Girl, Serpent, Thorn Readalong: Day 4

Stunning photo by @thebanishedbookcase

Hello my loves!

Welcome to day four, I hope you’re enjoying the readalong so far! Only today and tomorrow left now, we’re almost at the finish line! I for one have been on the edge of my seat for most of this book and I expect it’s not going to slow down anytime soon! Who’s ready to jump back into this fairytale?

Today’s section is Chapters 18-24! Let’s do this!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust Chapters 0-24! Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


We re-join Soraya making her escape through the tunnels with Parvaneh. Soraya is grappling with the fact that she lied to her but if she admits that she no longer has the feather, would Parvaneh still help her?

Yes! They find the pariks and free them from their cages. How cool, they all have different types of wings! Oooh one of them asks how she knows Soraya, is this Parisa?

Ah awkward… she has to admit she doesn’t have the feather which in turn means Parvaneh hasn’t met the conditions of her return. But why was she cast out in the first place?

Soraya has a new plan! She will pretend that she wants to join the Shahmar in hopes he’ll keep her close enough to learn his secrets. When she finds the feather she will give it to Parvaneh— but only to Parvaneh.

It turns out that Parisa is the div that Tahmineh freed and the one who placed the curse on Soraya all those years ago! YESSS if Soraya brings them the feather the pariks will stand with her and the humans against the Shamar!

Soraya basically admits to her that she misses her curse, her poison. Oh my heart goes out to her,  she is filled with regret and must get that feather back if she is to put things right.

Parvaneh is right though! Azad gave her a reason to trust him and then he abused that trust, she should be angry with him not herself! I like Parvaneh, she seems wise.

We have such a lovely moment with all the moths, Soraya can simply enjoy the absence of her curse without guilt or complication. Ooh what’s this, Soraya feels a fluttering in her stomach as Parvaneh approaches her.

“I always thought you…I thought they were beautiful.”


“Even after everything she had seen—demons and sorcerers and curses—there was nothing more astonishing or magical to Soraya than being able to touch Parvaneh.” Excuse me whilst my heart explodes.

The tables have turned Azad, Soraya is about to play you!

Oh phew her brother is still alive…for now

Oooh he admits he planted Paravaneh in the dungeon and he is suspicious that Soraya let her free. She’s thankfully able to convince him she didn’t, for now.

He leads her to a room filled with relics of the past all illustrated with images of Azad, before his transformation. Bit vain no?

He’s telling her they are the same, Azad the prince and her the poisonous princess, both betrayed their families. He was his family’s shame too. We learn of his family and how an astrologist told his father that if he ever ruled, dire consequences would follow. So the astrologist was bang on the money then..

So was he manipulated by the div he caught into killing his father? And the same div convinced him to bathe in the blood from a div’s heart to become more powerful. The same way Soraya was cursed! He claims he didn’t realise this would cause him to transform. Do we believe this version of his story?

It seemed as if Soraya was going to be drawn back in by him for a second there! Up until he tells her he bathes in human blood to look human, which only works temporarily…

I had wondered if he would use the feather to transform himself human again but as the Shahamar he has power, as a human he would be vulnerable.

Wait the div who manipulated him was Parvaneh!

It all makes sense now! Why Azad hunted down and captured pariks and why the other pariks shunned her!

Catch me praying Soraya will confront Parvaneh and not put it off like she did with her mother..

So Soraya forgets Azad’s revelation and her feelings of betrayal as Parvaneh had returned to Golvahar for her and brought her back a sprig of hyacinth, a reminder of her home. She endangered herself and her freedom for Soraya and now we have kissing people!!

The kiss is cut short though when she remembers the violence that Parvaneh had done. Oop confrontation time!

Aah okay, so he had her captured and she sought out his weaknesses, his insecurities to try and make him destroy himself. She didn’t know he would kill his family! Or that his transformation would be so complete.

Okay I’m thinking we can trust her! She did try to stop Soraya from taking the simorgh’s feather. She couldn’t do the same thing to Soraya that she did to Azad, even if it meant being his prisoner forever.

