tale was so fulfilling. From the lyrics to the visuals in the video, I was continuously mesmerized.“I got no other place to goBut now take me homeTake me home where I belongI can’t take it anymore.” Source#3: “Little Knife.” Bardugo once again succeeds to bring about an unexpected turn of events. And I have to note that I came to endlessly appreciate her for sharing the message that our heroine's story doesn't have to end with finding romantic love (not specifically talking about one tale here), even going so far as to make that the damn point of it all.“It was I who built the tower of trees,” said the river.“And I who earned the mirror from Baba Anezka. It was I who found the magic coin. And now I say to you, Yeva Luchova: Will you remain here with the father who tried to sell you, or the prince who hoped to buy you, or the man too weak to solve his riddles for himself? Or will you come with me and be bride to nothing but the shore?”...“The river carried her all the way to the seashore, and there she stayed. She said her prayers in a tiny chapel where the waves ran right up to the door, and each day she sat by the ocean’s edge and watched the tides come and go. She lived in happy solitude, and grew old, and never worried when her beauty faded, for in her reflection she always saw a free woman.”Easily the best ending I've read in awhile. Overall, I was enamoured by this deliciously feminist collection of atmospheric folk tales filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.4.5/5 stars Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Language of Thorns, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with Ko-fi.com/bookspoils This review and more can be found on my blog.
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  • Amalia Gavea
    January 1, 1970
    ''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.'' Leigh Bardugo is a writer that doesn't need introductions. I haven't read the Crows Duology but I enjoyed the Grisha Trilogy immensely and I knew that a short stories collection inspired by the Grisha universe would be as dark and complex as the Darkling's fascinating world. I wasn't disappointed. There are four original stories and two ''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.'' Leigh Bardugo is a writer that doesn't need introductions. I haven't read the Crows Duology but I enjoyed the Grisha Trilogy immensely and I knew that a short stories collection inspired by the Grisha universe would be as dark and complex as the Darkling's fascinating world. I wasn't disappointed. There are four original stories and two retellings of famous and beloved fairytales. Dark forests, sorrow, magic, ambition, love, and death. Witches, haunted towns, mermaids, mighty elements of Nature join in a dance macabre perfect for those of us who want our fairytales dark and twisted. Russian Folklore provides endless inspiration and Bardugo is a writer who knows how to make excellent use of it. Ayama and the Thorn Wood : Two sisters, Ayama and Kima, and a misshapen boy, the son of a king. Terrible events start plaguing the citizens, results of a terrible injustice done to the child and it falls to Ayama to appease the wrath of the wronged prince. A beautiful tale that makes use of the traditional theme of the maiden who must soften the beast's heart with her stories and her kindness. The Too-Clever Fox : A very clever fox and a mysterious girl in a haunting forest. A tale inspired by the mystical, and often violent, Russsian myths. This story will terrify you and show you the twisted, treacherous nature we all hide inside. ''There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.'' The Witch of Duva : If we think of dark, haunting and menacing forests, our mind should immediately wander off to the Russian landscape and the steppes with their vicious, otherworldly beauty. This is the setting of my favourite story in the collection. A dark, violent tale where the characters are far more different than they appear. A story that is worthy of five stars and a proper tale for the darkest winter nights. ''It is dangerous to travel the northern road with a heavy heart.'' Little Knife : Dark woods, sad, and an abandoned city. A girl of supernatural beauty and her suitors. An all-powerful river and a good-for-nothing boy. A tale of Ravka that echoes the traditional Russian stories of the beautiful maiden and the impossible tasks a man would accomplish to win her hand. But be careful. There is an outstanding twist that few will be able to imagine. This was my second favourite story in the collection. ''Are you mine?'' The Soldier Prince : A haunting, menacing version of The Nutcracker. A beautiful, twisted journey to a favourite tale of our childhood. Reading this story felt like Christmas... ''Kneeling there, you hear the ice moan. The wind scrapes away at you, a razor on the stop. Even so. Be still and listen. Think of it as part of the bargain.'' When Water Sang Fire : A retelling of Andersen's The Little Mermaid. Ulla and Signy. One grey and strange, the other beautiful and shallow. Ulla is a mermaid whose voice can gather storms, her temperament equally powerful. Signy is the vulnerable one, the girl who dreams of love and wealth. This version is darker and much more sensual than the original and I loved it.Sara Kipin's illustrations are beyond beautiful. The style, the colours....they embody the essence of each story in a unique way. Enough with my boring rumblings. This collection is