Sometimes, we enter a library, not really knowing what we are looking for. One day, I entered the library, only to return a few books. Instead, I returned with two more. The first one didn’t impress me, but the second one was this book –The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. I only picked it up, because I liked the cover. And I know, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I guess the magic worked on me this time around.
This book featured six stories, all six magical and beautiful in their own way. Some attracted me more, some a bit less, but I, overall, feel delighted to have read this book. I haven’t read Leigh’s previous books, so I didn’t know about this world before, but these are apparently the same woods featured in those books as well.
I will give a brief opinion on all stories, and the main rating will be the average from them all. Let’s go.
1. Ayama and the Thorn Wood – ★★★★★
‘’Interesting things only happen to pretty girls.’’
A beautiful tale that will show you how beauty comes from within. The King and Queen have two sons – one is a beautiful man, the future king, and the other one is a monster. They are scared and ashamed of the monster-boy, and let him live his life in the labyrinth they made for him. In the village, in a poor family, there are two daughters, one as beautiful as the sun, and the other one ugly. When the monster escapes the labyrinth and starts ruining fields and make disasters, everyone is scared to go and talk to him and beg for forgiveness, so the ugly lady is sent to her woods – quite certain she will never return…
‘’This little prince was shaped a bit like a boy but more like a wolf, his body covered in slick black fur from crown to clawed foot. His eyes were red as blood, and the nubs of two budding horns protruded from his head.’’
2. The Too-Clever Fox – ★★★★★
‘’Freedom is a burden, but you will learn to bear it.’’
I loved this story the most, out of all six of them. It reminded me of home, and of how we tell stories back there. The whole ‘’Once Upon a Time’’ is real, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The winter theme, the hunting, the girl and the fox. This is a story that will teach you to not be assured you can outsmart everyone. Foxes in stories have always been presented as the smart ones, outsmarting every animal in the woods. This reminds me of Aesop’s Tales, which I really loved as a little girl. But sometimes, you will get outsmarted, and it might cost you your life. The twist was definitely unexpected, but indeed satisfying.
3. The Witch of Duva – ★★★
A story where girls disappear, and one girl decides to go into the woods and try to figure out why. This story upset me, and I didn’t like it. But deep inside, it’s a good one. Very creepy though, and very horror-y, but worth reading. Turn the lights off, get under a blanket, turn your torch on, and only then you will be ready to know the deep secrets this story tells you.
4. Little Knife – ★★★★
The shortest story in the book, but by all means not the least intriguing. A story that features a woman that is too beautiful, that men lose their mind as soon as they see her. To get the chance to marry her, men will have to go through a various of tasks. The twist at the end is incredible, and I really liked it. It starts off as a usual story, but it goes wild.
5. The Soldier Prince – ★★
This was a story I enjoyed the least. It all screamed ‘’The Nutcracker’’ to me, and I couldn’t see it as original. It was a re-make, and it was very different that the story we know, but it just didn’t work for me. This is a story about a man who makes toys and gives them life. And when one toy sort of ‘’wakes up’’, interesting things start to happen. Quite a creepy story. I usually like those, but this one was not my cup of tea.
6. When Water Sand Fire – ★★★★
‘’ We were not made to please princes.’’
This one is the longest story in the book. It features a world of creatures living underwater, and Ulla, who can sing and create magic, but who, as the people believe, is not a true born, but a mix between the underwater world and the humans. She is asked to help the prince become a king, but when the magic price is too high to paid, it doesn’t seem like she has a choice. I truly enjoyed this story, as it’s a beautiful mix of emotions while you read it. It was a bit disappointing that it seems as a remake of the creation of the character of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, at least to me.
Have you read this book, or any of Leigh Bardugo’s books? Let me know in the comments, I love to chat with you!
❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf. ❤ Order on ascending date added. ❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. ❤ Read the synopsis of the books. ❤ Decide: keep it or should it go
I love Cecelia Ahern, and I had ALL OF HER BOOKS added to my TBR. Before making this post I realised that if I didn’t do something, the rest of the next 3 posts will be all about her. So I decided to only choose one book at a time from her, and read them one by one, and add them on my TBR one by one. So this one stayed.
The same happens with Nicholas Sparks. He was the romance author I spend my childhood with. I cried over all of his books, and they all have a special place in my heart. It is still my goal to read ALL the books he has written, one by one.
