If there is one thing I haven’t disclosed on this blog until this point it is that I LOVE the dark, sinister, and disturbing origin of many a well known fairy tale.
From Cinderella’s eldest sister cutting off her toes in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper courtesy of the Brother’s Grim (aptly named) to Little Red being eaten by the wolf in a variation of Little Red Riding Hood, nothing makes me laugh more than finding out Disney got it way wrong.
Because of my love for the macabre fairy tale you can now understand why I was very excited to learn that Leigh Bardugo was releasing a collection of short stories set in her wickedly addicting ‘Grisha Verse’.
Did The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic live up to my impish expectations? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Imprint (September 26, 2017)
Print Length: 281 pages
Audiobook Length: 6 hrs 30 mins
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
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.
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.
This review is probably going to be unwaveringly bias given the fact that The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic is written by one of my favourite YA authors, Leigh Bardugo. I read both the Grisha Verse trilogy and the Six of Crows duology early in 2017, falling in love with both the world and the Bardugo’s unique writing style, so you better believe I was excited to dive back in with a short story collection.
The collection is divided into six stories of various myth, fairy tale, and fokelore. Each of the stories is accompanied by breathtaking blue and red illustrations, which start as boarders surrounding the text, growing into a beautiful full page illustration by the story’s conclusion.
As with any anthology there were stories that captivated every part of my imagination and others that fell by the wayside. My favourite short story was probably ‘When Water Sang Fire’ as it was as delectably dark as Hans Christian Andersen’s 1836 classic. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, do yourself a favour and read Andersen’s A Little Mermaid, you’ll never look at the Disney film the same way). I instantly fell head over heals for Ulla and her misfit nature. She really balanced out the character of Signy, and I thought the latter’s ending was her just comeuppance.
Each story however left me with a feeling of these being the true endings to such classic stories as The Nutcracker and Hanzel and Gretel. Plus, I am a sucker for the ‘bad guy’ winning every now and then.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.