The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns (The Language of Thorns)

by Leigh Bardugo

From bestselling author of SIX OF CROWS, Leigh Bardugo, comes a lavishly illustrated collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice and love.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale and folklore, THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS will transport you to both lands familiar and strange that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

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, no. 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 of the Grishverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them beautifully illustrated with art by Sara Kiplin that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Reviewed by Joséphine on

3 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Initial thoughts: The illustrations really make this book! They added so much impact and intrigue, beautifully accentuating the stories. Much love for them!

Now, for the stories, I didn't expect to enjoy The Too-Clever Fox, The Witch of Duva, Little Knife all that much. They were written during the time of the original Grisha trilogy, which I wasn't a fan of either. I did, however, love the Six of Crows duology, so I had a lot of hope for the three new short stories that were part of this anthology. I was not disappointed.

I liked Ayama and the Thorn Wood and The Soldier Prince a lot. They were imaginative and the prose showed a marked improvement over the older short stories. Then there was When Water Sang Fire. I adored that story! It was (dare I say it?) even better than Marissa Meyer's take on this retelling, and that was one of my other favourite short stories that I read this year. Funny thing is, I never liked the character Ulla was based on. Yet here I am, singing praises for Leigh Bardugo's take.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 26 November, 2017: Finished reading
  • 26 November, 2017: Reviewed