‘The Language of Thorns’ spoiler-free review!

Hey everyone! I’m still catching up on reviews after my mammoth reading month in June so please bear with me!

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo was one of my favourite reads of last month. Before I tell you why, here’s the synopsis…


What the book is about…

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 love-struck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairytale, and folklore, #1 New York Timesโ€“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 strangeโ€”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.


What I thought of it…

This book is everything I never knew I needed. I love the way Bardugo subverted all the fairytale clichรฉs with this collection, giving us dark and twisted endings, unexpected romances, defying notions of beauty and speaking out for women and minority groups everywhere.

As always, the writing is seriously gorgeous. For some reason, I always forget how great Bardugo is at descriptions – this book definitely serves as a reminder. There were phrases in this book that moved me to tears (not something I’d expected!) Bardugo’s beautiful writing really helped to convey the messages at the heart of each story, all of which were so powerful and impactful.

The tales read like classic fables, reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling, Aesop and, of course, Hans Christian Andersen. However, there is an originality here that showcases Bardugo’s wonderful imagination. She would pull me in with what seemed like a simple fairytale and then I’d be absolutely floored by the endings!

There was also SO MUCH FOOD in this book and I was living for it. I love a foody description and this book was filled to the brim with them.

My favourite story in the collection was When Water Sang Fire. It is the longest and most developed tale in the book and I adored it. It was everything I wanted from The Surface Breaks but didn’t get. This right here is how you write a feminist take on The Little Mermaid.

Finally, a special mention for the illustrator because this book is truly a work of art. The drawings grow with every page, ending in full double-page illustrations, and they are things of beauty. I wish every book looked like this.

I hate that I waited so long to read this. Please pick it up if you haven’t already!


the language of thorns leigh bardugo

I don’t know why the book looks blurry in this picture, but I’ve noticed even on Goodreads it looks like this?! It clearly does not like to be photographed! *cries*


Who else has read this one? Please leave a comment below and fangirl with me! x


2 thoughts on “‘The Language of Thorns’ spoiler-free review!

  1. Sounds awesome! But that’s weird about the book cover not wanting to be photographed. Hmm. Sounds like a good start to a story idea right there. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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