Soraya isn’t ready to forgive her though, similarly as Soroush couldn’t forgive her for her betrayal.

So the Shahmar organises a banquet, pulling out all the stops it seems to win her over. The divs bow to her like she’s their queen but they still try to hurt her? Is this how they show affection or respect? I’m so confused.

Oh wow Ramin is alive? Didn’t she see him die? I suspect he just wants to see if she still feels the rage towards him like she did before, is this a test?

If she can somehow convince him that he can trust her, then maybe they can work together to find the feather! Ah maybe not…she tries to convince him she’s a prisoner there too but his hatred for her is too strong!

Oooh it is pretty satisfying to see her stand up to him. But in reality he always been scared of her power but didn’t show it, he was scared for his sister above everything! She had his motivations wrong this whole time. He thought he was protecting his family from a demon in their midst that only he could recognize.

The Shahmar won’t let her free him but she requests to have him returned to Golvahar unharmed, I don’t know if I believe he will do that..

Oh damn!! He want Soraya to be the one to kill her brother!

Surely she won’t believe him when he says Soraya is reminding him what it is to be human again. He literally just asked her to execute her twin…

He says once she kills him that she’ll truly be free and she will rule by his side as his Queen. Yeah she ain’t gonna fall for your manipulation again dude

Oh how kind of him! He understands that she might not be able to kill her brother so he will happily step in and do it for her, so sweet this guy honestly!

Oh god she’s not considering this is she?

Thankfully thinking of Parvaneh has her coming back to her senses, everything he’s done to hurt her family and the parkis too

Noooo she just gave the game away, he knows she’s been sneaking out to the forest and that she has seen the pariks! Lie faster Soraya!

Ahh man she admits Parvaneh helped her and that she freed the other parkis too! Oh no she’s going to give him Parvaneh to gain back his trust, what is he kills her?

Ah crap if Parvaneh doesn’t show up tonight or if she escapes he will kill Soraya’s family

And…. he has her, Parvaneh is obviously feeling betrayed saying they deserve one another. Oh boy just when these two had a thing going…

 “You finally found someone as wretched and despicable as you are. I would keep her close if I were you.”

Well at least she’s gained the Shahmar’s trust I guess? All hope seems lost but then Parisa shows up and confirms Parvaneh is still alive, phew! And she gives her some of Parvaneh’s hair which if burnt will allow Soraya to communicate with her.

Oooh okay so she may be able to communicate with Parvaneh but will she forgive Soraya’s betrayal? Surely she can if she knows it was to save her family, Parvaneh would do the same for her sisters, no?

Soraya has lost all hope, resigned to believe that her anger has twisted her into something as terrible and violent as the Shahmar ?

Yes! Parisa coming through with the motivational speech Soraya needs to hear! She needs to use the rage she feels against him, get the feather, save the kingdom and her family!!!!

The stakes are so high right now and I cannot wait to hear what you guys have to say about today’s section!

Join me tomorrow for what I’m sure will be an explosive conclusion.

See you then!



32 thoughts on “Girl, Serpent, Thorn Readalong: Day 4

  1. I love how complicated all of the characters and their relationships are! I am usually not a fan of love triangles but here I feel like both of the love interest explore different sides of Soraya and are able to give her a lot but in a very different way. I don’t know for whom should I vote ? But I’m pretty sure now after Shahmar’s threats to Soraya’s family he will be killed in the end though I had hoped for some kind of redemption for him but it doesn’t seem likely anymore. I am so excited for the ending! I don’t think I will be able to wait until tomorrow

    1. I’m still hoping to see some redemption for Azad too! Not usually a fan of love triangles myself but the way this one is set up is really interesting 🙂 So happy you’re enjoying it and I hope you’ll like the conclusion too!

  2. The action is ramping up! Okay my guesses for the ending:
    – They somehow use the feather to cure the Shamar and so can kill him
    – She convinces her brother to try and work with the divs instead of how they’ve currently treated them, or at least the Pariks? So the country is a better place
    – Soraya and Parvaneh get together!

