The Language of Thorns was released at the end of 2017 as a follow up to Bardugo’s release of Crooked Kingdom in 2016. It is a collection of six stories that would be the fairy tales for the children in the universe of the Grisha. There is a beauty/beast type tale, a Hansel and Gretel type tale, and a little mermaid type (this was my favorite). The other three were brand new and just as wonderful.
Adding to the beauty of the words in this book were the illustrations. They snaked along the margins of the pages, and as the story progressed, so did the pictures until all margins were full of gorgeous art, and every story concluded with a full page artwork which represented the conclusion of the story.
Leigh Bardugo is a creative genius. Her stories introduce alternatives, realism, and valuable lessons to life situations that we often keep hidden or refuse to acknowledge. These stories would ask children to face hard questions, much like the original Grimm Fairy Tales might have, but Bardugo adds a feminist flair to familiar fantasy. And as always, we learn that magic may be wonderful, but it always dangerous and always comes at a cost.
If you are already a fan of Leigh Bardugo you cannot leave this book out of your collection (I’ve placed it on my Christmas list!) and if you are not already familiar with her work I have linked all my reviews of her work above. Read those, and then let The Language of Thorns be the frosting on the cake. Bardugo is an author not to be missed. Go get you some.