Title: Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Release date: July 7th, 2020
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.
“But trust me when I say that if I were you, I wouldn’t shed my armor for the sake of a kind word or a gentle touch. That’s my advice to you, from one monster to another.”
I love a good morally grey character!! And make it sapphic? I’m sold.
This book follows Soraya, who was cursed as a child and she poisons anyone who touches her, killing them immediately. She always dreamed of living without that curse, but everything changes as she learns more about her family, herself, and the demons that created this curse. Nothing is at it seemed.
This was a really interesting retelling of Persian mythology, and I love the author’s note at the end explaining where it all came from. It created for a really unique story. It was well-done as a standalone as well; we have answers about our current situation and some brief history for context, but we’re not overloaded with information. We have just the right amount.
The writing in this was full of foreshadowing and powerful statements. It’s a story that unfurls slowly in front of you, not one that you’re racing to catch up with.
The element that made me love this story most was that no one was truly good or bad, these characters realistically fell in grey areas and made mistakes. These characters are so perfectly flawed, making for a wonderful story.
I would love more from this world, but I’m also a sucker for a powerful standalone, and this book gives us just that.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book for an honest review*