Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

4.51 (60 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available soon, pre-order now.
When will my order arrive?


A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse...

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.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 155 x 235mm
  • New York
  • English
  • 1250196140
  • 9781250196149
  • 513,005

Review quote

Named a must-read book by BuzzFeed, Bustle, Hypable, The Nerd Daily, Bitch Media, BookBub, Book Riot, and more!

"Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a deliciously lush fairy tale of a novel. I was swept away by Bashardoust's prose and found myself losing track of time as I read, turning every page, sinking into her magnificent world, wishing it would never end. At its heart, it's a book about a girl who may be monstrous claiming her own power, filled with twists and a fascinating queer romance that stole my own heart. I cannot wait to read what Melissa Bashardoust writes next!" --Patrice Caldwell, editor of A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope

"Gorgeously written and quietly powerful, Bashardoust's latest is an enthralling tale of family, monsters, and the things we do for love." --S. A. Chakraborty, author of City of Brass

"Every passage is a fine cut gem, each facet brilliantly rendered to create a stunningly crafted fairytale about a girl and monsters and a girl who is also a monster. I truly loved this book." --Emily Duncan, author of Wicked Saints

"This is a gorgeously written book set in a beautiful and dangerous world. I loved the vividness of the story, and the way Bashardoust makes stories matter in this book. I was captivated from the beginning, and absolutely thrilled with the end. Watching Soraya come into her own as a character was a delight." --Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians

"The queer, good-monster book of my dreams. I loved this heroine with my entire soul." --E. K. Johnston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars Queen's Shadow

"Monstrously beautiful and enchanting, Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a fairytale for anyone who has ever feared the poison in their own heart. I loved this queer, subversive, lyrical and deeply affirming book." --Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand

"Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a tale a rose might tell, lushly perfumed and lined with thorns in all the right places. With complex women, Persian demons, a gorgeously twisting narrative, and the age-old question of what it means to be a monster, it had me eagerly flipping pages until the very end. I only wish there were more!" --Shveta Thakrar, author of Star Daughter

"Like a jeweled fairy tale, Girl, Serpent, Thorn glitters with twisty revelations, curses and dangerous transformations, magic and monsters and love--and at its heart, a girl who can kill with a touch. A thrilling, moving story of what it means to come into one's own power, this book is utterly captivating." --Gita Trelease, author of Enchantée

"Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a complex, luscious fairytale populated with Persian demons and poisonous girls. Reading this book was like smelling a rose; rich and petal-soft one moment, then sharp and dangerous the next. Bashardoust is an expert weaver of tales, creating twists and turns that keep the reader enthralled with Soraya's journey." --Laura Graveline, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

"With its ethereal tone and mythic nature, Girl, Serpent, Thorn further cements Melissa Bashardoust as a master of the reimagined fairytale. Fans of The Hazel Wood and Strange the Dreamer would be hard-pressed to not fall in love with Bashardoust's timeless tome about monsters both born and made, the power of a story, and the many lengths we go to for love in all its forms. Exquisite in every sense." --Kalie Barnes-Young, Barnes & Noble at the Grove, Los Angeles, CA

"Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a stunning, sophisticated fever dream of an original fairy tale. It's a story that feels like both a classic passed down over generations and something entirely fresh, steeped in soothing rosewater and incandescent hyacinth. I read this novel in a trance from the very first page and I didn't want it to end! Fans of Laini Taylor and Roshani Chokshi will love this new otherworldly story of dark magic, secret passageways, and sweeping romance." --Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Miami, FL

"Girl, Serpent, Thorn is the story of a girl with poison in her veins, isolated and feared by everyone she loves. Head stuck in fairy tales and daydreams, she's astonished to find that she's a fairy tale herself to a boy who seems to see beyond her monstrosity and a girl of the same kind that cursed her. When she begins to doubt the story she's been spun all her life, how far will she go to free herself? This novel is a lyrical masterpiece that puts Melissa Bashardoust on the map of great fantasy authors alongside Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, and Laini Taylor. Incandescently beautiful and brilliantly imagined." --Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS

"A richly drawn, captivating fairy tale of epic proportions, this is a queer fantasy everyone needs. Melissa Bashardoust has written a nearly perfect novel, likely the best YA fantasy of 2020, that cements her place among the fantasy greats, and in my opinion surpasses them." --Cody Roecker, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, Missouri

Praise for Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Booklist Top 10 First Novel for Youth
ALA's Amelia Bloomer List for Feminist Literature
ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults List
Junior Library Guild Selection
Named to numerous state reading lists

"This beautifully wrought novel offers plenty of fairy-tale wonder, but Bashardoust resists the most common tropes; instead, she tells a story where women save each other with their own ingenuity, bravery, and love, and power and compassion can exist hand in hand. Compellingly flawed characters, vivid world-building, and pitch-perfect pacing make this utterly superb." --ALA Booklist, starred review

"An empowering novel with strong, three-dimensional female protagonists who refuse to let jealousy and power break their bond. Filled with magic, adventure, and interesting characters, this debut will keep readers thoroughly engaged. A refreshing and progressive original retelling. Highly recommended." --SLJ, starred review

"Magic, mother-daughter conflict, and the quest for self-identity are given a dark and fantastical treatment in this chilling feminist adaptation of the Snow White fairy tale. A hauntingly evocative adaptation that stands on its own merits." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"If you thought you were done with the re-imagined fairy tale trope, suspend your moratorium for Girls Made of Snow and Glass Melissa Bashardoust has created a story more The Bloody Chamber than damsel-in-distress fable." --Bustle

"This is Snow White as it's never been told before. Fans of Game of Thrones will relish the loyalties and betrayals; with elements of the medieval legend of the golem, echoes of the movie Frozen, and plenty of magic, Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a feminist fantasy not to be missed." --BookPage

"A gripping, dark, and ultimately heart-affirming retelling of the rivalry between Snow White and her wicked queen, but this time that wickedness is a wild longing--in both women?to be loved and seen for who they really are. These are fairy tales the way they're supposed to be--full of horror and doubt, with the actualization of the heroines always shining at the center, sharp as glass." --Blackbird

"A must-have for those who love luscious YA retellings. Absolutely stunning." --Book Riot

"A richly written rethinking of Snow White...Bashardoust thoughtfully reflects on the complicated nature of the stepdaughter/stepmother relationship while exploring agency, individuality, love, and free will." --Publishers Weekly

"In Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Melissa Bashardoust has given us exquisite displays of magic, complex mother-daughter relationships, and gloriously powerful women triumphing in a world that does not want them to be powerful. A gorgeous, feminist fairy tale." --Traci Chee, author of The Reader

"Girls Made of Snow and Glass is like reading a particularly wonderful and vivid dream, complete with imaginative magic, delightful characters, and beautiful language. Melissa Bashardoust's debut novel is everything a fairy tale should be." --Jodi Meadows, coauthor of My Lady Jane
show more

About Melissa Bashardoust

Melissa Bashardoust received her degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, where she rediscovered her love for creative writing, children's literature, and fairy tales and their retellings. She currently lives in Southern California with a cat named Alice and more copies of Jane Eyre than she probably needs. Melissa is the author of Girls Made of Snow and Glass and Girl, Serpent, Thorn.
show more

Rating details

60 ratings
4.51 out of 5 stars
5 60% (36)
4 32% (19)
3 8% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X