Girl, Serpent, Thorn


rating: ★★★★☆
title: Girl, Serpent, Thorn
author: Melissa Bashardoust
release date: July 7, 2020
publisher: Flatiron Books
genres: ya fantasy, ya LGBT, magic, fairy tales, retellings

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for my DRC in exchange for my honest review.


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.

This was an interesting tale of a girl, dangerous to her people, locked away with a curse on her.

Soraya is hidden away in the palace, only really knowing the company of her queen mother, her twin brother and a couple of other people from her childhood. Sick of being locked away, she begins the journey to find not only the cure to the curse on her, but the truth as to how it fell upon her. The stories her mother always told her may not be true.

Amidst her search for the truth, she meets a creature in a dungeon cave who knows the secrets that have alluded Soraya all her life. She also comes to know a handsome man who comes to her rescue. But not everyone is who they claim to be. While some help her, others feed her more lies and allow her, in her blind search for the truth, to set things into motion that she never wanted.

This was such a fun, fantastical read with some great fairy tale vibes. I loved how the curse upon becomes something almost of a comfort to her as she grows and learns about herself. I also love the beautiful relationship that buds from a very unexpected place.

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