The Language of Thorns Review: Dark Twists on Classic Fairytales

November 7, 2017 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

The Language of Thorns Review: Dark Twists on Classic FairytalesThe Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Hachette Australia Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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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, no. 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.

Ever read a fairy tale and thought…that’s not really a lesson I want to teach my kids?

Well here you have The Language of Thorns, one that modernises classic fairytales and adds in unexpected, darker twists that are real dangers today. From unexpected predators, to questionable morals, oppressive males and enemies hiding from within, all of these dangers are explored in The Language of Thorns.

The fairytale anthology felt both familiar and new, with refreshing twists on classic fairytales like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Pinnochio. These beloved fairytales are elegantly flipped on their heads, offering unexpected endings. Ever wondered why the Witch was villainised in Hansel and Gretel? Or about the pain that Ariel must’ve felt when her tail was foregone for feet? These are just some of the additions that are added into The Language of Thorns. 

Each of the stories are centered around a particular lesson, always showing that things aren’t always as they seem. From learning that the most unexpected faces could be of help, like in The Witch of Duva, to female empowerment and choosing choice over oppression, like in Little Knife, I adored each and every one of these fairytales.

I loved the magic and the Grisha mythology that was featured heavily in this book. There are so many magical and whimsical beings from tricksters, to mermaids, witches, and talking oceans. I recognised some of the places mentioned in Six of Crows, but there’s still plenty to discover here. You definitely don’t need to read the rest of the series to pick this up, as the short stories stand on their own.

The gorgeous illustrations by Sara Kipin add a whole extra dimension to the story, evolving with every page turn. They are beautiful to gaze at, rendering the entire book a work of art that should have a place on every book lover’s shelf.

The Language of Thorns offers a dark, modern twist on classic fairytales, heeding to modern day dangers lurking around every corner. The stunning, modern day fairytale collection is one that takes pride of place on my shelf, one that I hope to be sharing for generations to come.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Thanks to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy! The exclusive Fairyloot edition has been pictured and is not available anywhere else.

The Language of Thorns is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$19.99.

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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17 responses to “The Language of Thorns Review: Dark Twists on Classic Fairytales

  1. I seriously need to read this! I’ve had a glimpse at the illustrations already and they are STUNNING, plus I’ve heard wonderful things. I haven’t read many short story collections or book spinoffs like this before, but I will be reading this one because I adore Bardugo’s writing and the Grisha world and mythology. I have an eARC so I really ought to have read it by now, but unfortunately university has got in the way. Hopefully I will find some time soon – I’m certain I’ll be buying myself a copy for christmas regardless!
    Wonderful review, Jeann <3
    Helia @ Rose Quartz Reads recently posted…Latest Love: Stranger Things (spoiler free ramblings!)My Profile

  2. This sounds amazing! Now I’m super excited to read it! Although it sounds like you need a physical copy to fully enjoy the illustrations, so might have to treat myself to it 🙂

  3. I absolutely loved this too Jeann! I kind of wish I had my own copy though, because the stories were marvelous along with the illustrations. Also I’m glad that I didn’t have to have read all of Leigh Bardugo’s books, because I have not yet. Whoops.
    Valerie recently posted…Disappointing Reads of 2017My Profile

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