I’m not one for fairytales. It’s true. And what might be worse yet is that I don’t read a lot of short stories because I always feel as if they’re incomplete. Perhaps I’m still bitter about Three Sides of a Heart… Who knows. 😂
But I knew diving into another book by Leigh wouldn’t disappoint. I was right. Oh, I was so very right. Not only is the physical book absolutely beautiful, but the stories are magical, powerful, with just a touch of darkness.
Title: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo, Sara Kipin (illustrator)
Release date: September 26, 2017
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Length: 281 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”
Here’s the best thing about this: There isn’t a story I didn’t like. I didn’t love all of them, but I sure as well enjoyed each one. I adored how each came from a different part of the Grishaverse, and if you’ve read the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows duology, you can see bits and pieces of each fairytale weaved into overall story. This book was an absolutely ball to read.
Bardugo has a magical style of writing and it comes through in this book so well, as these stories straddle the line of reality and fantasy. Each story also comes with its own set of illustrations, displayed and beautifully rendered on nearly every page, with the culmination of the story on the final two pages. This book slowly becomes something similar to a flip book and I could not stop starting! 😍
My two favorite fairytales were Ayama and the Thorn Wood and The Too-Clever Fox. The one that was the biggest surprise was When Water Sang Fire.
One of the main reasons why, despite being short stories, I enjoyed these were I felt as if everything wrapped up quite nicely (not that everything was nice, but that I was able to feel as if it were a chapter closing on a big picture).
The truth is I can’t wait to see what else Bardugo has it store in this Grishaverse of hers. Why can’t it be 2019 so we can have King of Scars already? I’m not sure how my heart will survive! If you adored Leigh’s Grishaverse books, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