Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"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."
Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a standalone YA fantasy novel by Melissa Bashardoust.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book despite the fact that there were a few hiccups along the way. I liked the Persian setting since I don't usually see a lot of fantasy books set in Middle Eastern countries. The plot was interesting the whole way through and everything progressed steadily. The only thing that did bother me though was, of course, the characters.
Firstly, we have Soraya, our main character who was so deep in her resentment towards her situation that all rational thinking went out the window. I can't blame her much for this because she wasn't fully aware of why she was the way she was, but I wouldn't have taken it as far as she did even though her actions advanced the plot. She, at one point, was also very judgemental and hypocritical which I didn't like.
Then we have Azad. From the start, I didn't like this guy because he came out of nowhere and was clearly up to no good. Did Soraya notice that, of course she didn't. His character just made me feel uncomfortable in the beginning because of his level of infatuation with her. In the end, though, even he was a better character than her.
Despite the few negatives and frustrations, I did enjoy reading this story and thought it was rather unique compared to a lot of the fantasy books I've read. This is also a standalone so you can go into this without having to worry about an extremely elaborate world.