The Language of Thorns
"I was not made to please princes."
This was beautiful. Just absolutely beautiful. I am so impressed with Bardugos writing that just keeps getting better and better, and this might be my favorite novella collection ever, along with Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor. I am just a bit baffled by how amazing this actually was, although I really should have seen it coming.
Toys with desires. Mermaids. Clever foxes and more clever girls. Creepy woods. Foolish princes. All that and much more we get in this beauty of a book, told in a typical fairytale style. It was all brilliant; we had plot twist after plot twist, diversity and wonderous, dark lore and magic that together just gave more colour to the already lush Grishaverse.
I had already read two of the stories - "The Too-Clever Fox" and "The Witch of Duva" - but they were even better the second time around. This entire book was just such pure joy, with a good pace and intruguing plots - I really struggled with putting it down. It’s hard to decide which of the stories were my favorite, and I would say that there is something for everyone in here.
And it’s impossible not to menton that cover, paired together with the absolutely stunning illustrations that accompanied every page - all of us in the store were talking about how this must be one of the most beautiful books we’ve ever laid our eyes on. It even has illustrations of the mermaids! It would be the perfect gift for anyone who is weak for gorgeous books or just things in general.
Language of Thorns was even a very feminist read. Bardugo has both representation and powerful messages down to a notch, and this is a refreshing breeze among the classical fairytales that have stereotypical damsels in distress, ugly, evil witches and princes charging in on their white horses. It’s also worth noting that it is not necessary to read the rest of the books in the Grishaverse to understand this collection of short stories, as it stands very strong on its own. Personally, this is a book that I will never forget, and always treasure.