unique and you need it in your life. "This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails." My reviews can also be found on:https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    LEIGH BARDUGO IS THE QUEEN OF YA FANTASYIONLYPOSTFACTSListen, I love the GrishaVerse so much. It's one of my favourite high fantasy worlds, and you can tell Leigh Bardugo loves it so much herself and has put so much work into it. The Grisha world just keeps on expanding and every expansion really makes me heart sing. This world is a little twisted, a little creepy, a little shattered. Filled with broken people and stories, with creepy histories and dangerous characters and a chilling aesthetic. LEIGH BARDUGO IS THE QUEEN OF YA FANTASYIONLYPOSTFACTSListen, I love the GrishaVerse so much. It's one of my favourite high fantasy worlds, and you can tell Leigh Bardugo loves it so much herself and has put so much work into it. The Grisha world just keeps on expanding and every expansion really makes me heart sing. This world is a little twisted, a little creepy, a little shattered. Filled with broken people and stories, with creepy histories and dangerous characters and a chilling aesthetic. And thats what I love about it. I love it being a little creepy and weird, it makes it so unique and so fascinating. I'dd admit, I'm not a massive short story lover. I don't know why, it's nothing to do with leigh Bardugo. It's me. So anytime I read a short story collection, even from my faves, I'm expected to be left a little disappointed just because short stories and me don't .... we don't get along great. But this is probably one of my favourite short story collections ever, because each story was so well written, and each one had a twist or addition I didn't expect. Leigh Barudgo really knows how to string you along and then undermine your expectation. She subverts the genre so often and fuck I love her for it. Ayama and the Thorn Wood: 4.5 stars. This definitely reminded me of how we usually hear Grimm fairly tales told. It followed that familiar fairytale set up we're used to. The three stories told by Amaya I absolutely LOVED. Each one definitely didn't end how I expected and I loved how they were deliberately supposed to go against your expectations. I didn't give it a full five star though because of the ending being a bit predictable. The Too-Clever Fox: 5 stars. BITCH I WAS SHOOK. I definitely didn't see the end of this one ocming, for some reason. This story gave me the absolute creeps, it was super creepy and kinda gross but I liked that about it. Definitely gave me the old spine tingles. I loved the characters in this, they were great and just the whole message of the story in general. I'm glad I hadn't already read the short story for this (because I believe this one is already published?) But anyway, loved this oneThe Witch of Duva: 5 stars. YESSSS. This was my favourite one in the whole book. Oh my god, the plot twist got me okay. I was super freaked out and grossed out and jfghkjf. But I loved the female characters in this one and how they were written, the bond between the various characters, and the growth of the characters was amazing considering how short this was. I'd read this one again for sure I LOVED IT. The Little Knife: Leigh Bardugo makes every single river in Ravka a lesbian? Obviously giving this one a five star bitch. I am SO GLAD people posted the artwork for this story on twitter because wow it's gorgeous. So I loved the composition of this story, and the repetitive nature actually didn't get to me at all? The quests were super fun, and I liked to see how each one was tackled. But BRUH that ending. The women establishing themselves and then destroying those who tried to control them my Aesthetic. Love love loveThe Soldier Prince Eh. I didn't like this one much I kepy waiting for it to end. I kind of just .... didn't care? And I found the whole doll/kid thing kinda creepy, which I know I've been praising the creepy stuff but this one I don't know I just didn't like it much. The only bit I really liked was the Rat King's appearance. Only gave this one 3 starsWhen Water Sang Fire 3.5 stars, maybe? I don't know, I'm very conflicted on this one. It had the Darkling in it, so that makes me happy. And I really loved the ending and what Ulla went out and did. But I felt kind of queer baited? I didn't like how Signy and Ulla's relationship went about, and I definitely felt the ending was the most predictable of all the stories. Pretty much the whole scene with Roth/Signy/Ulla annoyed me, but I was here for what Ulla did after that. I don't know this one is hard for me, I loved bits of it and felt nothing for other bits of it. So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces. I definitely enjoyed this creepy set of stories from the Grisha world. No matter what they contained, it was amazing just to be back in the world. I was really impressed with some of the stories, and even though I didn't love a couple as much, overall this whole collection was chilling, spine tingling, hair raising. And I can't fault Leigh Bardugo for thatAlso, I listened to this on audiobook so for anyone interested the audio is great! It reminded me alot of Every Heart a Doorway in the style and tone of the narration and there was a lot of emotion put into conveying the characters and their situations. Really recommend the audiobook!You know what I take away from this whole thing most?BRING ON KING OF SCARSTHE GRISHA VERSE IS MY SHIT
