The Language of Thorns

The Language of Thorns

Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Book - 2017
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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.

Enter the Grishaverse...

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.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns 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, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

An Imprint Book

This title has Common Core connections.

A New York Times Bestseller

"Lushly designed and wonderfully rendered ... Bardugo doesn't twist familiar tales so much as rip them open." -- Booklist , starred review

"Strong writing, compelling stories, and gorgeous illustrations make this collection a must-have." -- School Library Journal , starred review

"Gorgeously otherworldly...Any lover of retellings or original fairy tales will enjoy." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Marvelous tales, as full of twists and delights and strangeness as anything found in the Grimm Brothers. Leigh Bardugo is a master." --Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

"Elegantly crafted...stylishly intricate illustrations...all fans of the darker side of folktales and folktale-like stories will find the stories satisfyingly full of pain, danger, and vengeance." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books , starred review

"Gorgeous, cruel and almost wistful windows onto the dreamscapes and hard lessons of [Bardugo's] alternate universe ... fairy tales with all the darkness intact." -- NPR Book Review

"Those who seem innocent are shown to be guilty, one-dimensional characters become more complicated, and mothers who once were absent are given presence and power." -- Mashable

"This new collection will intrigue, awe, frighten, and inspire both stalwart fans and new readers looking for a heady spoonful of fantasy." --Hypable

"This nightmare-inducing collection is short but powerful, each tale as brilliant and absorbing as the one before... brilliant storytelling" -- Romantic Times

"Marvelous tales, as full of twists and delights and strangeness as anything found in the Grimm Brothers. Leigh Bardugo is a master." --Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

Publisher: New York : Imprint, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781250122520
125012252X
9781250167088
1250167086
9781250167095
1250167094
9781250173928
1250173922
Branch Call Number: YA BARDUGO
Characteristics: [281] pages : color illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Kipin, Sara - Illustrator

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h
hannah_way
Feb 12, 2018

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

I felt pleasantly unsettled while reading these stories (3 of which I had read before as ebooks over the past 5 years). I was happy to see them again. Bardugo does an excellent job making these tales her own, while keeping elements of the familiar in the background. Sara Kipin’s lustrous illustrations made this collection even more enticing and magical. Wish I could re-read the final story, “When Water Sang oFire,” again and again as though it were the first time.

OPL_KrisC Jan 31, 2018

I love reading anything by Leigh Bardugo and this was no exception. I especially enjoyed the illustrations in the margins and how they progressed with each of the short stories. The illustrations were gorgeous.

k
kellykomm
Jan 10, 2018

I don't usually read a lot of short stories, but found this dark, faerytale collection especially stunning. Well-crafted stories enhanced by unique and ever-changing art. Definitely worth picking up.

a
akzfineart
Nov 07, 2017

THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo is a gorgeous anthology of six fairytale-like illustrated stories set in the Grishaverse. Whether you’ve read every Bardugo book or the Grishaverse is entirely new to you, there will be a story to enchant and frighten you. The illustrations were stunning and truly made the stories.

The format of the book: the writing would be in the usual place, taking up most of the page with illustrations surrounding it.

I loved that as you turned the page, the illustration would be added to, as if you’ve been given another clue as to how the story will end. The more you read, the more hints you’re given. The pages that followed the end of the story would be a completely illustrated two-page spread. It just added so much to the anthology.

The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because sometimes I get annoyed with that common fairytale narrative “a couple had a daughter but she was boring/ugly/useless so they treated her more like a servant but the daughter became used to it so oh well” or “she was so beautiful everyone wanted to marry her but also very kind”. I know they’re central aspects of a fairytale but they still annoy me.

Here are my individual ratings and thoughts on each short story:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood – 4/5 stars – I liked this one and it was definitely the right story to start the anthology. Bardugo explains in the author’s note where her inspiration for this story came from, but I saw different fairytales and myths in this one.

The Too-Clever Fox – 5/5 stars – This is probably my third-favourite story in the collection. I loved Koja, the “too-clever fox” and I didn’t guess the plot twist until it was too late.

The Witch of Duva – 3.5/5 stars – I’ve read this one before so it didn’t entertain me as much as the first time but I still didn’t guess the ending until halfway through.

Little Knife – 5/5 stars – I absolutely loved this one! This is probably my favourite out of all of them, simply because the ending truly wowed me. I didn’t see it coming and now I’m imagining so many possibilities, of what happened after the ending. Just superb!

The Soldier Prince – 4/5 stars – I liked the last half more than the first. I really loved the way it ended. This one was set in Kerch and when I read Six of Crows (hopefully soon) I’ll be looking for hints of this story in the SoC duology.

When Water Sang Fire – 5/5 stars – This one would’ve been my favourite because mermaids! if the ending of Little Knife hadn’t wowed me so much. This story deserves a gold star or something for drawing the most emotion out of me. I felt joy, sadness, anger and a need for revenge!! The ending had closure and I can pretty much guess what a sequel would entail but I still need one.

SPOILERS BELOW

That being said, the more I think about the ending, the more angry I am. I would’ve taken a happy ending over a character who’s fate is basically to become an anti-hero or villain. I actually thought Ulla and Signy would end up throwing the prince away and rule together as queens. I don’t know, that’s what I got from the way they interacted with each other.

SPOILERS END

I would still 100% recommend this book.

d
darladoodles
Nov 05, 2017

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns. This book in a nutshell. These six beautifully illustrated, enchanted tales spirit you out of the humdrum of everyday life. I loved reading this book and hope many others will discover its charm as well.

m
mightyminnie
Oct 30, 2017

This book was alright, super different but i didn't love it

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r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

"She remains to this day, waiting for the lonely, the ambitious, the clever, the frail, for all those willing to strike a bargain. She never has t wait long. "

-When Water Sang Fire

r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

"You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that holloe plae can never be filled- not with all the good food or sunshine in the world. That emptiness cannot be banished, and so some days we wake up with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it."

r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

"They pray 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."

- Ayama and the Thorn Wood

r
red_panda_2353
Nov 24, 2017

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

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OPL_KrisC Apr 05, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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