Published by Imprint on September 26, 2017
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.
Language of Thorns is a collection of short stories by Leigh Bardugo. The stories are set in the same world as Bardugo’s other Grishaverse books. Each tale is inspired by fairy tales from around the world, but spun in Bardugo’s own unique style with a dash of Grisha magic.
This is a lovely book in two respects: the stories are brilliant and the design of the book is flawless.
First of all, let me tell you a bit about the design:
I own a hardback copy of this book (as published in the UK). The cover alone is stunning but the internal artwork really makes it something special. Each story features an illustration by Sara Kipin which gradually builds up over each double page spread of the story until the end of the tale when you get the full piece. I found this picture build up most effective with the Too Clever Fox story in which the twist of the story is reflected cleverly in the way the art evolves to its final state on the last page.
I should also mention Natalie C. Sousa is responsible for the book design. There is rose gold detailing on the naked cover and spine which makes this book feel like a luxury, gift worthy item to be cherished.
Now on to the stories:
I loved reading stories I am acquainted with twisted into something new and delicious -if you’ve read (or know of) The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid or Hansel and Gretal, for instance, then be prepared to see these well-trodden tales get new leases of life by Bardugo’s hand. The stories are also interestingly divided up between the cultures present in Bardugo’s Grishaverse books (which I thought was a really great extra touch).
I particularly loved The Soldier Prince and When Water Sang Fire (retellings of The Nutcracker ad Little Mermaid respectively). I would love to read full novel versions of either of them. They really triggered my imagination and I just wanted to spend more time exploring these characters and the well of potential their stories hold for further expansion.
In summary: This is a book I love to hold, love to read and will be rereading on many a dark evening.
I always find tales of betrayal, magic and romance that little bit more tasty when enjoyed after sunset.
This review is posted as part of #wyrdandwonder