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  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    Leigh’s back again, ruining lives, destroying homes, making little children (me) cry thank you for this leigh, its v welcome Ayama and the Thorn Wood ~ 4.5 stars- This story man, it was great- Fantastic, superb, entertaining- What an excellent kick off for the collection of stories- The quiet, ugly-ducklings GET A STORY YES FINALLY - I just really loved the moral of the story- Bc we’re always getting these fantastical YA books about flawlessly chiseled heroines and perfectly crafted love inter Leigh’s back again, ruining lives, destroying homes, making little children (me) cry thank you for this leigh, its v welcome Ayama and the Thorn Wood ~ 4.5 stars- This story man, it was great- Fantastic, superb, entertaining- What an excellent kick off for the collection of stories- The quiet, ugly-ducklings GET A STORY YES FINALLY - I just really loved the moral of the story- Bc we’re always getting these fantastical YA books about flawlessly chiseled heroines and perfectly crafted love interests and boi pleaseee that’s so 2015- Give us some reality The Too Clever Fox ~ 3.5 stars- I didn’t love this one as much as the first- It was interesting and clever - Again I appreciated how the ugly little fox was the main character and used his cunning wit to survive- Kinda a sad story if you think about it tho The Witch of Duva ~ 5 stars- THIS. STORY. WAS. PERFECT.- I read this before on its own and it gave me chills then and it fricken gave me chills now- Leigh Bardugo, never stop writing please- Frick, that plot twist, I totally didn’t see it coming and it shook me up real good- I love the whole ‘apperance vs. reality’ theme going on in this collection, but this one was especially epic and haunting and chilling and just AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA- Im going to go scream into a viod bc this one was just unmatched and it made me want to die at the same time Little Knife ~ 4 stars- Leigh must be a magician bc the way she crafts the stories and makes you so attached to the characters in less than 60 pages is just magical - Really enjoyed this story too - The build up was done really well and then the ending is so unexpected- We always hear those tales that are like, omg yes, we all know whats going to happen and the tale just drags along but no leigh is here to school you- Bc you don’t end her books, they end you The Solider Prince ~ 4 stars- This one was really twisted and slightly confusing but still just as magical and enthralling as the others - It took me some time to full grasp what the plot was bc it was spread over a vast amount of time- But the way the characters are crafted, they just come to life man, idk what this sorcery is - Really creepy, really eerie, all-round entertaining When Water Sand Fire ~3.5 stars- This story is like a hit or miss I feel - Perhaps the moral/build-up of the story went right above my head- But a lot of the time, I was just trying to grasp what was going on bc the whole thing is basically showed not told and yes that’s an incredible thing to do but it also made me slightly confused- NOT TO SAY THAT IT WASN’T A GREAT ONE- Just that I wasn’t involved until the 60% mark - But still managed to be magical and sad and an epic backstory of kinds- Also apparently the darkling was supposed make an appearance here ???? im confused ???Also the drawings were epic and I basically screamed everytime I saw them bc wow thank you for blessing my eyes4 stars!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Buddy read with a little boi and fake may honestly it's leigh bardugo, so its an automatic 4 stars just for that~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~LETS JUST TAKE A COLLECTIVE MOMENT TO BREATHE BC WHAT IS THIS WHY AM I ONLY FINDING OUT ABOUT IT NOW THIS IS SO DISRESPECTFUL HOW DARE YOU RUIN MY HEART AGAIN LEIGH
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  • ♥Christina
    January 1, 1970
    WOW! Like seriously, I'm in awe of this!! I love ittt! These short stories were incredible and fascinating and enthralled me from beginning to end. Leigh Bardugo should truly think about writing books full of these short folklore and fairytale stories. I could read them all day especially the dark ones♥. I LOVE the more darker and creepy ones the most. I also find I love all the names Bardugo chooses to name her characters. They are always unique and fresh :) I recommend everyone read this regar WOW! Like seriously, I'm in awe of this!! I love ittt! These short stories were incredible and fascinating and enthralled me from beginning to end. Leigh Bardugo should truly think about writing books full of these short folklore and fairytale stories. I could read them all day especially the dark ones♥. I LOVE the more darker and creepy ones the most. I also find I love all the names Bardugo chooses to name her characters. They are always unique and fresh :) I recommend everyone read this regardless if they haven't read any of her other works. (❛‿❛) ꧁Individual ratings and reviews of each story below꧂Ayama and the Thorn Wood ⭐⭐⭐⭐“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 the ones who do.”This story was really heartbreaking and so beautiful at the same time. It was about a King and Queen who had two sons one is handsome and the other a beastly creature. The Beast Prince was cast aside and imprisoned. In this kingdom lived two sisters