The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous MagicThe Language of Thorns

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Publication Date: September 26th 2017

Format: Hardcover (304 pages)

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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.

My Rating: ★★★★★

It goes without saying that The Language of Thorns was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2017. I am a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo and any chance to get back into her Grishaverse is hugely welcomed. I pre-ordered this months ago and was delighted when it arrived 10 days early (thanks Waterstones!).

This book has one of the most striking covers I have on my shelves. The details on the cover are so intricate and it really is rather beautiful to look at. But don’t let the cover fool you, this book is even more gorgeous on the inside than you could imagine. It is filled with the most beautiful illustrations and one of my favourite things about the illustrations is the way in which they grow around the story as you flick through the pages. As the story reveals more of itself, so do the illustrations, eventually giving way to a double spread illustration for the story. I probably spent longer looking at the illustrations than I did reading this book as it is a pretty quick read. They really are gorgeous.

The stories themselves were also really wonderful to read. Many of them are based on fairytales we are familiar with but Bardugo has well and truly put her own spin on them. I’ve been asked by some people if they could read this without having read the Grisha trilogy and the answer is definitely YES (but why would you want to? Go read EVERYTHING Leigh has written!).

I’m not sure if I can pick a favourite because every time I decided on one the next story came along and I fell in love with that too. There is plenty to please in this anthology and Leigh has shown just how masterful a writer she is with these creations. I particularly loved the final story in the collection, When Water Sang Fire, which is Leigh’s take on the little mermaid story. It is the longest story in the collection but one that came packed with lots of emotion and morals.

These stories reminded me of every reason why I love Leigh’s writing. They are exceptionally well-written; every word on the page seems to have its purpose. Each of the stories is beautifully atmospheric and they are definitely dark and haunting in places. This is definitely a book I will read again and again!



Have you read The Language of Thorns? Is it on your TBR?

What YA anthologies do you recommend?


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4 responses to “The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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