Hello Gemmies! I have an exciting book review to share with you today. Please note: I received an audiobook ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust is a new YA fantasy fairytale. With influences from Persian mythology and Sleeping Beauty, Girl, Serpent, Thorn felt very fresh and new. It was so much more than I expected. This story was unexpected and captivating, full of twists, turns, action, magic, and morally grey characters. The world building is eloquent, lush, descriptive and full of rich culture. I found myself quickly immersed in it. The plot was also well done, with so many layers that allowed the past to connect to the present in a seamless and elegant way.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn is also a well written character driven story with a diverse cast of characters that I found to be dynamic and complex. I mentioned before all the characters were morally grey and it is true. It is hard to tell who is "good" or "bad" at times and you will be kept guessing all the way until the end. There are three main characters that I really loved...Soraya, Azad, and Parvenah. Soraya's character arc in particular was amazing. She's a princess but she is also a victim, and a monster. All of those qualities are what I think made her so relatable. This is very much a story about accepting yourself, flaws and all. And the struggles we face when trying to find our purpose in life. There are also themes of family, revenge, love, grief, and betrayal.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn is narrated by one person Nikki Massoud. Nikki does a fantastic job of voicing each character. She is able to provide each with a distinct voice and personality. This is especially true with Soraya who needed a touch of naivete to make her character's plight believable. Nikki also did a fabulous job with the pronunciation of the words derived from the various Persian dialects. Everything felt very authentic. The narration is done at a great pace, it never feels too slow or too fast. Nikki Massoud was the perfect person to narrate this story!
If you are a fan of dark fairytales, love triangles, flawed heroines, betrayal, themes of light and dark, and diverse feminist stories, then go read this book! This gem published by Macmillion Audio is available for purchase from all major booksellers. I give Girl, Serpent, Thorn 4 out of 5 gems. Happy Reading!