a beautiful one that loved to sing and everyone held in high esteem, the other was ugly and her name was Ayama. Her parents paid her no mind for she was nothing special. Everyone thought this Beast and Ayama was nothing but exposable, something to be used. Their paths kept crossing because Ayama was sent on these missions to the Thorn Woods to negotiate with this Beast. She tells him three different stories which I really loved! They were so so good. In the prosses bounding them together. They both go back to the castle and show everyone that appearances are not all that matters and should not be solely judged based on one's appearances. Some good advice for everyone to remember ;) The Too-Clever Fox ⭐⭐⭐⭐“I can bear ugliness,” he said. “I find the one thing I cannot live with is death.”This was a very enjoyable short story. It was dark and beautiful and it made me really sad 😭. This was all about having different perspectives :) It was about an ugly skinny fox name Koja who could talk his way out of every bad situation he found himself in. Whether it be being eaten as a kit to hounds to being eaten by a bear to a hunters trap, whatever the case he always had a trick up his sleeve (or rather paw lol), whatever it may be he could get them to do as he asks. He even became the bear, Ivan Gostov good friend. Koja had many friends in the forest despite his looks. I love his sarcasm! He was known to be the cleverest fox in all of Ravka. But for all his witty-ness and fast-talking, it doesn't mean he'll escape every trap set before him! Sometimes you need a trusted friend to save you. The Witch of Duva ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.” Wow! The Witch of Duva was a pleasant surprise. I really loved this novella. It was so dark and really freaking creepy. CREEPY I tell you! That twist at the end seriously blindsided me like for reals I did not see that coming! It was shocking and I just really enjoyed this read. I wish it was much longer. This story was even a bit sick and twisted which I love. It was haunting and it gripped me right away. This one here is a must read! I absolutely love a good dark folklore tale. Little Knife ⭐⭐⭐⭐“She was terrifying in her beauty, bright like a devouring star.”This novella was wonderfully good :) It was very captivating and I was hooked! This was about an absolutely breathtakingly stunning girl named Yeva. She is the duke's daughter. He is desperately trying to find the perfect suitor and therefore he sets out all these different challenges. Yeva's beauty makes men lose their minds at the sight of her and all want to clam her as their own. The ending message was powerful and lovely♥. And that twist at the end I did not see coming! It was PERFECT. Honestly, this was so worth the read and I recommend Y'all taking the time to read it :)“Remember that to use a thing is not to own it.”The Soldier Prince ⭐⭐⭐“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.”This was not one of my favorite stories :( It wasn't bad though either! It just didn't resonate with me like the others have thus far. Idk, it was just lacking... something! This short story wasn't really dark in my opinion and after reading four stories that were 'The Soldier Prince' didn't hit the creepy factor. Still, I am happy I read it just the same :) When Water Sang Fire ⭐⭐⭐⭐“This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”I found 'When Water Sang Fire' to be pretty damn enjoyable. Some parts dragged on at times and I wish this one would have been a bit shorter. But I loved Ulla!!! She was a fantastic character! I also really liked the plot. Another beautiful tale completed :)
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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    So, I'm having a WTF-did-I-really-give-this-a-three-star-rating moment. I honestly thought I was going to love this! (See my excitement below!)And since I pretty much converted to Bardugo-ism last year, I thought, that's it. This woman can write whatever, and it'll be perfect and as if I've been handed a slice of heaven itself. I mean, she's queen. All hail! This collection just did not do it for me. It could be my slumpish mood... however, I did enjoy some of the stories, The Witch of Duva in p So, I'm having a WTF-did-I-really-give-this-a-three-star-rating moment. I honestly thought I was going to love this! (See my excitement below!)And since I pretty much converted to Bardugo-ism last year, I thought, that's it. This woman can write whatever, and it'll be perfect and as if I've been handed a slice of heaven itself. I mean, she's queen. All hail! This collection just did not do it for me. It could be my slumpish mood... however, I did enjoy some of the stories, The Witch of Duva in particular, but the majority were slightly mediocre to me. Nothing about the stories blew my mind, nor could I connect to them on any level. Usually with other short stories that I have read, the characterisations are on par. They feel alive and I would be craving for more. They would have had the potential to become full-fledged novels to me. With these stories, however, I was just glad they ended. It wasn't even that the book itself was bad, because there is no way that I can fault the writing, or the eeriness these stories possessed. Just that it wasn't for me. Initial reaction.THAT COVER!!! I cannot WAIT to read this book! My mind is still obsessing over how INCREDIBLE the Six of Crows duology was. Give it to me, Bardugo!
