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Girl, Serpent, Thorn
By Melissa Bashardoust
Rating: 3.8 Stars
There was and there was not a princess who became the beast. Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a world building fantasy deeply based on Persian myth and legend. Soraya is the twin sister of the Shah of Atashar who has lived her life in a palace cage. Soraya’s life can be likened to that of Rapunzel, who spends her days trapped away in a tower, waiting to be rescued. But Soraya does not seek rescue. She hides herself for the sake of those around her. Soraya is poisonous to the touch. A mere brush of her fingertips would leave even the Destroyer’s most powerful div lifeless. Her brother has returned to Golvahar and is preparing to marry, but a mysterious, young, newly minted soldier has returned with him. Soraya is taken with his presence and likewise, she is his favorite fairytale. As her brother’s wedding begins to unfold Soraya finds herself questioning the stories her mother has always told her, how she became cursed and what would happen if she gave into this blood of poison. A div returned to Golvahar as the Shah’s prisoner after a close call attack, and she may know far more than Soraya could imagine. These secrets lead Soraya to question if she should give into the demon inside herself. This is a story that deeply considers acceptance of oneself. Sometimes we have to show our scars, our pain, to let the beauty shine through. Humanity is raw and vulnerable and everyone has a past. A must read for those who like world building fantasy, fantasy based on ancient mythology, fantasy with middle-eastern influence, culturally diverse, and complex characters. Fans who have read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake would enjoy this read-alike.
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