Book Review, Young Adult

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo Book Review

Title: The Language of Thorns
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series?: No
Link: Goodreads / Amazon
Rating: 3/5


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.


So I’m going to be very transparent and say I have a history with Leigh Bardugo. I’ve read the Shadow and Bone series as well as the Six of Crows duology and while I liked her ideas I always felt she never knew how to see them through. I always started her stories in love with the characters and plot but by the end, I hated every plot choice she made.

When I heard she was coming out with a collection of stories I was a little apprehensive. It wasn’t until I saw the cover and illustrations that I decided “I don’t care!” and I bought a copy as soon as possible. I knew the book was basically Bardugo creating fairy tales and folklore for the Grishaverse and I was a little excited about that.

After starting the book I had a hard time trying to finish it. I expected the stories to have the feel of a Brother’s Grimm collection and I expected the stories to be Bardugo’s own creation. I was a little disappointed to see obvious rewrites of the Minotaur myth and, strangely, the Nutcracker. The tone of the stores also felt less like a fairytale and more like something I would read in a creative writing class. From a stylistic standpoint, it didn’t have the feel of a fairytale.

The only things that redeemed this collection were the appearance of the Darkling (one of my fav YA characters) and Sara Kipin’s amazing art. In fact, the art is the only reason why I’m a little obsessed with the books.

The Good

  • Sara Kipin’s art is stunning.
  • A darkling appearance? Yes, please!

The Bad

  • Stories were unoriginal.
  • Did nothing to expand the grishaverse.
Share on
Previous Post Next Post

You may also like