What I want is to be captured. I want my books to grab me by the arms and throw me stumbling and rolling into new universes. I want them to be my everything and only thing for as long as my hands hold them open and I want them to linger in mind and soul after the last word left my lips.
Like any human being, I always liked the movies. I never loved them though until I met my favorite filmmakers of all times: Tim Burton and Guillermo del Toro. Through them, I got to experience new worlds and possibilities, I began to understand just how magic and powerful imagination can be.
The language of thorns and generally Leigh Bardugo is my dark, twisted and deep Burton & del Torro on paper.
This book is a collection of short stories so sticking to my The Good/ The Bad could be a bit hard for I would have to do it for each story. We’d be here until tomorrow ( and my tomorrow comes in 3 hours so I don’t have that time).
What I will tell you about it is that:
1.It has 6 folk stories from the Grisha Universe
2.The stories have common elements with our folk stories or are based on them ( The too clever fox reminded me of robin hood as a fox, in Disney’s movie, When water sang fire reminded me of The little mermaid – the story, not the character-, The witch of Duva had similar elements with Hansel and Gretel, etc.) so you don’t need to read the Grishaverse books before reading this one
3.The writing is exquisite. I loved it, no questions asked.
4.These stories play with your mind big time and crush your prejudices as soon as you formed them. I loved this.
5. Since we’re talking about story quality, two of them do have some negatives. One of them was a bit underwhelming– Little knife. I could see the idea behind, I got the meaning and I liked the writing but the concept of the story was a bit… small? Probably by itself it would have had a different impact on me but putting it after The witch of Duva, which was incredible, it seemed a bit bland. The other one was The soldier prince. This was a bit too big a concept for a short story. It was like taking something the size of a house and trying to fit it inside a show box. This made it a bit confusing, at least for me, and I think it’s a pity because the potential behind that one is huge!
6.They stay with you. I read this 3 weeks ago and I still find myself thinking about some of the characters and stories.
7.Something to learn. Besides the “prejudice is not something to be trusted” moral of the stories, there are many lessons to be learnt, just like from any other folk story.
8. Gripping and magical and dark. I am running out of words when describing Bardugo’s writing and I KNOW I get repetitive, trust me! But she is just fantastic. Told you, she’s my Tim de Torro on paper.
Do I recommend it? Heck yeah! Absolutely! It’s short stories, they are not connected, it’s the perfect read for any moment of the day ( although I do recommend you read it in the late evenings to nigh time) and it’s Leigh Bardugo, that alone should sell this.