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.
Is it possible to be in love with a book?? And I’m not really talking about the story I mean the actual, physical book. Ever since I purchased this book I have not been able to take my eyes off of it. I’ve been holding it so delicately and making sure I always have clean hands before holding or opening it because I only want to preserve its beauty. All that aside, I loved this book so much. I’ve always been such a lover of fairytales so I’m so happy that our queen and saviour Leigh Bardugo created this magical book of fairytales for her Grishaverse. It had so many wonderful elements that fairytales need as well as a special dash of Bardugo’s universe that came together for a wonderful book.
This is going to be almost like a mini review because there isn’t TOO much to say about it but I felt like I needed to review it nonetheless.
- I think my favourite thing about the fairytales was how well they matched up to their corresponding country. Like when I was reading the first tale, Ayama and the Thorn Wood, I could feel how it was meant for the Zemeni and I imagined how this was a story that Jesper’s mother would tell him. And then when I got to the Ravkan tales I could see the Grisha influences and how someone like Alina or Nina would read these stories and relate to them. In The Soldier Prince, which is my favourite tale of the six stories, the clockmaker reminded me of Kaz, or at least the Kaz he created, and how this character was absolutely someone who came from Ketterdam. And finally, in the Fjerdan tale I could see how it would be a tale of warning that would definitely influence a character like Matthias growing up. They just all felt so appropriate for the country/people they were meant for and also made for wonderful fairytales. I think Bardugo did a great job with them and I could tell she put a lot of thought in them.
- I already talked about how much I loved the cover of this book but man, the illustrations were unbelievable. Usually I get super excited when a book has a corresponding map because I love how pretty they are but this book blew every other map illustration out of the water. I loved how each story began with a small image in the border and that it kept expanding and had images added on as you turned the pages. And then these bordering images all came together in the end to form the final image, which was beyond beautiful. I could not stop looking at these illustrations. I also loved how some, if not all, of the borders would actually be a part of the final illustration and you were actually watching it come to life before your eyes on the pages. It just shows how the illustrations were truly connected to the stories.
- I just want to highlight my favourite tale of the book, The Soldier Prince, because it’s probably the only tale that had the heaviest influences from the original tale and I think Bardugo still managed to make it her own. I’m sure you could say Amaya has Beauty and the Beast vibes and When Water Sang Fire had influences of The Little Mermaid but those influences weren’t so big as this one, in my opinion. I loved how instead of starting with Clara and the Nutcracker you actually started with the clockmaker, the man who ends up creating the Nutcracker, and how Clara and her tale with the Nutcracker was introduced gradually. I don’t want to go into too much detail and ruin the story but I’ll just say that I love what Bardugo did with this story and how she brought the Nutcracker to life. Also, The Too-Clever Fox was fantastic and definitely my second favourite tale of the book.
- I think the only thing that I would consider “bad” about this book was the fact that only 4 countries/people had tales while there were still some people that I think could’ve had a story. Like I wish that there was something for the Suli or the Shu so I could see what kind of story Inej or Tolya and Tamar would’ve grown up with. I do appreciate the six stories we got but I’m greedy and I wish I had more.
- I see who you tried to slip into the last story Miss Bardugo and I am not amused by that.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Whether or not you’re familiar with this universe, the six fairytales found in this book are definite must reads and are required to be in your collection. And in the words of Leigh Bardugo, I hope you stir the pot.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
Until next time,
What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!