Girl, Serpent, Thorn is “an alluring feminist fairy tale” (Kirkus Reviews) about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse.
“This gorgeous young adult fantasy is based on ancient Persian folkore and history, and this made it especially enjoyable as an audiobook because you do not have to guess at the pronunciation of words. Lush world building with romantic elements and an epic quest makes for an enthralling and hard to stop reading/listening tale. Soraya’s journey and coming of age story is filled with heartbreaking betrayals and twists that will have you rooting for her through the last page. You can’t help but feel her loneliness resulting from the curse that made the slightest contact with her skin deadly. It explores how well-intended decisions often have unintended consequences. Yearning for normalcy, acceptance, and love, Soraya’s decisions and actions result in dire consequences for her kingdom and family. However, as she faces the costs of her actions, you are left wondering if you might have ended up on the same path given the circumstances and knowledge in front of you. The story also weaves in a strong message of acceptance through queer love and showing it is never as simple as just heroes and villains or the absolutes of good and bad or right and wrong.”Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
“Not just another gratifying powerful girl story: an intensely imagined, emotionally realistic, absorbing adventure, packed with rich realizations about a woman's anger, a mother's love, a young person's desire to change the world. The author has tapped the Shanameh and Zoroastrian beliefs to build a unique fantasy world in which the main character can explore issues of power and value while testing the waters of affection. Amazing descriptions of rose gardens, hidden halls, moths, and Soraya's magical power/curse. Queer and POC positive (and not pedantic).”Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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.
A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books
"With crystalline, sometimes sensuous prose, [Bashardoust] digs into her characters' motivations and manipulations, deftly keeping readers on the hook until the final, stunning turn." -- Booklist, starred review
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