Review: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Title: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales of Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo, Sara Kipin (illustrator)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Short Stories
Publisher: Imprint
Source: Purchased at BookCon 2018
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Review:

This short story collection has six tales from the world of the Grishaverse. These tales are based on real folk tales and fairy tales, set in the Grisha world. These tales are:

  • Ayama and the Thorn Wood: A tale about a creature like the Minotaur from Greek mythology
  • The Too-Clever Fox: A tale about a clever fox who outsmarts other animals
  • The Witch of Duva: A retelling of Hansel and Gretel
  • Little Knife: A tale where men had to compete for the chance to marry a duke’s daughter
  • The Soldier Prince: A retelling of The Nutcracker
  • When Water Sang Fire: A retelling of The Little Mermaid

My favourite story was The Witch of Duva. The main character, Nadya, escapes from her father and stepmother and enters the forest where she meets Magda, a witch. It had a surprising twist ending that was very clever and unlike any version of Hansel and Gretel that I’ve read before.

I loved the illustrations with these stories. Each story had its own set of illustrations that bordered the pages. The story started out with one small picture. As the story progressed, the illustrations would grow around the border. These illustrations reflected parts of the story. These were very creative and beautiful pictures that matched the stories perfectly.

This is an amazing book that accompanies the Grishaverse novels!

What to read next:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Other books in the series:

Have you read Language of Thorns? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Read Because Someone Recommended It

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books I Read Because Someone Recommended It. Here’s my list:

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

2. The Shadows by Alex North

3. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

4. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

6. The Lost Queen by Signe Pike

7. The Gown by Jennifer Robson

8. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

10. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Review: Tell Me My Name

Title: Tell Me My Name
Author: Erin Ruddy
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Dundurn
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a woman is snatched by an obsessed stranger claiming to be her soulmate, the consequences could be deadly in this suspenseful and darkly twisted psychological thriller … unless she can remember his name.

Ellie and Neil Patterson are eager to settle in to some quality time at their new cottage. It’s the first time in ten years they’ve been alone … or are they?

When a friendly encounter with their new neighbour leads to their violent kidnapping, they awake to a living nightmare. Insisting he is Ellie’s soulmate, the stranger gives her three chances to say his name. If she guesses wrong, it’s Neil who will suffer the consequences. This propels Ellie on a desperate trip down memory lane to dredge up the dubious men of her past.

Only after discovering the man’s true identity and sacrificing her own safety to save Neil does Ellie learn the truth — that everything she thought she knew about her husband and their decade-long love story was a lie.

Review:

Ellie and Neil are excited to spend some quality time together at their new cottage after sending their kids to camp. Ellie meets their neighbour one day and invites him for dinner. The next day she runs into the neighbour again. He kidnaps her and threatens to kill and mutilate her husband until she can tell him his name. The neighbour is a man from her past, and he wants Ellie to remember him. Even once Ellie can remember the truth about this man, she realizes that her life is filled with lies.

This was a very fast-paced psychological thrillers. There were multiple perspectives, including Ellie, Neil, the man who kidnaps her, and the detective investigating the incident. Multiple perspectives in a thriller can sometimes take away some of the tension because there is less of an opportunity to hide the characters’ secrets. However, these characters had such intricate pasts that there were lots of secrets to hide in the narrative.

This was an intricate story with many puzzles. I was pleased that everything was tied up at the end. Sometimes thrillers can get too complicated with pieces of the plot getting lost by the end. This story had a satisfying ending.

I really enjoyed this thriller!

Thank you Dundurn Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Hurry Home by Roz Nay

Have you read Tell Me My Name? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – October 19

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished Tell Me My Name by Erin Ruddy.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – October 18

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Tell Me My Name

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading Tell Me My Name by Erin Ruddy.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a woman is snatched by an obsessed stranger claiming to be her soulmate, the consequences could be deadly in this suspenseful and darkly twisted psychological thriller … unless she can remember his name.

Ellie and Neil Patterson are eager to settle in to some quality time at their new cottage. It’s the first time in ten years they’ve been alone … or are they?

When a friendly encounter with their new neighbour leads to their violent kidnapping, they awake to a living nightmare. Insisting he is Ellie’s soulmate, the stranger gives her three chances to say his name. If she guesses wrong, it’s Neil who will suffer the consequences. This propels Ellie on a desperate trip down memory lane to dredge up the dubious men of her past.

Only after discovering the man’s true identity and sacrificing her own safety to save Neil does Ellie learn the truth — that everything she thought she knew about her husband and their decade-long love story was a lie.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Books That Gave You Feels

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Books That Gave You Feels. Here’s my list:

1. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

2. All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott

3. Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith

4. Jo and Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

5. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

6. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?

Review: Horrid

Title: Horrid
Author: Katrina Leno
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Owlcrate box
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

Review:

After Jane’s father dies, Jane and her mother, Ruth, move across the country to Ruth’s family home in the small town of Bells Hollow. The house has been abandoned since Ruth’s mother died years ago. There is a lot of mystery that surrounds the house, which is avoided by everyone in town. Jane quickly gets settled in her new life, but then she starts hearing things in the house. There are things hidden behind the locked doors, which holds a dark family secret.

I loved the mystery elements of this story. Jane loves Agatha Christie novels, and some were mentioned in the story. These were ones that I had never read, but clues in those stories also tied into the mystery in this book.

The house was quite creepy. Many parts of this story weren’t realistic, so that made the story a little less scary. For example, the roses in the garden continued to grow after being chopped down, which seemed fantastical and took away some of the fear of the house. However, the mystery behind the house was slowly unraveled, which made me keep reading.

The only problem I had with this book is that I had a lot of questions at the end. There were a few loose ends that I would love to know the answers to. At the same time, this adds to the mystery of the story, since some parts are left unsolved.

This was an exciting fantasy and horror novel.

What to read next:

Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

Have you read Horrid? What did you think of it?

Top 5 Saturday – Animal on the Cover

This is a weekly meme hosted Devouring Books. This week’s prompt is Animal on the Cover. Here’s my list:

1. Bunny by Mona Awad

2. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

3. Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson

4. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

5. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

(All book covers from Goodreads)

If you’d like to do this list too, consider yourself tagged!

Did you make a Top 5 Saturday list?