The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo; 273 pages
Ayama and the Thorn Wood
A beastly child was born to the king and queen , a child so grotesque that they locked it away in a labyrinth under the palace. One day it broke out and begins to terrorize the lands. Everyone is too afraid to confront the beast so a poor peasant family sends their unsightly daughter, Ayama, and she appeases the beast with her stories.
Thoughts: A cute story with an obvious yet powerful message. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can always do great things. Also, it doesn’t always work out well if you only believe what you are told. Sometimes it’s better to check again or listen to other sides.
The Too Clever Fox
Koja was born the runt of the litter. He is also the most clever of the litter and that is how he survives. Then one day, a hunter comes to his forest and starts killing all the other animals. Koja, being the clever fox, thinks he can outsmart the hunter.
Thoughts: A clever story about a fox that thinks he’s more clever than everyone else. But even the smartest person can be fooled. You should never underestimate a person just because you think you’re smarter than them.
The Witch of Duva
Girls in Nadya’s village are going missing. They go off into the woods and never come back. When Nadya’s father remarries, his new wife is not fond of Nadya. She sends Nadya off into the woods, where she gets lost and stumbles across a cottage inhabited by a witch.
Thoughts: I really liked this story. It shows that things aren’t always what they seem and we shouldn’t always assume the worst in everyone. I liked the little bit of mystery in this story and was totally thrown by the ending. I totally did not see it coming at all!
Yeva was the most beautiful woman anyone had ever seen. The Duke loved the attention his daughter brought because it sold more flour. When it came time for her to marry her father sets tasks hoping the prince would complete them. Instead, a beggar, with the help of the river, wins the trials.
Thoughts: Not my favorite of the stories so far but it still has value. Don’t accept help without offering thanks in return. Don’t presume to buy or sell off someone’s happiness.
The Soldier Prince
A young clock maker is gifted at making wonderful toys but he aspires for more. He sets his sights on a young girl and crafts her a nutcracker to tell all her secrets and desires to. There’s something special about this nutcracker, it comes alive and takes this girl to the magical land of her dreams. But it wants more, it wants to be alive and see the world.
Thoughts: One of my favorite stories so far. I loved the magic and the idea of fantasy worlds. But fantasy isn’t reality. We have to believe in ourselves if we want our desires to become reality.
When Water Sang Fire
Ulla and Signy are sidroher and their magic is powerful when combined. So powerful is heir magic, they attract the attention of the youngest prince. He invites the girls to join the nobles that year when they cast aside their fins and walk on land.
Thoughts: Definitely one of the darker stories. I liked the idea of mermaids in this story and I enjoyed how dark it ended up being.
I enjoyed the stories in this book and it was nice to read about some of the stories your favorite characters might have grown up hearing. There were definitely some parallels to well known stories in this one and I thought they were relatively easy to pick out.
Goodreads 2017 Challenge: 80/105
Next review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware