Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo


Title: The Language of Thorns

Author: Leigh Bardguo

Date: 26th September 2017

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

I had never read a book by Leigh Bardugo before, but I have heard everyone raving about both the trilogy and her duology and I knew I had to play catch up. I figured the best place to start would be her collection of fairy tales set within the Grishaverse. It was the best decision I have ever made. I read this book in less than 24 hours. The Language of Thorns was incredible and took my breath away. I don’t think I have ever loved a book like this before and when I finished I held it to my chest and just said ‘wow’.

The illustrations throughout this book were beautiful and I loved that they were all in different shades of red and blue. It was very clever how they would start in the corner and grow as you turned the pages until they reached around the border. And the full page spreads…They were amazing and so detailed, capturing the essence of the story in one image. Out of all 6 I think my favourite has to be the first, Ayama and the Thorn Wood, but also The Too-Clever Fox was. But then again, the last one was perfect too.

Six wasn’t enough. I need more of these dark and twisted tales set in this world. I adored how they were all different takes on fairy tales I grew up on. Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid. I just couldn’t get enough of them all.

When it comes to writing, Leigh Bardugo is one of the best that I have seen. Everything flowed and kept to a great tempo, begging me to turn the pages until I reached the end. It was the one thing that spurred me on to wanting to read all of the books she has written, and that is exactly what I am going to do.

How can I give this book anything other than five stars? It is definitely worthy of them and I know for a fact that I will read this again in the future.


WWW Wednesday – Goodbye Reading Slump

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

For the first 10 days of March I didn’t finish a single book, but in the last 4 days I have managed to finish one book I was stuck on for two weeks, finished another in less than 24 hours and a third book in two days. I think it’s safe to say that my reading slump is finally over. Sometimes it just takes one incredible piece of fiction to pull you out of it. And I am glad to see the back of that slump because it was awful.

My week has also gotten a lot better due to a little book idea that suddenly popped up in my brain. I can’t get rid of it, I can’t push it to the side and yes, I already have a Pinterest board full of images to create an aesthetic for it. This always happens when I start editing but I’m going to try and tackle both at the same time. This idea is too good to not do anything with.

What Are You Currently Reading?

siege and storm

As soon as I finished Shadow and Bone I just knew I had to start the second one. I’m not too far into it but it is off to a great start and I am still intrigued by these characters, especially the Darkling. I wouldn’t be surprised if I read it just as quickly as I did with the first, as long as it is interesting and fast paced still.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

I recently finished two books in the last few days (as stated above) and they were both incredible and by the same author. I think I have a new favourite and I haven’t even gotten to Six of Crows yet! The Language of Thorns was beautifully written, full of vivid descriptions and characters that jumped off of the page. I’ve already caught a reference to one of the stories in the second book of the Grishaverse trilogy and I’m so glad I made the decision to read that first. Shadow and Bone was a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed and I really connected with the characters. I can’t wait to find out what happens.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

ruin and rising

Hmm, well, if I enjoy the second instalment as much as the first I have a feeling that I will have to buy the last one, Ruin and Rising. After that I will most likely begin reading Six of Crows, or I might take a break. I’m not really sure yet but as I don’t have a TBR list this month there are so many options available.


Now you know all the books that have taken over my life recently. What book are you currently reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Took Me Completely By Surprise


Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

This weeks topic is all about the books that took us by surprise, and it was left to us to choose whether it would be in a good or a bad way.

We pick up a book because we want to enjoy it, we want to connect with the characters and the journey they embark on. Sometimes a book takes us by surprise because we love it so much, and that has happened on a few occasions for me. There have been times when I went into reading a book and didn’t expect too much, only to be blown away by the story telling.

Below are all the books that wormed their way into my heart and took me completely by surprise.

1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo


I had never read any of Leigh Bardugo’s books before, so I figured a great place to start would be her collection of dark fairy tales set in the Grishaverse that she created. It was the best decision I’ve made. I was completely blown away by the writing, the vivid descriptions and the characters. I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours, something I haven’t done in a very long time. Now I am reading Shadow and Bone, the start of her trilogy, and I’m already loving it.

2. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


A debut novel that I received from NetGalley, and one that took me by surprise. While I was in a slump reading this, it didn’t take away from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The characters were amazing, the dialogue was natural and the action sequences were fast paced and easy to follow. This book had everything for me and found a place in my heart.

3. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

the belles

Another 2018 debut novel that I fell head over heels for. This book was incredibly vivid, full of beautiful descriptions, unique ideas and a dark undertone that I loved. Dhonielle Clayton created a fantasy world that was bright with colours and I could see everything clearly. While I was given this book to review from NetGalley, I would head out and buy a copy for myself to keep.

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass

I went into this book carefully because I had heard so many amazing things, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up and in the end I loved it. I was a little surprised it lived up to the hype (hype can be dangerous) and then proceeded to buy the rest of the series. I’ve read the first three in the series and cannot wait to continue with it in the near future.

5. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

vampire academy

I had no idea that this book series would mean so much to me when I first started reading them. I have only read them once (a re-read is in order) and I couldn’t get enough of the characters, the story and the world that Mead created. It is still one of my top ten series and I hope it stays that way, although there are some amazing books coming out, and series that I still need to complete.

6. Everless by Sara Holland


The third and final debut novel of 2018 on this list (there are so many amazing books this year). Everless is based on such a unique idea with characters that you root for and plot twists that take your breath away. I can’t wait until I can enter this world again in the second book when it comes out.

7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

the girl on the train

I don’t read thrillers often and, in fact, this was my first book of that genre and I loved it. I was hooked from the beginning, trying to guess everything and I just kept turning the pages until I found out. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this book, so much so that I went on to read her second novel, Into the Water.

8. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade Of Magic

I picked up this book because of PeruseProject over on YouTube after she mentioned it in quite a few of her videos. I had no idea what to expect, but I ended up loving this incredible fantasy world and it has made me want to read the rest of her books. I have the second instalment sitting on my shelf, waiting for me.

9. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

three dark crowns

It had been a while since I read a book by Kendare Blake, but since I enjoyed her Anna Dressed In Blood duology I figured I would give Three Dark Crowns a go. Well, this series just blew me away, the second book is definitely my favourite so far and I am super excited to see where the series will go when the next book comes out later on this year.

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


Another book that was seriously hyped up. I went into this hoping I would like it and I ended up loving the dark and twisted tale. It had been a while since I read a book about faeries and I loved Black’s spin on the folklore and the mingling of humans with the race. Now that the cover for the second has been released, I am counting down the days until I can read it.


I’m sure there will be more books in the future that surprise me, in good and bad ways, and I can’t wait to discover the ones that will become my favourites. What would be in your top ten?

Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


Title: To Kill a Kingdom

Author: Alexandra Christo

Date: 6th March 2018

Publisher: Feiwel Friends/Hot Key Books

I was very lucky to have been given a version of this author’s debut to read on NetGalley, but unfortunately I hit a reading slump halfway through this book. It had nothing to do with not enjoying the book, in fact, I really enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom and its refreshing take on sirens, mermaids and pirates. It isn’t very often that I read standalone novels (most books can’t do the character development justice in just one) but the character arcs in this book were incredible, especially Lira’s.

Princess Lira is well known among the seas and the lands, stealing the hearts of princes that sail the waves. She is feared by all, but her weapon, her voice, is taken away from her when she is punished by her mother. The Sea Queen took away what was most important to Lira and turned her into the one thing she despises – a human. The only way to return to her natural form is to take the heart of a Prince, who is also a pirate. Prince Elian runs away from his duties, dreaming of seeing all the kingdoms and spending his life on the sea. He hunts sirens along the way, ridding them so that people may board ships without being afraid. When he crosses paths with a strange woman in the waters, they embark on a journey that will lead them to the key to destroy all the sirens. But can she be trusted?

The world building in To Kill a Kingdom was wonderful and so magical, with amazingly vivid descriptions of what was happening under the sea, as well as on the surface and land. There are some great fighting scenes in this book that weren’t too detailed that you didn’t understand what was going on, but they had enough that you could picture it all in your mind. I’m going to say this now, the end of the book is amazing with incredibly descriptive scenes that were action packed. It was so good.

I can’t forget to mention the fact that the writing in this book was great, the dialogue was incredibly funny and witty at times (the banter between Elian’s crew was top notch). The dual POV really helps to give different perspectives, switching between Lira and Elian, and it was great to have flash backs to their pasts, seeing what their lives were like before they met. You really feel for these characters and want the best for them, especially when you see them being treating cruelly.

