From its vivid imagery to its #girlpower themes, there’s a lot to love about Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns (LoT). In addition to inspiring illustrations and Bookstagrams, the collection of fairy tales would be a unique selection for a book club. And who could help but want to follow in Leigh’s footsteps and write their own fairy tale update?
Here is a collection of my favorite Thorn-y tributes as well as some suggestions for savoring the book even after you’ve finished devouring it. Share yours in the comments!
Interviews with Leigh Bardugo
Wondering how the collection came about? Leigh spills in these author interviews with Hypable and Bookish.
Notes for a Book Club
So, LoT wasn’t something I read for my Wine Lovers Book Club (WLBC), but I couldn’t help thinking as I read it how fun it would be to club. You totally should do it (and if you do, report back in the comments!)
Set the mood with decorations: To be honest, I don’t decorate when I host the WLBC, but I get all giddy when others do (see Sarytah’s Hiddensee decorations). If you are so inclined, there’s so much you can do with LoT: nutcrackers and woodland creatures and sea shells/glass and candles…you get the picture.
Serve up some food: There’s a lot of food references in the stories, including cakes scented with orange blossom and thick with icing, roasted pumpkin, lamb stew, honey wine, and, of course, gingerbread.
Discuss hot topics: Kick-off the discussion by asking people what fairy tales they loved most (or feared most) as children. Fairy tales were meant to give a morality lesson with very clear distinctions between good and evil, but as Leigh shares in her Bookish interview, the tropes also often times vilified powerful/old/odd women. What other tropes in children’s literature should we retire? How do we speak truth to children in a way that doesn’t scare the wits out of them?
LoT Inspired Writing Prompt
“They pray that their children will be brave and clever and strong, that they will tell the true stories instead of the easy ones.”
∼ Amaya and the Thorn Wood
Pick two fairy or folk tales and write a #mashup that takes place in your country of origin two hundred years ago. Update the themes or lessons using current ideals. [If you post online, please link in the comments!]
The Language of Thorns evokes such vivid imagery that it’s hard to pick just one Bookstagram to share. So I’m not going to.