The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic is a collection of six stories that act as folk tales for the Grisha universe by Leigh Bardugo. It contains three short stories previously published as ebooks, along with three brand-new tales. Each of them are illustrated with art by Sara Kipin that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six full-spread illustrations that summarize each tale.
Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.
- The Witch of Duva is the story in the collection that inspired the book, and debuted on Tor.com in 2012.
- Some stories are inspired by classic European fairy tales, with additional elements mixed in:
- Ayama and the Thorn Wood contains elements reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella.
- The Witch of Duva is inspired by Hansel and Gretel.
- The Soldier Prince is inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
- When Water Sang Fire is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, as a prequel from the point of view of the Sea Witch Ursula.
- The Language of Thorns, Author's Note