Lira was brutal, deadly, but at the same time she was thoughtful and caring. She is a very dynamic character, and she has some incredible lines when speaking to Elian. They had me smiling as I read their interactions which were so genuine. Nothing seemed forced at all and there was a lot of chemistry between the two of them. It was great to see Elian be more than just a Prince. He doesn’t let anyone do the heavy lifting for him and takes an active role in their mission to extinguish the world of sirens. He is more than just a handsome face, he’s a badass and it shows with how he talks and acts.

To Kill a Kingdom was very entertaining and it had everything I love in a YA novel. The fast pace matched the story perfectly, guiding us towards an incredible finale and an ending that left me smiling as I read the last page. It was perfect for me and it more than deserves the 4.5 stars I’m going to give it.


Wrapping Up The Week (5th March – 11th March)

I didn’t want to admit it, but I’ve been in a reading slump for the last two weeks. It wasn’t necessarily because I wasn’t enjoying the book I was reading (I was), it’s just that I didn’t have the motivation to read for some reason. I wasn’t getting hooked like I normally would and there’s been a lot going on in my life. Although, I do have some good news. I am reading a new book that has captured my attention and already I am over half way and I only started it last night (I will discuss what book it is down below). Bye, bye reading slump!

The week definitely went by quickly, with a lot going on at work and looking forward to the meal I had on Friday with the whole team. All in all, it’s been a relaxing weekend as well. Saturday was spent not doing too much, but today we went out to a nature park for a 3-mile walk, and we even spotted a little rabbit hopping around. I’ve spent most of the last two days reading and it’s made me feel a lot better.

Books I read and reviewed…


While I haven’t got a review up yet (I’m hoping to do that tomorrow), I finally finished reading To Kill A Kingdom, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It might have taken me a little longer to read, but it was fun, entertaining and showed a different take on sirens, pirates and mermaids. I can’t wait to let you all know my thoughts on it.

I am currently reading…


I. am. hooked. This collection of stories has taken my breath away and I am loving every second of it. This is the first book I am reading by Leigh Bardugo (I have the Six of Crows duology on my shelf and Shadow and Bone on my Kindle) and I am so glad that I chose to start here. My favourite tale so far is the first one, Ayama and the Thorn Wood. The illustrations are beautiful and I love how with each page that gets turned there is more added to them until you reach the amazing double-spread image. I can’t wait to read the last two stories in the collection.

Posts from the week…

February Book Haul – Book Buying Ban Was Successful

With a reading slump comes the lack of blog posts, but I am hoping that over the next week there will be more for me to talk about, especially when the next couple of books I want to read. I’m being very open with what I’m reading this month, so there’s no TBR for March and I am completely okay with that.


I’ve decided that I need a little time away from my manuscript to gain some new perspective on the story and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. Ideas are constantly running around my head of how I can make the story better and I make sure to write them down before I forget. The next week will be spent relaxing, reading and hopefully, come next weekend, I make a start on really diving into the edits. I can’t wait!

Other Fun Stuff…

I mentioned heading out for a meal with my work colleagues, which was fun as I don’t always get a chance to talk to people in the development team as I’m part of the marketing team. Apart from that it has been a very relaxing week with not a lot of fun stuff going on at the moment. I’m trying to catch up with YouTube videos and TV shows, such as Riverdale.


I’m sorry for being a little MIA lately, but I’m going to try harder for next week. I never realise how much I miss blogging and talking to you all until I have moments like this. I hope you all had great weeks! Let me know what your best book from the week was in the comments.

February Book Haul – Book Buying Ban Was Successful

Unrelated to this post, but I think I’m in a reading slump. For the last few days I’ve hardly read a thing and I’m not sure why, because I’m actually enjoying the book I’m reading. I’m chalking it down to feeling unmotivated, and my brain wanting to switch off a bit ever since I finished my novel. I hope I can finish the book soon and then I can pick up a book I really want to read. I feel like TBR lists stop me from enjoying the books as I feel like I have to stick to them. Maybe for March I will forget about it and just go with the flow.

Anyway, onto the book I bought in February, because there was only one. I put myself on a book buying ban because for the two previous months I bought way too many and my TBR list is endless. I’m trying to get through the ones I currently have. The only exceptions are some new releases that I am super excited about, such as the one below (spoiler: I loved it and you can read my review here). Also, the releases are for April and May which is still a while away.


March will be a completely different story as I’m already waiting on a pre-order (which is also coming with a book that’s been out since last year) and with my birthday coming up I’ve given my dad a list of books I’d like. Who knows, I may treat myself to a couple books when I get paid at the end of the month.

