The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo is a book of short stories that are a part of the Grishaverse. They take place in Ravka, Kerch, and Fjerda. These are not just any short stories, though. They are tales that are meant to teach a lesson, however, this lesson may be a bit prickly.
They are about the differences and similarities between monsters and miracles, the power of cleverness and friendship, the true price of beauty. How looks can be deceiving and one should be cautious as to who, or what, they let in the front door. To always know what a bargain entails and to be careful what you sing for.
This book is not only full of these lovely stories but also illustrated uniquely on every page. Just as Leigh Bardugo’s words flow effortlessly so does the artwork create a wondrous sense of magic and flare that envelopes the reader wholly.
This is Leigh Bardugo’s first adult fantasy book. As you may be able to imagine, I was very excited to read Ninth House, however, I must admit, that it is not a favourite of mine of Bardugo’s or of the fantasy genre in general.
This is a crime/murder- mystery with an emphasis on the occult. Alex, whose real name is Galaxy, is a recovering addict with a very intense back story. She finds herself working in Lethe House at Yale, with the job of sorta being in charge of making sure the Big Houses (Skull and Bones being one of them) behave themselves as they dabble in the arcane. The reason Alex finds herself in this position is because she has the amazing ability of seeing Grays, or ghosts.
It really is an interesting and exciting tale. I was trying to figure out if perhaps “seeing ghosts” was a metaphor for a real world problem. Alex started using drugs at age 12 to deal with the stress of her sight, which can easily be compared to a person dealing with depression, mental illness or abuse, turning to drugs at a young age to self-medicate or escape. I found myself relating somewhat to her past, but I was unable to relate to her present and current status.
I really did enjoy this book, though. At first, it was a little heavy for me but after I reached a point, it quickly became a page turner. So, I want to recommend it, but I do want to point out that there ARE some triggering parts to it concerning her past that deal with sexual assault. So, BE WARNED. But, I wound up really loving the ending. And I think I may have to read the next book in the series!
Well… I was NOT expecting this at all. It is a great book to add to and continue the story of the grishaverse, no doubt about that. But, is it good for my mental health and sanity? That’s a different question and I’ll ask my therapist tomorrow! 🙃
Okay, so King Nikolai is still literally battling his inner and sometimes outer demon. That’s a huge part of this story. It really made me think of myself battling demons from my past that creep into my present life and make me feel bad. Its good to face your demons, everyone knows that, but is it also good to try and accept them too? Make room for the demon in your heart. Not to feed it and help it grow but to just be who you are, the good and the bad.
Zoya, my favorite Grisha that I honestly think I could never get along with, is also dealing with her past in a very different way. She is trying to accept how she loved and followed a man, The Darkling, that caused so much pain and suffering for everyone. Including a personal loss for Zoya. I really got to see past her tough exterior to her, can I say this, gentle soul? Well, don’t worry! She will always kick everyone’s ass no matter what, mine too. I think we should start a Zoya Boot camp, get into Grisha shape.
Nina is also a huge part of this story, but she is in Fjerda the whole time. She is undercover with a few other Ravkan Grisha trying to sneak Grisha away from Fjerdan’s evil clutches. And omg are they EVIL!! Wow. Just read it. She is finally coming to peace with losing Mathias while still remaining full of that confidence that I love so much. This part of the book is really intense, read and find out. RAFO.
I loved this book though! However much stress it caused BC Leigh Bardugo just isn’t messing around here. And omg the ending. Just unreal. If you haven’t read this and you love the Grishaverse… Just do it, my friend.
This tale begins with our protagonist, Diana, trying to beat her Amazon sisters at a foot race. She wants to prove she is as strong as them despite her smaller stature and birth place. Everything was going great until she saw a ship explode off shore of her island, Themyscira, and decides to swim past the safe borders to try and search for survivors. This is when we meet Alia, our other protagonist. However, Alia is a human and her presence on the shores of the home of the Amazons creates chaos.
There is punishment for just crossing the border, but to bring in an outsider? That means exile. Diana finds a way to sneak Alia off the Island but winds up somewhere unexpected. This results in many interesting interactions and an interesting view on our world from an outsider. Diana also finds that she has more things in common with humans than she ever considered possible.
“To feel like your crime is just existing.”
– Leigh Bardugo, Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Both Diana and Alia know how it feels to live in someone else’s shadow. They both seek to live beyond their overbearing and demanding family. I feel like this too sometimes, and I thought it was a great way to express that we are not other people’s labels or ideas of us. You are you, and that is perfect, that is enough.
Alia and Diana find their strength and powers within themselves. They are stronger and better than they knew and they have more courage than they ever believed.
This was so uplifting! Talk about Leigh Bardugo just making me feel like I can do amazing things too. With the help of good friends and support, anything is possible!
I highly recommend this for fans of Wonder Woman and/or Leigh Bardugo. Okay, I’m going to go learn how to use a lasso now!