Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

I was so glad to get back into the grishaverse without really being immersed back into it. This book is a book of grishaverse tales, from Ravka to Kerch. They were each so, so good! I loved all of them and couldn’t help but imagine myself as a Fjerdan or Zemeni child growing up on these tales. The best part is that each of them is a fairy tale retelling but with the grisha world influence. You all know how much I love a retelling! And I got six of them in this book! Each of them had a unique spin with a life lesson to go along with it. I know it sounds weird, but these are supposed to be moral tales from the grishaverse and I loved seeing how they all played out. Not to mention this book is ILLUSTRATED!! I mean who doesn’t want beautiful pictures to go along with the story? I especially loved how on each page the art started small and then spread all around the edges with each flip. I looked forward to turning the page to see what was added to the illustration. Then at the end of the tale there was a full-blown illustration that was just breath taking! If I were to put stars with this review I would give it a full 5 stars and be sorry I couldn’t give it more praise. On to my personal criteria for reviewing books, as you can tell this book gets infinity amount of bonus points for the cover art and illustrations. The originality is somewhat diminished because they are retellings, but I didn’t really notice until after when I was reflecting on the story. Leading into the fact that, since they were the authors own takes on some of the common fairy tales, it was kind of predictable in hindsight. But like I said, I didn’t really notice until after. I really liked the fact that I could imagine myself inside the grishaverse hearing these stories told, so I really felt like I could relate to the characters in each story for that reason. Also, despite them being short stories, each character was so dynamic and developed well with each their own emotions and motivations. I also liked how she told stories of not only heroes but also villans, and some at a murky gray area in between. I got scared for characters and they also gave me a warm feeling in my chest that made me smile. I’m so glad that the author could create such a big impact on me within the short number of pages. This book will hold a place in my heart for a long while, like all of Leigh’s books.

Look at this beautiful artwork!


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