    *crossed fingers* that all that happens and we don’t lose anyone else! If her brother dies then does that mean Soraya has to take charge? That would be a tough situation for her.

    1. Love these ending predictions! Crossing my fingers with you ? I just want Soraya to have a happy ending cos boy she deserves one ?
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts again my love and I hope you’ll like the conclusion ?

  3. It surprised me that Soraya only asked if her mother was still alive and forgetting to ask him about her twin(!!!) brother?!?!!
    I would’ve been more pissed at Parvaneh when I found out the truth! And I can’t remember Parvaneh trying to stop Soraya from getting the feather in the end…. did she?? Parvaneh said so but it doesn’t ring a bell ??
    I’m wondering what will happen next, I hope Sorush is going to survive!!?!

    1. She did. Parvaneh told her to not give up her armor. It’s when Soraya confronted her that the feather was the cure all along.

      1. It’s not the same thing as trying to stop her from getting the feather. Parvaneh still wanted it for herself.

    2. I thought the same thing ? Oh boy, I hope Sorush lives too! I’m still holding out for them salvaging their relationship! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on today’s section my love! I hope you’ll enjoy the conclusion ?

  4. I didn’t think Parvaenh’s involvement was all that surprising.
    Nice to hear of Azad’s history, clearly making Soraya consider what she had and is becoming as a result. Kind of expecting her to go live in the forest when this is over.
    Interested to see how this develops to the end.

    1. Yes! It was great to get a back story from him, hearing of Azad’s history has me wondering if we will have a redemption arch of some sort, hmmm
      Yeah that would make sense for her! i hope you’ll enjoy the conclusion and thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  5. Nooooooooo! Parvaneh hates her now D:
    I hope she’ll find out the truth soon. Still really dislike Ramin. To me, he’s the monster. I don’t like him one bit.
    Also, I’m like: yay Azad, you love her. And then the next moment: omg Azad, you’re an ****. I think I’ll be like that till the end xD.

    1. I knoooowww D: I hope she can get to Parvaneh and tell her the truth, I just want them to be happy hahha
      Oh my god, same! I wonder if we’ll see Azad redeemed, he does seem to genuinely care for her, hmmm
      I hope you’ll enjoy the conclusion!! 😀

  6. It’s interesting how Soraya starts to miss her curse. And she begins to understand what Parvaneh tried to tell her about power.

    Twelve sleeping pariks. That makes Parvaneh number thirteen, just like she’s the fairy that wasn’t invited to the celebration of Sleeping Beauty’s birth. Don’t know how many fairies there are in the English version of the story, there were only three in the Disney movie, but in the German fairy tale there are thirteen fairies.
    I don’t know but the pariks just sound so lovely. And I feel so sorry for Parvaneh. Her gift to Soraya with those moths was wonderful. The whole scene was. I love those two together.

    Well, now we know why Parvaneh was banished. She created the Shahmar. What a twist. She’s such an interestingly gray character. And she’s jealous and afraid Soraya might like Azad more than her.

    The banquet is weird. It almost feels like the Shahmar actually might be in love with her. Maybe she will become his weakness. And considering the behaviour of all those divs I can’t help but expect an uprising coming. Maybe in the end they will rise, Azad or Parvaneh give their lives to save Soraya and Soraya will become the first female Shah.

    Soraya is so much tempted to give in to her dark side. The divs acknowledging her, the chance to take revenge on Ramin. She’ll definitely have to confront and accept that side of hers to grow as a person. Oh, I love these characters so much. But how will she avoid to kill her brother? And how will she save Parvaneh and their relationship? So looking forward to the final part.

