Book Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn has a wonderful fairy-tale feel, combining Persian mythology with elements of Sleeping Beauty, to give us the story of a girl who is poisonous to the touch as she is determined to find her place in the magical world around her.

Soraya – twin sister to the young Shah of a mythical land – lives her life locked away in the palace, surrounded by luxury but devoid of companionship. She watches the goings-on of the palace from the palace rooftops and explores through tunnels hidden behind the walls, determined to protect her families reign and hide her secret.

Cursed before her birth, Soraya has powerful poison running through her veins. When she touches another living creature, it dies almost instantly. When on the same day a dashing young man spies her on the rooftops and a div (a type of demon) is captured and taken to the palace dungeons, Soraya becomes determined to rid herself of her curse to be able to live a normal life. She sets out on a quest that sees her unravel complex webs of lies and tests her judgement and loyalties.

Whilst I wouldn’t say there was anything truly exceptional about the writing in Girl, Serpent, Thorn, I really did enjoy it as I snuggled up on a rainy day. I loved seeing the influences from Persian mythology which gave the story’s setting a unique feel and I’m excited to see what Bashardoust comes up with next!

She had read enough stories to know that the princess and the monster were never the same. She had been alone long enough to know which one she was.

Melissa Bashardoust


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