Girl, Serpent, Thorn

FeaturedHot
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
3924 0
Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Age Range
13+
Release Date
May 12, 2020
ISBN
9781250196149
Buy This Book
      

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse... There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story. As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison. Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming...human or demon. Princess or monster.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Girl, Serpent, Thorn
(Updated: March 25, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
GIRL, SERPENT, THORN is a YA fairytale retelling by Melissa Bashardoust. The story follows Soraya, a princess who is cursed to kill any breathing being, human or insect, by mere touch. To stay safe, Soraya’s family has made her hide away for most of her life, scared that the public would question her family’s reign if they knew of the princess’ evil ability. Soraya, though, is tired of hiding in the shadows, and a boy, Azad, newly brought into the castle for heroically saving the shah’s life, thinks she shouldn’t. With Azad’s help, Soraya begins to search for a way to undo her curse. However, she’s not operating with all of the facts, and the wrong choice could cost her everything.

According to Bashardoust, this novel has a variety of influences, including Sleeping Beauty and Rappaccini’s Daughter, but is primarily drawn from the legendary Persian epic, the Shahnameh, a book written in eleventh century CE that details the shahs of Iran. As such, this story feels both familiar and exotic, and I love being introduced to lore from a non-western culture. Because I was learning new words and customs, my imagination was fully invested.

This book has many fantastical elements, such as magical beings known as Divs. These beings are so interesting, particularly the Pariks, and I would love to read more stories set amongst them. With that being said, for as much richness that the magic brings to the book, Soraya’s magic in particular took me out of the story. For the longest time, I didn’t know that someone would only die from touching Soraya’s bare skin. Instead, I thought they just needed to touch her anywhere, so Soraya going out into a crowd on Nog Roz seemed much more dangerous than I originally thought. Also, if Soraya could do that, risky or not, I don’t understand why Soraya’s mother never found ways to lovingly touch her own daughter, or why Soraya couldn’t keep company beyond Laleh and her brother. If Soraya’s curse parameters had been clearer, and more dangerous—she only ever accidentally kills one person as an infant—then, I would have been able to get into the story much faster. Instead, this fostered a disconnect that continued for the rest of the book.

After establishing the setting, Bashardoust successfully breaks expectations in a very fast and inventive way. The major twist is amazing and sets the story on a very different path that I enjoyed. Soraya is put in the most difficult circumstances and it is fun to see how she finds her way out of them. The plot is smart and lush with detailed world-building that makes it easy to picture. However, the relationships feel weak, which seems to be a consequence of Soraya’s curse not being fully fleshed out.

With that being said, GIRL, SERPENT, THORN is an inventive tale that will appeal to anyone who likes stories about royalty, characters who are all good and bad, and magical creatures.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Playing the Cards You'reDealt
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which...
Discovering the Underground with Snow White (Fairytale Encyclopedia)
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
There are not only dwarves in the underground. This hidden...
Rock by Rock: The Fantastical Garden of Nek Chand
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This luminous picture book tells the fascinating true story of...
Bisa's Carnaval
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Discover the sights and sounds of Brazil through the eyes...
Redemptor (Raybearer, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The highly anticipated sequel to Raybearer, the instant New York...
Dark and Shallow Lies
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in...
Imposters
 
4.0
 
5.0 (1)
Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . but very...
Better Than the Movies
 
4.7
 
5.0 (1)
Liz Buxbaum has always known that Wes Bennett was not...
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Cuddle up with your little one and get ready to...
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER: A JOHNNY CONSTANTINE GRAPHIC...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A shocking thriller about a group of friends who go...

Latest Member Reviews

Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle #3)
 
4.0
"Myrtle's small English village is like many who seem to suffer from far too many murders, especially for the late..."
Playing the Cards You'reDealt
 
5.0
"Anthony "Ant" Joplin is in his last year of elementary school (where his aunt is principal-- not at all awkward!),..."
Bisa's Carnaval
 
5.0
"BISA'S CARNAVAL is a colorful and delightful celebration of Carnaval and family. Bisa loves Carnaval and is happy to show..."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
S Santana
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
Kyle's Little Sister
 
4.0
"Grace is just entering 6th grade, and will be rejoining her older brother Kyle at school, where he is a..."
Willa of Dark Hollow (Willa of the Wood, 2)
 
4.5
"What I Loved: In the first book, I left wanting to see Willa interact more in nature. In this..."
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
4.0
"Rosie Singer knows something is wrong with her mom. She doesn’t comfort her or look at her the way her..."
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
"What I Loved: The Oddmire, Book 1 Changeling delivered a lot of heart and humor in this first installment...."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
"Beginning with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about love, COUNT TO LOVE! is a cute poem that encourages..."
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
"THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER is an adventure-filled graphic novel about Johnny (Kid) Constantine. We start by meeting Kid..."
Bird Boy
 
4.5
"BIRD BOY is a sweet picture book about being yourself and embracing your differences. Nico is the new kid in..."
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
"LOVE YOU BY HEART is a simple but beautiful story of love. Featuring a big and little heart, the book..."
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
"FA-LA-LA LLAMA is a delightfully festive board book song. The book features llamas getting into the spirit of the non-religious..."
Ground Zero
 
5.0
"This book delivers the stories of both Brandon, a nine year old in New York City during the 9/11 attacks,..."
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
"Yared Heywat has lived with his Uncle Moti since the death of his parents. They have moved around in very..."
Sunny Makes a Splash (Sunny #4)
 
5.0
"It's summer just outside Philadelphia in 1978, and Sunny is faced with the tedium of watching her younger brother Teddy..."
The Magical Reality of Nadia (The Magical Reality of Nadia #1)
 
4.5
"Nadia and her best friend Adam are excited about starting 6th grade. After spending the summer with cousins in Egypt,..."
Traitors Among Us
 
5.0
"Sisters Krystia and Maria think they're safe after WWII ends. They've seen the horrors of the war ravage their native..."
Final Season
 
5.0
"Ben Redd enjoys playing football with his 6th grade friends, especially Tuna, even though sometimes the way they act worries..."
The Curse of the Crystal Cavern (The Pathfinders Society #2)
 
4.0
"Kyle has settled in to life at Windrose with the help of camp mates and friends Vic, Beth, Harry, and..."