I don’t know about you guys but sometimes I can really struggle writing reviews. Some books are just hard to describe. And in some cases, anthologies, there is not one author or writing style to point out. In the case of this collection of short stories, that is not the case as each story is written by Leigh Bardugo.
Even so I still struggled to find the right words. So for a change I bring you a five point review. (Please let me know if you like this type of review from me and I might consider doing some others like this. )
1 Creepy Writing. Leigh Bardugo has a way with words and as she has been writing more books her style of writing has also improved. This clearly shows in the Six of Crows duology. She has however always had a knack for writing short stories. The Witch of Duva was the first thing I ever read of her and was what captured my attention. There is such a dark vibe that runts through that and the other short stories. It grabs you by the throat.
2 Dark Folklore and Fairytales. Adding to that is that these short stories are folkore stories to the Grisha world and have such a Grimm Fairy tale vibe. Some are also clearly based on original fairy tales like The Nutcracker. Don’t expect super happy endings.
3 Unexpected Twists. One of the things I loved the most about the stories was how there were unexpected twists to these stories. There is a twist on the stepmother trope for instance that took me by surprise the first and even second time I read. Even the second time, already knowing the story, I still half expected the story to go the usual way. She lured me in and set me up to fall for it. Like our main character in it. And that was that way with the other stories as well.
4 Illustrations. I think what got everyone’s attention when it was announced this book was coming out, was that stunning cover and the illustrations that were promised. I can honestly say that the illustrations are such a great addition to the book. Each story has their own big illustration but each spread of page of the story builds up the image along the sidelines. It is so interesting to see.
5 Background to The Grisha World and World Building. I think these delicious folkore stories to the Grisha world also gives us an interesting look into the world, away from how that world now works. To different places, different perspectives. Having said that, I don’t think you need to have read Bardugo’s other works in this world to be able to read this. It stands on its own just fine because it builds the world greatly even in these short stories.
Book: The Language of Thorns (Grisha) by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 26th 2017
Tags: Young Adult / Illustrated Books / Folklore / Fairy Tales / Dark Fairy Tales / The Grisha
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars