Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 288 pages
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars
“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.
Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns 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, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.”
This is a collection of six stories by Bardugo. My favorite thing about this book is the unique way the illustrations are done. With each page turn the illustrations grow along the sides of the page and help to tell the story. The book itself is very high quality and beautifully put together.
My favorite two stories of the bunch were “The Witch of Duva” and “When Water Sang Fire”. You can see ratings and short descriptions of each story below.
Overall this is a beautifully put together collection of stories; the uniqueness of the illustration was a high point for me. If you are a Bardugo fan or love fairy tales in general I would recommend checking this out. This is one of those books you’ll want to set out on your coffee table because of its uniqueness and beauty.
“Ayama and the Thorn Wood” (4/5 stars)
This is a blend of the greek minotaur mythos and 1001 Arabian NIghts. A young woman is forced to approach a terrible beast to help her village; she distracts him with stories and they form a sort of bond. I really enjoyed some of the twists in the stories and how everything played out.
“The Too-Clever Fox” (3/5 stars)
I had read this story previously. This story is about a clever but ugly fox that lives in the woods. He tries to manipulate events to get rid of a hunter that’s moved into the wood. The big twist in the story was very predictable which was the biggest disappointment to this tale. It was still a well done folktale, just not my favorite.
“The Witch of Duva” (5/5 stars)
I had read this story previously as well. This is about a girl named Nadya who must flee into the forest and confront the very thing that has always haunted her. It was an incredibly engaging short story and I was impressed with how well developed the characters were. There are a lot of twists and turns in the story as well. I absolutely loved it!
“Little Knife” (4/5 stars)
This story was very similar in structure to “Ayama and the Thorn Wood”. It’s a fairy tale about why this small village was cursed and is now deserted. The story has to do with a beautiful girl who is sought after by all who see her. A magician then tries to win her hand by competing with other men at three tasks; only he uses the power of the river in the village to do this with interesting consequences. There is a twist at the end of the story which was enjoyable.
“The Soldier Prince” (4/5 stars)
This is a retelling of The Nutcracker with more steampunk elements than the original story. I liked some of the changes Bardugo made to the story, I love the Nutcracker story and it was fun to see it retold. There are some unique twists to this story as well.
“When Water Sang Fire” (5/5 stars)
I liked this story a lot. It was a blend of Little Mermaid and the Sea Witch folklore. I loved the two main characters and how you could feel right from the beginning that things just weren’t going to go well for these characters. This was a very well done and engaging story.