    1. Ooh I didn’t pick up on that, it would make Parvaneh the thirteenth fairy, how cool! I love them together too 🙂
      I really like how grey Parvaneh is as a character, I think this works well with Soraya having a darker side too.
      The banquet was very weird right? Oh interesting theory, I would like to see Soraya rule.
      We have so many questions still to be answered! I hope you’ll enjoy the conclusion and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on today’s chapters 🙂

  7. We’re finally on the fourth day of the readalong and more than halfway through the book and she’s finally standing up for herself and she has courage to stand up to people that she’s never spoken to. She finally has courage to stand up for Parvaneh. Which is great to see.
    That’s what I’ve been hoping to see but I was hoping to see her flourish with her poisonous powers and not just as a human. So I am definitely let down by that fact.
    However in chapter 19 it almost makes me certain that these two ladies are set to fall in love with each other. Soraya has felt more comfortable in Parvaneh’s presence then in Azad’s. It’s just the vibes I’m getting.
    We finally learn the true story of how Shahmar turned into a div! Which is real exciting.
    There are severe parallels to Soraya and Azad. Which is crazy but they could understand each other so well. If they tried.
    I definitely wanted to know this for a bit now and I got it and it is a great story. And even better is the ending to the chapter!!!! Parvaneh turned him into a div?!
    Now do we trust his word? Why would he have to lie? But we know him to be a liar. It’s a dilemma.
    Parvaneh’s truth about that night is revealed too. Can’t blame her, after being stuck captive for so long you’d do anything to get out. But wow. It’s crazy.
    And then they kissed too?! So are they fated to be together? Instead of Azad and Soraya. I’m leaning towards that.
    Seeing all the divs and how they’re taking to Soraya and then Shahmar….I don’t know. Feels weird. Maybe they’ll gang up against shahmar. Just feels off, every time Soraya mentioned how they’ve given looks.
    I knew Ramin didn’t die!!! Would’ve been too soon. No conflict resolution on Soraya’s part. But damn. What is gonna happen now?
    I think I’m just disappointed because she’s learning to live with her poisoned feelings toward Ramin and everyone, with jealousy and pettiness, etc. and she’s not learning to live with actual poison in her veins.
    And she allowed Parvaneh to be captured by Azad and she feels distraught over it. I feel for her. There was no good outcome after she misspoke. But Parisa appears and perhaps she has given her some hope to help Parvaneh.
    I don’t know. I unfortunately think that I am enjoying my book less and less because my expectations were just different.

  8. I found this section of reading to be interesting. Mostly because Parvaneh was trying to atone for her sins, but Soraya and Azad were playing each other. It’s going to come back and bite both Soraya and Azad for playing each other. They both know the game well. I have a feeling Soraya and Parvaneh are going to be together in the end and that they are going to turn Azad into a human so they can kill him. That’s what it’s leading to anyway. The only way I can see it not going that way is if Parvaneh can’t forgive Soraya for everything she’s done to get into Azad’s good graces.

    I really do want to know if Soraya is going to end up back with her family or if they are going to meet their end because of her betrayal to Azad. He doesn’t seem like one to cross if you want to stay alive. I’m curious as to how she’s going to find the feather now that she betrayed him and set the pariks free.

    I want to read more but need to wait until tomorrow! I’m not quite sure I’m ready for this explosive ending yet. I don’t want the book to end because I have so many unanswered questions!

  9. This has got to be one of the most interesting dynamics I’ve read in terms of protagonist vs antagonist. I love the internal torment of Soraya and fair play to her, if I was in her shoes I think I’d just give up.

    I just don’t want it to end tomorrow.

  10. So much development in today’s chapters!!

    I love how Azad and Parvaneh are almost like the two different sides to Soraya – one side full of beauty, life, love and forgiveness……and the other side dark, twisted, cruel and vicious, full of jealousy and anger.

    All that’s left is to see which side will win out in the end….

    1. Hopefully it’s the Parvaneh side. Butthe Azad side would be interesting as well

  11. Everything is put right in place for the big fight… I’m wondering how will react Parvaneh…
    All screwed for a simple mistaken word.
    Soraya is really not used to lie and hide things, even is she was hidden all along…

    Let’s go to the end \o/

  12. Soraya and Parvaneh got together, yay! But that didn’t last very long, I hope Parvaneh forgives Soraya she truly believed she had no other choice. I hope we see more of their relationship developing. As for Azad/Shahmar, perhaps he and Soraya aren’t so different after all. He was hurt, alone, and looking for validation which sort of explains his actions, but definitely doesn’t excuse them. I like seeing the humanity that Soraya brings out of him making it that much more upsetting if Soraya doesn’t choose him and/or kills him. I enjoy seeing Soraya try to understand who she is, what she’s capable of, and the darkness she possesses. I can’t believe it’s almost over, seems like there’s still a lot to be seen.

