~ The Language of Thorns ~

“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.”

~ The Language of Thorns ~

by Leigh Bardugo


Page Count: 224 Pages (Hardcover)

Rating: 5/5 Stars

So, I’m not dead! Lolol. I’ve just somewhat busy with life and I haven’t been reading very much lately. BUT! The Language of Thorns just came out this week and it’s one of my most anticipated releases soo I flew through it pretty fast. And wowza, I am AMAZED at how amazing Leigh Bardugo is. This is EASILY one of the best books of the year, perhaps surpassing Wonder Woman and Warcross?? Making its way to my third favorite book of the year! I swear every time I finished one of these short stories I just had to put the book down and think “Holy crap she killed it yet AGAIN.” I’m going to review each different short story, just because they may be small but they pack a punch and they just deserve their own dedicated sections!


So overall, for all the stories, they were all crazy unique. You definitely Do Not have to read the Grisha Trilogy or the Six of Crows to understand these stories. They are pretty much the bedtime tales people in the Grishaverse would have heard when they were children. Ahaha okay to be honest, if I heard these tales when I was a child, I’d be scared out of my mind. But I guess it makes sense why all the people in this world are dark and strong and just not weak. These are tales I could read again and again and again because they’re so intriguing and they make you feel lots of emotions. I’ll also be ranking them from my favorites, 1 being the highest, and 6 being the least. Starting off with this book of midnight tales is “Ayama and the Thorn Wood.”


Rating: 5/5 Stars

Retelling of: Beauty and The Beast

Ranking: 2/6

This was a great start to the beginning of the book. I don’t really know if it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but it definitely seems like it could be. It is a LOOSE retelling in my opinion, but I don’t really see it as anything else. It was dark and beautiful and I loved it! But there’s really not much to say about this one just besides the fact that a girl tells a beast in the woods some stories and it ends super crazily. Here are some quotes:

“You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that hollow place 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 with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it as the boy did.”

“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.”


Rating: 5/5 Stars

Retelling of: I Have No Idea

Ranking: 5/6

Yeah so I’m really not sure if this story was based off of anything? But even if it was it really doesn’t matter because this one had me YELLING. Not actually yelling, because everyone in my house was sleeping, but if they were awake I probably would have yelled. I wasn’t a big fan of this in the start just because it seemed to drag but that ENDING THOUGH. Agh. I’m just too in love with this whole book and I feel like every single story is going to be just yelling about how good it is LOL. But anyways, this one is about the runt of a fox litter, who makes a lot of problems for himself, and it features a Dark Twisted End, which was amazing. Here are some quotes!

“I can bear ugliness,” he said. “I find the one thing I cannot live with is death.”

“Freedom is a burden, but you will learn to bear it.”


Rating: 5/5 Stars

Retelling of: Hansel and Gretel

Ranking: 3/6

This one is an obvious LOOSE retelling of Hansel and Gretel ft. just Gretel! Now this is another one that started off kind of shaky. Uhm it was dark right off the bat, but I wasn’t really grasping the whole story and then it started to come to me, and just wow y’all. Wow. I really do think that all of these stories are dark but this one just was something else. It features beautiful child-eating spirits, and gingerbread babies! I didn’t really find any good quotes from this one, but it was definitely a great read!


Rating: 5/5 Stars

Retelling of: I Really Don’t Know

Ranking: 4/6

I actually cannot think of anything that this story was set on. I’m not too knowledgeable in my fairy tale smarts but I do know the basic ones. And this one didn’t fall into the basic category lol. I really liked this one and it wasn’t too dark, which was kind of surprising! It features the most beautiful princess and a contest by the river! Again, no quotes, but it was a great story nonetheless.


Rating: 10/5 Stars

Retelling of: Pinnochio

Ranking: 1/6

This one was hands down, my favorite. It was Creepy as Heck and Dark and SO WEIRD. Which is so many things I love. BUT also, Leigh weaves her words so that every single sentence has so much meaning. It also has that Pinnochio feel, but a lot creepier. Agh this one just makes me so weirded out but it’s a good weirded out. Like sure, I’m terrified but I’m loving it! LOL. Uhmm this one features talking nutcrackers and a weird, almost pedophilic magician. Here are some quotes!

“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.”

“Are you my soldier? “I am.” Are you my prince? “I am.” As he spoke, his limbs would grow, his chest would broaden, his skin would turn supple. Are you my darling? “I am.” Are you mine? “Sweet Clara,” the nutcracker would say, tall and handsome and perfect now, the grotesque rictus of his face softened into tender human lines. “Of course I am.”

“Wanting is why people get up in the morning. It gives them something to dream of at night. The more I wanted, the more I became like them, the more real I became.”

“My life began with wanting something for myself.”


Rating: 5/5 Stars

Retelling of: The Little Mermaid

Ranking: 6/6

Now, this really wasn’t my favorite. It was really long, and some of the characters bugged me a little bit but it was still a great story! I really wanted to rate it a four star? But it’s just such a well-crafted story that I can’t give it any less than a five star! And right off the bat, this is an obvious retelling of the Little Mermaid, but it focuses more on Ursula rather than Ariel. It wasn’t extremely dark but it definitely had its moments! What I really loved most about this was, of course, Mermaids. But I really loved the musical aspect of this story. I love music, and I always pay close attention to stories when there are musical themes set. And Leigh Bardugo actually got everything so amazing. I’m just telling y’all! She is so great! But this one features the Darkling, mermaids, and magic filled singing. And! Here are some quotes!

“A thousand desperate wishes have been spoken on these shores, and in the end they are all the same: Make me someone new.”

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

“Magic doesn’t require beauty,” she said. “Easy magic is pretty. Great magic asks that you trouble the waters. It requires a disruption, something new.”

Aahahaha so yeah, if y’all can’t tell, then I 100% recommend this book! It’s wonderful, it’s dark, it’s creepy, it’s my new love. If any of you have read this then I’d love to hear your thoughts!! And I’d also just love to touch base with everyone and see how everyone is doing!

Anyways, I hope y’all have a great day and Happy Reading!

~ Solo


4 thoughts on “~ The Language of Thorns ~

  1. Emma says:

    ahhhhhh this sounds so amazing and I love all of the quotes you picked!!! I’m actually so hyped for this that I ordered it despite my book-buying ban while I’m in China :)))))

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma says:

        lolol I’m literally getting it shipped to me here in china bc I can’t wait that long, thank god bookdepository ships for free


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