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    “This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”4,5 out of 5 stars. This book wasn't high on my tbr pile, to be honest, most of all because I didn't want to spend the money on it and because I didn't expect my local libraries to hold a copy of it. So you can imagine the delight and the surprise when I discovered it just there, in the library.Normally, I'm not a huge fan of short story (or essay) collections. I know that my favourite author's st “This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”4,5 out of 5 stars. This book wasn't high on my tbr pile, to be honest, most of all because I didn't want to spend the money on it and because I didn't expect my local libraries to hold a copy of it. So you can imagine the delight and the surprise when I discovered it just there, in the library.Normally, I'm not a huge fan of short story (or essay) collections. I know that my favourite author's story will be fantastic but I tend to forget most other novellas as soon as I've finished them; they're either unimpressive or not exactly my taste. This; however, was something else. The Language of Thorns was a unique collection of fairytales. Leigh Bardugo created wondrous stories and fierce characters. She is the queen of plottwists, that's for sure.I can't exactly pick a favourite. I loved all the tales but one: The Soldier Prince. It seemed to me that the author did not initially know where she was heading with the plot. The change of POV was irritating and overall the story seemed a bit messy, plot-wise as well as character-wise. It simply wasn't to my liking.Apart from that there's only one thing left to say: the illustrations are to die for. This book is so beautifully crafted. It's amazing (and on the other hand a little sad) to see how much effort will be put in a book when the publisher knows that the author is a goldmine. I wish smaller authors would experience this kind of support and effort once in a while.Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Trina (Between Chapters)
    January 1, 1970
    Although I think some of the stories could have ended stronger, this is my favorite collection of novellas for any series ever. I read the original 3 stories when they were published online and LOVED them at that time and asked Leigh once if she'd ever published a collection of Grisha tales. I'm so happy this happened! They were even better the second time around, and the new stories were magical as well. You can see which classic fairy tales inspired some of these stories, but they all have the Although I think some of the stories could have ended stronger, this is my favorite collection of novellas for any series ever. I read the original 3 stories when they were published online and LOVED them at that time and asked Leigh once if she'd ever published a collection of Grisha tales. I'm so happy this happened! They were even better the second time around, and the new stories were magical as well. You can see which classic fairy tales inspired some of these stories, but they all have their own twists and style. Although a few specific locations are mentioned, I don't think you need to have read any of the Grisha books to understand these stories. And the illustrations were gorgeous!