Another unrelated topic, but I booked a week long holiday in Zante, Greece for the end of September and I am beyond excited. Ever since I fell in love with Greek mythology I have wanted to go. Now I finally get my chance. It’s still 6 months away but that gives me more than enough time to buy an amazing wardrobe and get some spending money.


What was the best book that you bought last month? Have you tried a book buying ban lately? Let me know in the comments.

Wrapping Up The Week (26th February – 4th March)

Looks like 2018 is flying by already! This week has been a bit all over the place thanks to the snow that hit the UK. I had to work from home for three days and I ended up getting ill just before the weekend. Luckily I’m doing a lot better now, and something exciting happened…I finished the first draft of my book, which I posted about in a blog post here.

Unfortunately, because I was so focused on finishing my book, and being so ill with a cold that I couldn’t concentrate, I haven’t read a lot this week. I didn’t even finish a book, but it’s okay. I am looking to change that this week and hopefully finish the two I am halfway through (although one will be more difficult to get through than the other).

Books I read and reviewed…

None. Nada. Zilch.

Trying to ignore the feeling of failure right now and tell myself it’s okay not to have finished a book. I’ll do better next week. I hope.

I am currently reading…


Once again I am still reading this book (I hate getting ill), but I am determined to read some more tonight once I settle down for the evening. I am enjoying this book and really want to get a review up before its release date on the 8th. Wish me luck!

Also, I will try my best to finish Zenith. Hopefully.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Read Again

WWW Wednesday – IT’S A SNOW DAY!

Wrapping Up February ’18 – Time Flies

I Finished My Book!

This week was a great one for blogging and I got more done than I originally thought I would. Now that I’m getting into the flow of writing/editing on my lunch breaks at work, I can dedicate my evenings to blogging and reading (as well as watching my fave TV shows).


You all know that I have now finished the first draft, but that doesn’t mean I stop there. Oh no, I’ve already started the editing process by reading over the first two chapters of my book. Then I opened up a new document and I am re-writing it. Not completely, but there are descriptions I want to add, take away, dialogue that needs changing, and I need more mystery, I want to hook my readers and with the ideas still in my head, I have to jot them down. Already I have done over 3,000 words (who knew I could edit it that quickly), but this is only the first of many.

Other Fun Stuff…

The boyfriend and I finally got around to catching up with Lucifer, which was incredible as always, but apart from that I didn’t do a lot of fun stuff. The snow really halted everything and I think I ended up getting cabin fever in the end. Luckily it has all melted now and work can resume as normal tomorrow, which I am very happy about because I don’t like working from home. Too many distractions.


I feel like I’m on cloud nine at the moment and I am hoping I can ride that momentum into the next week. I hope that you all had a great week as well and hopefully you read more than I did!

I Finished My Book!

That was something I wasn’t expecting to write yet, but I have finally completed my first draft of my novel. I even got a bottle of Moet to celebrate with.


More than a year ago I started the first few chapters, without having any idea of where I wanted to go with it. I didn’t even know what kind of genre it would be. I forgot about it, left on my documents with the name “New Book”, until the end of September, 2017. I had just gotten back into reading again and I was loving the Young Adult Fantasy books I was catching up on. Then the idea hit me. That was exactly what I wanted to write and so I opened up that untitled document and started writing. I created a world with a unique magic system, a dark cult that was threatening the existence of the Kingdoms and a girl who was so much more than she thought she could be.

It hasn’t been easy and there’s been times where I was unmotivated, hit writers block and genuinely had no idea what I was doing. But I made it through the tough times and with a target of writing 1,000 words every day, I made progress. Finally, I have finished the first draft and I am over the moon. Standing at 100,405 words and 36 chapters so far, it is complete. I am still unsure of the name yet, however, I have a few ideas of what will fit.

My little book about self-discovery, romance, magic, danger and darkness may be finished, but I am far from being done with it. There is a lot of polishing to do, some plot holes to fill and changes to be made, but I am ready for it all. Here’s to all the editing that’s about to take place.

My Post

Wrapping Up February ’18 – Time Flies

Well, March really did creep up on me. It’s supposed to be spring time and yet we were just hit with the most snow we’ve seen in the UK in years and I’ve had to work from home for the last three days (not as fun as it sounds when you can’t leave the house at all). The start of the month hasn’t been too great as I am once again ill and haven’t read a book in a couple of days now.