  13. I still ship Soraya with both of them, dammit. ? I mean, I love her gentle chemistry with Parvaneh, but I do love the different kind of romance with Azad, and wonder if she might be able to redeem him.
    Well, at least the cat is out of the bag on Parvaneh and Azad’s history. I mean it was obvious they have bad blood between them, but I definitely didn’t expect that it was this, oops.
    I still don’t like Ramin, even if Soraya reason that he is a good guy. ?
    Really excited to finish the book and see what happens!

    1. Oh, and I think Parvaneh said those mean things to Soraya just a show for Azad and didn’t mean it.

      1. I really hope you’re right!

  14. I NEED SO MANY ANSWERS, yesterday reading it was just like KNOWING that there was going to be some ultimate build-up for the ending.

    I don’t like Azad but I see where he comes from, and I wonder if Soraya is going to be able to get the feather off him, ugh, the stress, the need for answers, can’t wait to finish it today!

  15. Ok, whatever sympathy I had for Azad, now is gone.

    I love how my reactions are the same as Soraya’s: I liked Azad a lot in the first third of the book, then I felt betrayed but still fashinated by him and now I want to crush him like a scrap of paper.

    By the other hand I’m liking Soraya more and more. As I said in yesterday’s post she’s human and relatable, and in the end I don’t think she’ll become the villain: she’ll face the darkness inside and still choose the light.

    P. S. I love moths so the part of the sap made me emotional ?

  16. I’m really liking the themes and parallels here between the three characters.
    That they all seem to have done terrible things, or made mistakes, and now have to face what that might mean for them and what they want to do about it.

    Azad feels very human despite the terrible things he’s done, and what he’s become. So do kinda hope for some sort of redemption from him (though expect that means he might have to die regardless).
    I feel less sympathy for Parvaneh, ass just feel she perhaps should have spoken out earlier, but also can’t see that she shows much remorse other than being rejected by her parik sisters?

  17. So much is happening here! And i have to admit that i still like Azad. But i hope Parvaneh and Soraya will win. I’m not sure what to think aboute Ramin. I guess we will see him again. And Soraya please make up with Parvaneh!

  18. So many twists and turns in these chapters!

  19. This book had such a great start, I loved it, but somehow… it has gotten worse in my opinion. This part felt like it took me an eternity and I just didn’t like the developments.
    Where is that weird love triangle coming from now?
    Also, why is there so much back and forth? This is honeslty just annoying me… like, can Soraya just decide whom she likes already? I hate love triangles already, but Soraya is not making it better. She starts liking one of them and then goes back to “oh no but she betrayed him” or “oh no I just remembered he’s a div”. I honestly don’t understand it… there was so much potential in it in my opinion and that was all destroyed by this love triangle in my opinion. I would have found it much better if Parvaneh and Soraya became friends. Like, she could have been the first real friend for Soraya and a friendship between human and div could have been a great development, but noo they have to kiss (and all of a sudden it is said that Soraya had feelings for Laleh as well). I don’t understand it and I’m really annoyed right now. ???

    1. It was made clear in the first day’s chapters that Soraya had romantic feelings for Laleh.

  20. This book has so many twists, lies, betrayals and double crosses. All 3 main characters have done terrible things for morally grey reasons (and not so grey reasons when we are talking about Azad). I wasn’t really all that surprised that Azad and Parvaneh have such a long and twisted history.

    The banquet scene was giving me such Labyrinth ball scene vibes and now I cant stop humming David Bowie’s song from that scene & kind of imagining Azad as a scaley Bowie… like a serpent but with massive 80s hair.

    I’m not at all surprised that Ramin is still alive or that his true motivation was to protect his sister.

    I keep changing my mind about whether I want Azad to die once he has been turned fully human using the feather.


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