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  • Cesar
    January 1, 1970
    10 trillion stars/5“This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”Words cannot even begin to describe how much I loved The Language of Thorns. I am trying to find the right words but I can't. The best way to express my love is through this gif.In all seriousness though, I really loved this book. Everything about this book, from the words to the drawings to the stories is just stunning and beautiful and breathtaking and every other synonym that 10 trillion stars/5“This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”Words cannot even begin to describe how much I loved The Language of Thorns. I am trying to find the right words but I can't. The best way to express my love is through this gif.In all seriousness though, I really loved this book. Everything about this book, from the words to the drawings to the stories is just stunning and beautiful and breathtaking and every other synonym that is related to beautiful. It was that good. I have admired Leigh's writing style before, but this one takes the cake with cherries on top. It really felt like I was reading actual fairy tales. The Language of Thorns takes inspiration from different fairy tales and Leigh tells them in such a unique way so that it belongs to the Grishaverse. You got ones that are like Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and the Beast, and the Little Mermaid. Except imagine them dark, twisted, and beautiful. My kind of fairytales. And yes, I know the original fairytales were dark, but Leigh does it in a way that makes them even more unique.In the book, there are 3 new stories and 3 other ones that were originally in e-book format. Those are: The Too-Clever Fox, The Witch of Duva, and Little Knife. I have not read them but now I'm glad they were in this book.These stories are not what they appear at first glance. I knew I was in for some dark and twisted stuff since the tales are from the Grishaverse. Even still, I was surprised by the stories and the characters because I am not kidding when I say the stories are dark. No rainbows, puppies, and sunshine in this book, kiddos.If I had to choose a favorite story, it would have to be When Water Sang Fire. I loved that story mainly because of the characters, the lyrical writing, how Leigh takes mermaids/sirens and turns it into something different. (It also helped that I was listening to This because of the whole siren aspect of it.)And, a certain dark character appears.(Hello Darkling. 😙 *proceeds to make out with the Darkling*)I really don't have anything negative to say about the stories. Yeah, some of them can be long, but the stories help with the pacing, especially if you really like the writing and the stories. I just love everything about the Grishaverse. And, it was recently announced that Leigh is coming back to the Grishaverse with a duology that is centered around Nikolai! Verdict I absolutely loved this book. Everything about it was lovely. I highly recommend this if you really are a fan of the Grishaverse or just like fairytales.Thanks for reading my review!-Cesar
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  • Shruti
    January 1, 1970
    “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 as the boy did.” Beautiful. Haunting. Intriguing. Bardugo can create such magic with her beautiful writing! This was exactly what I needed to restore my love for Bardugo's writing after I was disappointed “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 as the boy did.” Beautiful. Haunting. Intriguing. Bardugo can create such magic with her beautiful writing! This was exactly what I needed to restore my love for Bardugo's writing after I was disappointed in Shadow and Bone. This book is a collection of six fairytale-like illustrated stories set in the Grishaverse. The highlights of these short stories are : 1. Reimagined fairytale retellings with dark themes 2. Unexpected plot twists 3. Stunning illustrations This collection features the different worlds that Bardugo creates, and these stories are filled with creepiness and intrigue. Each story conveys different messages which is totally different from the actual fairytales. Throughout the whole book, I was either mesmerized by Bardugo’s magical writing style, in awe of illustrations or just waiting to see what would happen next.The Language of Thorns is just an all-around beautiful book.It is not necessary to read any of the Grishaverse books beforehand, although I think the tales will be more fun that way.¤ Ayama and The Thorn Wood ⭐⭐⭐⭐. 5 “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 the ones who do.” This story is from Zemeni and is retelling of a sort of mix between Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, about a strong hearted ordinary girl and a beastly prince. This story breaks the stereotype of having a beautiful or handsome character as the main character of fairytales. I also loved how the characters in the story also told stories, so the book-within-a-book feeling was strong here. It was my second favourite in the collection. ¤ The Too-clever Fox ⭐⭐⭐. 5 “A lesser creature might have closed his eyes and prayed for nothing more than a quick death. But if Koja had words, then he had hope.” It is a Ravkan tale about a little fox Koja who uses his wits to get him out of some dangerous situations. This almost has the feeling of a fable. There wasn’t as many twists in this story as in the previous one, the ending was still surprising. P.S Bardugo confirmed that this story is our very own witty thief Kaz’s favourite!!!! <3 ¤ The Witch of Duva ⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.” I think the idea for this Ravkan tale came from Hansel and Gretel.It follows Nadya as she finds out the secret of how girls went missing in Duva. The story definitely was the most disturbing and creepy ones for me. The ending has a big twist that I did not see coming a mile away, and it just made the story all that much better.¤ The Little Knife ⭐⭐⭐. 5“She never worried when her beauty faded, for in her reflection she always saw a free woman.” This Ravkan tale gathers all of the familiar elements from many old fairy tales: a competition for the hand of a beautiful maiden and a trio of impossible tasks .In this story, Grisha power of a Tidemaker was mentioned and used. It’s a good story with more lesson,like Too Clever Fox. Still it managed to surprise me at the ending like all the others. ¤ The Soldier Prince ⭐⭐⭐ “Who are you when no one picks you up to hold you?” asked the Rat King. “When no one is looking at you, or whispering to you, who are you then?"  This Kerch tale is a reimagined The Nutcracker retelling with Grisha Fabrikator magic and the spirit of a toy which comes alive. This was all about self-discovery and knowing the importance of making our own story. But I felt that the ending was very eerie and unsettling. ¤ When Water Sang Fire ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.” This Fjerdan story is a retelling of The little mermaid, about a sildroher mermaid named Ulla who dreams of being able to use her singing magic as she chooses.It poses questions on the cost of magic, the sacrifices we make for our ambitions, and the price we pay to earn social acceptance. I loved every moment of this story and it was my most favorite from the whole collection.This was no doubt the perfect strong story to end the book. P.S The Darkling made an appearance in this story!!"The boy’s clothes were black, his hair blacker still, and he was looking directly at Ulla, the weight of his stare heavy ballast." Overall there wasn’t a single story in this book that I didn’t liked or enjoyed reading. Every fairytale was just so well-thought-out. It is a treat for all the Bardugo fans. Even if you haven’t read any Bardugo books yet and if you're interested in dark twists in fairytales, then this one is perfect for you!
