Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: September 26, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.
I love the Grishaverse so so much! Ever since I read Six of Crows, I’ve been obsessed. And even beyond that, there isn’t a book Bardugo has written that I don’t like. Language of Thorns is definitely one of my favorites. It’s imaginative and engaging and I have no doubt that these stories are true. They’re all in true Grishaverse form. Dark, rich, cultural . . . And the artwork is spectacular! The more I read, the more I wanted to learn about each of the countries that the stories came from. Bardugo sure better keep writing cuz there’s not nearly enough out there! I would even say these are the kind of fairy tales that I would read to a kid to get them interested in reading. I have no criticisms of any kind and would recommend these stories to any and everybody.
My review of Six of Crows Duology is here.
Today Kim is reviewing The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. This was yet another series she enjoyed!
Books in the Series:
Shadow and Bone
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising
Shadow and Bone
Published: June 5, 2012
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Siege and Storm
Published: June 4, 2013
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
Ruin and Rising
Published: June 17, 2014
The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars
I am such a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo; she is a flippin genius! I first read the Six of Crows duology and fell in love. (My review is here). I found the Shadow and Bone trilogy at Books a Million for cheap so I got all 3 books. They sat on my shelf for quite a while, mostly because I didn’t want to somehow tarnish my love for the Grishaverse. But, I read Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Bardugo and she didn’t disappoint . . . So I dove in.(My review of Wonder Woman: Warbringer is here).
I’ll start with my limited bit of criticism. At first, I felt like I was missing something. Had I not read Six of Crows, I would have been completely lost. That was a bit disappointing to me. I also felt like the stretches between the action got a little slow. Unfortunately, a little teenage drama was thrown in to try to fill some empty spaces and that got annoying. However, neither of those things ruined the series. All the crazy action was unpredictable and scattered throughout.
I liked the characters pretty well. Alina was not the most likable but she grew and matured through each story. Mal was great! He was mostly supportive and very interesting and quite the badass! I think my favorite of everybody was Sturmhond . . . But I can’t say much because I don’t want to give anything away! 🙂 The general plot was similar to many other books in YA, but Bardugo added enough unique detail to keep it from being conventional. I was happy with the resolution of the series and I ended up wanting to go straight into Six of Crows again. I like the continuity of the Grishaverse without the same story being told over and over again.
Overall, I really liked this trilogy. It’s a great introduction to the world of Grisha and I’m very excited to see the new things Bardugo is writing![Top]
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: August 28, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Daughter of immortals.
Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
I was so afraid to read this book! I love Wonder Woman and I love Leigh Bardugo so what happens if I don’t like this book?? But I worried for no reason, because I loved it. Bardugo captured the spirit of Wonder Woman perfectly! I saw Gal Gadot acting out every page in my head! Themyscira sounds like paradise and I’d like to live there. The Amazons are badass and brilliant.
Diana is the perfect combination of innocent and tough. Alia and her friends so accurately embody today’s youth, just without being insufferable. The story was well thought out and believable. I was completely satisfied with the ending; all strings were tied and everything made sense. My only issue with this book was the little political jabs that Bardugo put in. I’m not gonna get into how I hate politics in fiction, y’all have heard me complain before. I also acknowledge that they were indeed little and just because my views don’t align with Bardugo’s, they annoyed me more. But I still loved this book so much. It stuck in my brain and I had a great time contemplating and chewing on it. I would absolutely recommend this book to pretty much everybody! I cant wait to read more of the DC Icon series!!