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.
Thank you Flatiron Books for providing me with an e-arc! This has in no way affected my review, my thoughts and opinions on this book are honest.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn is one of my most anticipated 2020 releases because I absolutely love fantasy books inspired by mythology. Plus this has a sapphic f/f romance and a vague Rapunzel theme?
I’m absolutely sold!
First off, I’m absolutely enamored by Soraya. I started the book feeling like I needed to protect this soft girl, even though she can literally kill someone with her touch, but by the end I was so proud and absolutely in awe of what she had become. The character arc was A+ and I’m going to take this moment to applaud the author at how intricately and beautifully she created Soraya’s character.
The side-characters were also well-crafted even though not all of them were memorable. I don’t know how much I can say about Azad without giving spoilers but he had a sort of charming gentleman vibe that unnerved me and immediately had me suspicious because lord knows good men don’t just fall into our laps.
I was utterly fascinated by Parvareh, the demon girl with moth wings! She has an aura of mystery around her and I honestly never had any idea whether she would show us her vulnerable and hurt side or the sassy and taunting demon side – she’s a whirlpool. And I love how she’s a morally grey character who absolutely owns it. I remember Soraya asking her at one point whether she regretted a certain evil deed she had done in the past and Parvareh answered that she hadn’t and she wasn’t ashamed of it and if Soraya expected her to be then she truly didn’t know who Parvareh was. I STAN!!!
I think the only weak point I found in the book was that Soraya and Parvereh’s romance was rather rushed. I mean, I absolutely adored them but I wish we had been given more of a build-up. Just give me more of that slow-burn and pining, that’s what I thrive on.
The plot was absolutely fantastic and took me by surprise multiple times! For the first 100 pages or so I thought this would be one of the quieter fantasy books but then that one plot twist upended my whole world. After that everything was so intense and fast-paced and I honestly couldn’t put the book down before finishing it.
We don’t get to see much of the politics and war side of the kingdom but otherwise I thought that the world-building was fairly well done and the histories and concepts were explained in detail. I especially loved the whole origin and death cycle of the demons. Since quite a bit of this book is inspired by Persian mythology, the author even provides some vocabulary and inspiration details at the end of the book which only added to my experience.
All in all, it was an absolute pleasure to read Girl, Serpent, Thorn and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a bewitching fantasy read. Bonus points for a sapphic romance!! It’s hitting the shelves tomorrow, aka, 7th July so do graba copy for yourself 🙂
Have you read Girl, Serpent, Thorn or is it on your TBR?
Do yo like reading books inspired by mythology? If yes, do leave some recommendations down below!
What’s the last book you read with a heartwarming queer relationship?