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  • Deborah Obida
    January 1, 1970
    " Sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always the ones who do.” Though I've read the witch of duva before and the too clever fox, the rest are new to me.Ayama and the thorn wood 5 stars The too clever fox 3 stars The witch of Duva 4 stars The soldier Prince 5 stars Little knife 4 stars When water sang fire 3.5 stars I've never been a fan of folklores but Leigh changed that plus I'll read anything she writes and this was incredible. The world bui " Sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always the ones who do.” Though I've read the witch of duva before and the too clever fox, the rest are new to me.Ayama and the thorn wood 5 stars The too clever fox 3 stars The witch of Duva 4 stars The soldier Prince 5 stars Little knife 4 stars When water sang fire 3.5 stars I've never been a fan of folklores but Leigh changed that plus I'll read anything she writes and this was incredible. The world building and character development that are like 50 pages long for each story is amazing. It was neither info dumping nor vague it was just perfect. “Who are you when no one picks you up to hold you?” asked the Rat King. “When no one is looking at you, or whispering to you, who are you then? The first story is my favourite, The stories in this book are more than retellings they are so original you'll wonder why the original work was not this great. The writing is superb and I loved it, I wanted to see how it ends at the same time I want to savor it. This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart. The stories are no where near predictable, when I thought I had it figured out, the ending will just leave me dumbfounded. Remember that to use a thing is not to own it. Pre ReviewYes its out! I'm going to savour this and read it despacito.Thanks to Goodreads for that wonderful excerpt, I hope there is a ship, There ought to be a ship, poor prince.September 26th please come faster.
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  • Roshani Chokshi
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely amazing. Every story is brilliantly evocative and so so so painful.
  • Natalie Monroe
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars "In the year that summer stayed too long, the heat lay upon the prairie with the weight of a corpse." Can we please talk about what a goddamn gift of a writer Leigh is? Beautiful writing, to me, isn't how many constellations you can find in a love interest's freckles, or stringing together a tinsel chain of adjectives, but the ability to reinvent words. Look at that sentence. It captures the fly-buzzing, desolate atmosphere perfectly while lending a new dimension to the word corpse.The 4.5 stars "In the year that summer stayed too long, the heat lay upon the prairie with the weight of a corpse." Can we please talk about what a goddamn gift of a writer Leigh is? Beautiful writing, to me, isn't how many constellations you can find in a love interest's freckles, or stringing together a tinsel chain of adjectives, but the ability to reinvent words. Look at that sentence. It captures the fly-buzzing, desolate atmosphere perfectly while lending a new dimension to the word corpse.These stories are lush, thorny creatures. Each and every one of them comes with a twist. They challenge traditional fairy tales through modern morals and values—wicked sisters may not always be what they see, magic might not always follow rules. There's very little I can say without coming off as cheap or sentimental. The Language of Thorns is a work best experienced. So instead I'm going to give out awards.The Creepy AF Award goes to the Kerch tale The Soldier Prince. Primarily a Nutcracker retelling, all I can say is, if this what Kaz and everyone in Ketterdam grew up listening to, no wonder they turned out to be morally deficient, gun-wielding gangsters.Mother's Favorite goes to the Zemini-originated Ayama and the Thorn Wood. Reason? We get an extra three stories sealed in one because Ayama takes the One Thousand & Nights road in beast-slaying. The coveted Fan-Voted Award goes to When Water Sang Fire from Fjerda. Not a spoiler, Bardugo mentioned on social media a known character would make an appearance and posted a fairly obvious excerpt. (No, I won't tell you who is) Me, personally, didn't enjoy it as much because it shared a bit too many similarities to Marissa Meyer's the Little Mermaid retelling from Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy. (view