Monday, November 20, 2017

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo


The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. Imprint, 2017. Hardcover. 281 pages.

This collection was every bit as gorgeous as I had hoped it would be--if not more. I love how unique the stories are while also bearing strong influences and taking on familiar forms of other classic fairy tales. Bardugo truly proves her creative and accomplished writing skills in this collection, weaving together lyrical words with jaw-dropped stories and themes. These stories contain beautiful messages and dismantle on so many fairy tale tropes in order to create new ones by maintain the classic ideas but warping them into something rather different. 

The illustrations in this book are also so beautiful and add so very much to this entire story. I love how each story alternated with the blue and red color scheme, and I particularly loved how the border of each story developed as the story continued. That entire concept was a beautiful, creative idea that worked out wonderfully.

And now I'd like to include a brief word on each story: 

Ayama and the Thorn Wood - ★: I found this to be a perfect story to start the collection off with. There were some incredibly classic elements that made it feel very classic, while also ebodying an wholly new and unique story at the same time. I loved the storytelling element added to this story and felt that the entire thing was quite lovely. It became slightly repetitive towards the end, which I understand is common in these types of stories, but that took away some of my enjoyment.

The Too-Clever Fox 🦊★: I really enjoyed this story, although I found it slightly predictable at times. This one felt particularly classic and familiar, but I loved the various twists Bardugo weaved into it. I really enjoyed reading about all of the different animals and there roles, but the clever fox, of course, was my favorite. "The Too-Clever Fox" gets a little darker than the first story, but it still weaves in an interesting little fable message. 

The Witch of Duva - ★: I loved this one! The entire concept and the dark atmosphere that permeated the entire story in such a wonderful manner were amazing, and I really think Bardugo crafted this one perfectly. The witch was a fascinating character, and i loved how somewhat disturbing and odd this story became as it went on. 

Little Knife 🌊 ★: "Little Knife" is brilliant. This is a story about a girl named Yuva who is so jaw-droppingly beautiful that she literally has to go around with a veil over her so that people can control themselves when she is around. This is another one that I really loved. It was such a classic and timeless tale, and one that I really enjoyed. 

The Soldier Prince - ★: This was probably my least favorite content-wise. I loved the illustrations and border decorations on this story, but the story itself fell somewhat flat for me. This is a take on the Nutcracker, and although I enjoyed that aspect, I felt a little lost and uninterested in many parts o this story. the plot idea was interesting, but the execution felt lackluster.

When Water Sang Fire★: I completely understand why this was chosen as the last story of the book, as it leaves an incredibly strong message. This is a Little Mermaid-inspired tale that is all about sacrifice, ambition, and acceptance. I don't want to go into any detail on this one because it is wonderful to discover on your own. 


Overall, I've given The Language of Thorns five stars! I can definitely see myself re-reading these tales and even reading them to others. 







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1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to see how much you enjoyed this collection. I don't normally read many short stories but was definitely willing to make an exception for Bardugo. Now you have me convinced I need to read these. Great review!

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