February came and went within the blink of an eye, but it was a busy month so I’m not really surprised. Hard to believe we’ll be over a quarter of the way through the year before we know it and in just over three weeks it’ll be my birthday. That means more book buying (and books being given as gifts).

I have some exciting news about my current WIP…it’s almost finished. I’m currently at 97,000 words (seems like a lot now) and I only have two chapters left to write. TWO! This book is everything to me and I love the characters so much. There is a lot of work to do, some plot holes to fill in, dialogue to flesh out, but I am so excited. I even bought a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose to celebrate tomorrow night (because I will finish it tomorrow, I just know it). The last time I finished writing a book was a long time ago, maybe 2011/2012. I’m not sure, so it is an amazing feeling to have again. Let’s hope I can get an agent.

Books I Read…

Keeper of the Watch by Kristen L. Jackson

keeper of the watch

The first book I finished in the month was a bit of a disappointment to me. I went into it knowing I didn’t really enjoy the sci-fi genre and I hoped this could change my mind. It didn’t. However, as with everything, there were some good points to it. It had a fast pace, was light hearted and there was some good banter between the characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with this book and that is why I gave it 3 stars. You can read my review here.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

the hazel wood

I think I expected something a little different when I read the blurb for The Hazel Wood. I expected it to have more parts dedicated to the dark and creepy fairy tales. I wanted more of an atmosphere, but a large part of the plot took place in New York, giving it an urban fantasy feel. I enjoyed the book, but I didn’t connect with the characters or the story they were telling. Overall, this was a 3 star read for me and you can check out all my thoughts here.

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

reign of the fallen

I’ve gone on about this book a few times since I read it, but if you didn’t know already, I loved it. Everything about this book was perfect to me and it had everything I love in a dark, YA Fantasy novel. There was action, love, death, and it covered the tough topic of how to deal with grief and the ways in which it can manifest. I was hooked, sinking deeper into the world and I didn’t want to story to end. All in all, this book was more than deserving of 4.5 stars, and you can read my review here.

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

between the blade and the heart

The final book I read in February was kind of mediocre in terms of writing, but I still found it enjoyable and fun. This book didn’t take itself too seriously and was set within an urban fantasy world with Norse mythology woven into it. Definitely a unique idea that I’m not used to and actually liked. The characters were okay, there was a bit of romance and quite a lot of action. I know there is a second book, and as I gave the first 3 stars, I want to find out how it will end. Check out my full review here.


While I mainly stuck to the TBR list I set myself at the beginning of the month, I did deviate a little and there was a couple of books I didn’t get to. 4 in total isn’t too bad, especially as I’ve been ill twice in a month (so not fun) and I’ve been diving into my writing. Plus, February is a shorter month anyway so fingers crossed March allows me to read more amazing books.

What was the best book that you read in February?

WWW Wednesday – IT’S A SNOW DAY!

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

So the title of this blog gave it away, but it snowed a ton last night and during the day over here in the UK. There was that much that my boss told everyone to stay home and work from the comfort of our houses. So while I didn’t get to go out and enjoy the snow (it was -4 so it’s not that much fun) I was busy working away and managed to not get too distracted by the white stuff falling from the sky.


I did manage to read a little bit before I started my work for the day, so I guess it’s time to talk about books.

What Are You Currently Reading?


I have seen everyone reading this book lately, gearing up for its release in just over a weeks time. I have read nearly half of this book already and I am really enjoying it. Like I’ve said before, I haven’t read a book about sirens and pirates in a very long time and it’s a refreshing take on them. Hopefully I can finish this book before the weekend arrives.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

between the blade and the heart

Between the Blade and the Heart was a fun and entertaining read that I enjoyed, even if it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. The characters were fairly likeable, there were action sequences and some Norse mythology thrown in with a cool urban fantasy setting. This book was definitely different to what I am used to reading, but it was refreshing. I gave this 3 stars and you can check out my review here.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?


Ugh, so I suppose I should finish reading Zenith but I just can’t bring myself to do it, and I don’t know why. I was beginning to really like this book and then I just stopped reading it and now I can’t get back into it. I don’t really want to force it (because then I know I won’t enjoy it) but at the same time I hate leaving books unfinished. Maybe I’ll give this another try at the weekend and hope for the best.


We are one step closer to the weekend now and I can’t wait to relax (and for it to get warmer as well). I hope you’ve all been having a good week and are reading some great books.