Verdict: KEEP ☑
➥ Дениција by Петре М. Андреевски (Denicija by Petre M. Andreevski)
This is a Macedonian book. Poetry full of love and humanity, and a lot of moments of lost loved ones. This one is a gem, and a treasure I carry in my heart from the country I was born in. I am keeping it.
If you already know me and my posts, you will know that I never keep a book that is not first in a series, unless I have read the previous books. This is the reason I am removing this one, but I have added the first book to my TBR – so let’s call it even 🙂
Okay, honestly, this has been the hardest Down The TBR Hole Tag ever. It has all the books I want to read, and it’s so hard to get rid of them. I am keeping this one, because I am in love with the cover and synopsis. And don’t forget all the hype it gets. It gets me curious of whether it’s all worth it.
Verdict: KEEP ☑
As this was the last entry in 2018, I will do a little statistic of what I have done in these past 12 Down The TBR Hole posts,
I have listed 120 titles, of which I have kept 71 and I have removed 49. 268 titles still remain to be listed from my TBRList (27 more posts), and I can’t wait to see my end results.
Let me know if you have read any of these, and if you want me to keep or remove any of these books from my list! I look forward to see what you think!
I asked you guys on a Goodreads poll to decide what should be my next read. And a huge number of you have decided that The Cruel Prince should be the one! And here I am, one week later, saying THANK YOU, for giving me a reason to read this book now!
Now, before I say anything else, I want you to know that I don’t have much experience living and reading about the Faerie world. I know fairies exist, and I know about that world, but I wasn’t too involved when I grabbed this book.
And I am glad for that, because…
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is a great book to start your experience in this magical world. It starts with a great statement that there won’t be any fish sticks, or ketchup or TV Shows (believe me, that is Chapter 1), and it gives you a wonderful introduction to what turns out to be a beautiful place.
We follow the story through Jude’s eyes. Jude and her two sisters witness the murder of their parents. And not just that, but they also get dragged into the Faerie world because the person that kills their parents is the father of Jude’s oldest sister.
And living in the Faerie world as a human is not easy at all. At school, Jude and her sister Taryn are constantly being bullied, and the biggest bully of them all is Cardan. He is the prince, the last son of the king, and he is so evil and self-assured. *gasps* And I love him!
‘’The odd thing about ambition is this: You can acquire it like a fever, but it is not so easy to shed.’’
While Taryn is calm and tries to avoid trouble, Jude is restless and keeps talking back to Cardan. She won’t let him win, and she won’t let him humiliate her. And that brings her a hell of a trouble.
And one day, she had enough. She decides to be even more fierceless and brutal, because that is the only way of survival…
‘’If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.’’
I love Jude, with all my heart. I loved her bravery and the way she never gives up, and keeps going for what she wants, even if people think she is being silly. I strongly agree with Jude – we should all strive towards our goals, no matter how difficult or ridiculous they may seem.
I also love Cardan. He is not a mean person,even though he is really cruel, but the background story is so harsh, and the reasons behind it are so strong. I could understand where he came from, but I am not in any way encouraging his bullying. I think that’s not acceptable under any circumstances. He was amazingly described, and there is the fight between good and evil going inside him.
‘’Love is a noble cause. How can anything done in the service of a noble cause be wrong?’’
The love and hate between Jude and Cardan is something you need to read about. Only Holly Black is able to describe the way they are towards each other. But this is the best love-hate game I have read in a while.
When we enter this world, we also see it from the eyes of her sisters Taryn and Vivi, and what I loved was that we get told the pro’s and con’s of the world, and why Taryn would decide to marry a faerie and get her place in the Court, or why Vivi would leave and go back to the human world. And sometimes, when you are a human in a world so beautiful, but so cruel, you realise that you can’t live with it (all that have read the book will know exactly to which scene I am referring to…).
If you haven’t picked up this book yet, please do so. I could not recommend it enough! It is filled with a lovely scenery of an amazing world, great adventure, great characters and stories around them. I read it in almost one go, as I couldn’t put it down!
A masterpiece, where faeries would give up their immortality to have this on their bookshelves, I am sure!
‘’And no matter how eager you are for it, you cannot make the moon set nor rise any faster.’’