Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by Flatiron Books
Dark, Unexpected and Completely Original
This book was totally different than I thought it would be. I expected something along the lines of Rapunzel, with a princess locked away in a castle only to be rescued by a prince who is able to see who she really is despite her differences. However what I got was a girl who didn’t just sit in her room locked away and waiting to be rescued, but one who did what she could to rescue herself and she didn’t always do what was right or proper. She makes mistakes, big mistakes with far reaching effects.
I couldn’t always tell who was good and who was bad in this fairytale and it made it truly suspenseful and original. Soraya is the lead character and she is a twin to Sorush, the current Shah of Golvahar. She is cursed with poison in her veins and is unable to touch any living thing without killing it. She longs to get rid of her curse and be normal.
Her family travels every summer and she is left behind, only able to watch them return each fall from her tower where she is hidden away. After their return one season she sees a new face, among her brothers guard and looks to the tower and sees her as well. His name is Azad and he is a commoner that has become a royal guard because he saved the Shah when a div attacked him. Div’s are from Mount Arzur.
Everyone there knew never to go wandering too close to the mountain, because it was the home of divs—the demonic servants of the Destroyer whose only purpose was to bring destruction and chaos to the Creator’s world.
Soraya learns that the div that attacked her brother was caught and now resides in the dungeon. She believes that the div might have the answer to reversing her curse. Soraya uses the tunnels in the castle to sneak down and speak to the div. she meets Azad who helps her and she finds information that may help her.
I don’t want to give any more away than that. However Soraya, the div named Parvenah and Azad become entangled and what happens after that is quite a tale. There are many other characters is this story and the character development and world building is terrific. This was a dark fairytale with monsters, curses and evil, but the Soraya’s journey is quite different than I have seen in other fantasy novels and fairytales. Sometimes it is hard to tell if she is good or bad, and the same is true for many of the other characters.
Though it wasn’t the best I have read, it was definitely good and worth reading. I have this book 4 stars for all the things I truly liked about it. I would definitely watch a movie of this one! I love fantasy and fairytales and this is one of the most original I have read. It is nice to see a flawed heroine, especially one as strong as Soraya.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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