spoiler)[It ruined the ending for me (hide spoiler)] However, the plot of When Water Sang Fire is far superior, as are the writing and characters. As for our returning champions, Ravkan folklore which had been published online for free before this collection, I present...A Tale Worthy of Kaz and Inej to The Too-Clever Fox. Fyi, Bardugo said this would be Kaz's favorite fairy tale. A Darker Version of Hansel and Gretel If That's Even Possible Award goes to The Witch of Duva. Helpful warning not to read this over milk and cookies.And finally, for The Little Knife, the Hufflepuff Award because it's equally brilliant and Helga Hufflepuff is an equal opportunist. "But as you leave that dark gap in the trees behind, remember that to use a thing is not to own it. And should you ever take a bride, listen closely to her questions. In them you may hear her true name like the thunder of a lost river, like the sighing of the sea."
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  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThere are books with beautiful covers but horrible insides, books with ugly covers but amazing insides, and the rare books with both gorgeous insides and outsides. The Language of Thorns is one of those rare books.Ayama and The Thorn Wood // ★★★★★- I just?? loved this one??- it was so beautifully written and had such a great message.- it was also like this one fairytale mashup of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella and a;lsjfalsjfdasdf I loved it.The Too-Clever Fox // ★★★☆☆.5- this was 4.5 starsThere are books with beautiful covers but horrible insides, books with ugly covers but amazing insides, and the rare books with both gorgeous insides and outsides. The Language of Thorns is one of those rare books.Ayama and The Thorn Wood // ★★★★★- I just?? loved this one??- it was so beautifully written and had such a great message.- it was also like this one fairytale mashup of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella and a;lsjfalsjfdasdf I loved it.The Too-Clever Fox // ★★★☆☆.5- this was such a cute tale of friendship! - it didn’t really stand out to me, but it was still well-written- that was a GREAT plot twist tho (I mean, what else do you expect from Leigh)The Witch of Duva // ★★★★★- I’M CRYING I LOVE THIS STORY SO MUCH OH MY GOD- this was absolutely amazing and I love it so much, probably one of the best short stories I’ve ever read- that plot twist. that message. I’M DEAD The Little Knife // ★★★★☆- I feel like this story was a little odd?? but it was written gorgeously (as all of them were)- honestly this aesthetic is me and my mood will always be lesbian river spirits- my favorite part of this was the end drawing. like WHAT. A. STUNNER. I’m in love agahghaghThe Soldier Prince // ★★★★☆.5- nutcracker retelling!! and a great one at that- it was really creepy- the ending is so open and I love all the possibilities that there are??- (i don’t remember much about this except that i liked it)When Water Sang Fire // ★★★★★- THIS ONE WAS SO BEAUTIFUL- it was long but i really enjoyed it and thought it was a great retelling of “Ursula” in The Little Mermaid- the backstory was interesting and I loved the darkness of it allThis whole book was both written and drawn gorgeously. The writing complimented the artwork and the artwork complimented the writing. This was nothing less than what I expected of Leigh.I looked through ALL of the artwork first and I think that was definitely a good idea?? The artwork builds up as the story goes on, and I got to see how the artwork changed over time beforehand, instead of stopping when I reached each new page to analyze it. I definitely recommend looking through the artwork before reading!The stories took me a few pages to get into at first, but once I was in it, I could NOT stop reading. I just didn’t want to put it down. All the stories were super engaging and well-written and lusciously drawn and just beautiful.I’m so glad The Darkling wasn’t in this.
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  • Ben Alderson
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this story so much that it made me cry REAL tears at the end.Merged review:Really enjoyed this! Loved most, was not sure about one of them. But really loved it. Any insight into the Grisha Universe I am happy for. This has me pumped for more Grisha books!
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  • brekkersbutt
    January 1, 1970
    bitch i'm so excited for this my ass is exploding
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