Book Review: The Language of Thorns

Title: The Language of Thorns

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: Grishaverse

Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Mythology, Short Stories

My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

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.


The Language of Thorns proved to me just how brilliant Leigh Bardugo is. It was dark yet beautiful, and atmospheric altogether.

The writing

I said it once, and I’ll gladly say it again: Leigh Bardugo’s writing is AMAZING. AMAZING. I fell in love with her writing when I first read Shadow and Bone. I fell in love with it more when I read Six of Crows. And I fell in love with it again last night when I finished reading all the six stories included in this book.

It was dark and raw and beautiful and haunting, all at the same time. Leigh Bardugo managed to take some of the well-known fairy tales and folklore in the world, put her own twist and story, and made them her own.

I also loved how the stories reflected human nature—the human psyche—showing the readers just how imperfect we are. That even our own family has evilness inside, that sometimes the people who we believed are monsters are the innocent ones, that even our closest friend can betray us, and so on and so forth.

Beautiful and enchanting.

The characters

The characters of the six different stories were also very interesting. And I loved it because at first glance, you think you know the story and how it goes, and what the character will do. But in this book, it was impossible to tell for me. These characters were enchanting and also very dark and realistic in a way, because they do symbolize humanity at its worst and its best.

I definitely loved Ulla’s character in When Water Sang Fire. There was so much mystery and pain that surrounds her. And Bardugo’s writing style just made her story even more haunting.

The plot

I loved the plot in each of these short stories, seriously. These were inspired by folklore and fairy tale but Bardugo definitely managed to put her own twist and made them her own.

The plot twists were brilliant. In The Too-Clever Fox, I literally let out a loud gasp when I got the the climax. The same thing happened when I was reading The Witch of Duva. Bardugo’s weaving of the plot twists is legit genius!

The world-building

Of course, the world is Grishaverse so I already love it. But still, Leigh Bardugo captured the different settings in these different stories and laid it down for the readers so perfectly. Whether it be on a ghost town, at the bottom of the ocean, or the menacing, dark woods. Every world in every story was atmospheric, and it just pulls you right in.

Quotes from the book

“The trap is loneliness, and none of us escapes it. Not even me.”

“This goes to show you that sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always the ones who do.”

“They pray that their children will be brave and clever and strong, that they will tell the true stories instead of the easy ones. They pray for sons with red eyes and daughters with horns.”

“This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”

“Wanting is why people get up in the morning. It gives them something to dream of at night.”


Also, I just want to say that this book is beautiful! BEAUTIFUL. Not only the stories, but I am saying the whole book is beautiful inside and out! Just look at the naked hardcover right here. Also the illustrations inside look AMAZING. Kudos to the illustrator, Sara Kipin!


Hey guys! So have you read this book yet? Did you love it as much as I did?! And if you haven’t read this yet—oh goodness, what are you waiting for?!

See you on the next book review!


2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Language of Thorns

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s