The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Set in the world of the Grishaverse, this is a collection of fairytales from Ravka and beyond.

Fantasy, 275 pages, published in 2017

Set in the world of the Grishaverse, this is a collection of fairytales from Ravka and beyond.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This collection of short stories is one of the best things by Leigh Bardugo for me. I read it back in 2018 and ever since, I have been itching to reread it, so I finally did! Normally, I don’t love short stories, but I feel like these are separated enough from the books set in this world.

I think these stories are so atmospheric and powerful! They are all a little bit dark, both in themes and atmosphere, but they definitely feel like fairytales. I loved the mystical vibes from these stories. Women are at the focal point of most of these stories, and they are all strong in different ways. I feel like these stories made me feel more connected to the Grishaverse.

I think the writing is also great! There are so many sentences that just make me stop and think “wow”.

Of course, I can’t forget to mention the stunning artwork! I absolutely adore Sara Kipin‘s illustrations in this book. I had one of them set as my phone background for a very long time.

I definitely enjoyed some stories more than others, so here is my ranking:

  1. Little Knife (the artwork for this one was my background)
  2. Ayama and the Thorn Wood
  3. The Witch of Duva
  4. When Water Sang Fire
  5. The Too-Clever Fox
  6. The Soldier Prince

I also love that there are references to things from mainly the Shadow and Bone series. There is a location in Little Knife that comes up in Ruin and Rising and I believe Duva is mentioned at some point. There is at least one more reference, but I won’t say it because it verges on spoiler territory.

I definitely think that if you are a fan of the Grishaverse, you should read this book! It’s a really quick read as well.

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