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Review: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
 
Book 20 on My Book List 2020

”Bad fates do not always follow those who deserve them.”

I guess that’s a wisdom that sets the tone for this entire collection of dark fairy tales. If there is a recurrent theme that runs through all of those stories then it’s the fact that the bad guys don’t always get what they deserve. Which, quite honestly, made this even more intriguing for me. So what else did I love about Leigh’s stories? That they were as dark as the midnight hour. *lol* I mean if you’re familiar with fairy tales you know that all of them have a lesson you’re supposed to learn and that they are pretty cruel and wicked as well. So in that regard Leigh certainly delivered. XD Some of those stories gave me goose bumps and caused me to shake my head in disgust. And others made me wonder how different the story could have ended if the characters would have been a little bit more on guard. No matter the outcome of the stories they were all amazing though. As were the drawings around the pages! I loved them so much! There were so many little details and each and every single story turned out to be a flip book when you went through it fast enough. If you ask me a lot of thought went into this book and I really appreciated it.

This said let’s take a short look at the six stories themselves:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood: 4/5

”Then perhaps you might show mercy freely?“
“My father never taught me mercy.”
“And can you not learn?”

I really enjoyed that one even though it kind of reminded me of a combination of “The Beauty and the Beast” and “Arabian Nights”. Well, if the beauty would have been a plain girl instead of a beauty and if the stories wouldn’t have had an ending. *lol*

The Too-Clever Fox: 5/5

”If you like, you may have me as supper. I warn you, though, I am stringy and tough. Only my tongue holds savor. I make a bitter meal, but excellent company.”

Ahh I really loved that one!! Okay, I might be biased because I love foxes and cunning people/creatures but Koja was awesome! How he got out of the most delicate situations was great and that fox had all my respect! ❤ That ending though!!! I mean I kind of saw it coming but boy!!! O_o

The Witch of Duva: 5/5

”What is it you want?”
“I want to go home,” said Nadya.
“Well then,” said Magda. “You’d better start shoveling.”

This was a totally unique story and I never heard anything like it before. It plays with how people perceive others and it shows that you should never give into your prejudices. I really loved that one and the moral of the story was driven home with quite a punch. XD (That one actually cause me to feel a little sick. >_< )

Little Knife: 3/5

”Papa forgive me, but what way is this to find a husband? Soon I will have a fine mirror, but will I have good man?”

For some reason this was the story I enjoyed least. I don’t know why but maybe because it wasn’t all too shocking? I mean there is definitely a lesson to be learned and Semyon’s relationship as a tidemaker with the river was interesting, but the ending… I dunno. *shrugs* Maybe I didn’t like the fact that the beautiful girl always obeyed her father’s wishes. *lol*

The Soldier Prince: 4,5/5

”Are you mine?”

Okay! For me that one was super creepy because I’m kind of afraid of dolls and clowns. You might call it a mild coulrophobia and automatonophobia? >_< They just scare the bejesus out of me. (I know why I never read “It”.) So this story was kinda tough to read and gave me all sorts of anxiety. I somehow managed to get through it though and I’m glad I survived it. I have absolutely no idea how Clara and Frederik could play with the Soldier Prince, let alone love him, but oh well. Still, that ending…. *shudders and hides under a blanket*

When Water sang Fire: 3,5/5

”Magic doesn’t require beauty,” she said. “Easy magic is pretty. Great magic asks that you trouble the waters. It requires a disruption, something new.”

I think we can all agree that this was some sort of “The Little Mermaid” retelling and the longest story out of those six. The relationship between Ulla and Signy was really interesting but if you ask me it was only friendship. I know some people thought they might have a relationship but I doubt it. They both just loved to sing and were connected through their magic and their love for music. The ending didn’t really surprise me and Roffe’s character and his intentions were obvious right from the start. The most interesting piece here was probably the apprentice, which apparently was the Darkling?! I dunno. He was a too little part of this story to actually make assumptions. 

4

This was the perfect Halloween read and if you love creepy and dark fairy tales this is definitely your kind of book! The cover, the illustrations and the flip book element only made this even more enjoyable and every time I picked up “The Language of Thorns” I had a smile on my face. I just loved to hold this in my hands! If you want to read those stories properly, I’d recommend going for a physical copy. You won’t regret it. 😉

8 Gedanken zu „Review: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)“

  1. I love thissss – I recently finished the language of thorns AND LOVED IT SO MUCH!! I like what you said about the relationship between Signy and Ully, I hadn’t really thought about it properly but now I do I kind of ship it? I’m not sure. But also yes, dolls are freaking terrifying. I can’t even watch coralline lol (but the button eyes?!). Here was my review of it 🙂 https://hundredsandthousandsofbooks.blog/2021/01/02/feminist-fairytales-the-language-of-thorns-review/

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