Girl, Serpent, Thorn Readalong: Day 5

Stunning photo by @gingerly_reading

Hello everyone! 

Today is the fifth and final day of our readalong for Girl, Serpent, Thorn and what a ride it’s been! This book has been so fast paced with so many shocking revelations!

Let’s see just how this is all going to be wrapped up. Everyone have a blanket and a beverage at the ready? Good!

Picking back up at Chapter 25! Let’s finish this book!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust! Read only if you’ve finished the book!


Today’s section begins with Soraya visiting Parvaneh in her dreams. Parvaneh isn’t looking good guys but Soraya vows to free her and take down the Shahmar, she needs to prove herself to her and gain back her trust!

It’s interesting that the divs seem to have accepted Soraya as their future queen but they still really creep me out.

OH NOOOO he destroyed the feather!! What is she going to do now? How can she take him down without it?

Oooh she found a secret passageway behind the fireplace! Damn, he had the simorgh held prisoner this whole time? I guess crisis averted?

Maybe not though as the feather has to be freely given, will the simorgh deem her worthy enough?

If Azad had wanted the feather to retain his humanity, he could have taken it and killed the simorgh long ago. Maybe it isn’t the feather he wanted, but the security it would give him?

The simorgh seems to understand her but just as she plans to find something to break the chains, the Shahmar finds her.

She’s trying to play him here, telling him she will kill her brother and be his Queen. “If I am being cruel, she decided, then it’s because he taught me how.” She learnt it from watching him!

He does ask if she’s toying with him but she reassures him that she is done playing games.

Oh no they will both be leaving for Golvahar at dawn to execute Sorush, I just hope she can delay him and free the simorgh before they leave..

She asks for her old rooms back once they get there,but the passageway will be boarded up, what is she planning? Oh no he’s locked her in for the night, there goes the plan to free the simorgh then!

We learn from Soraya’s conversation with Nasu that the divs don’t actually respect the Shahmar they are simply using him. Could they be tempted to change their allegiance?

The divs are very intrigued by Soraya because she let them hurt her at the banquet? Not creepy at all! Ah just as we thought there could be an alliance forming the dream is shattered as Nasu tells her the divs aren’t done with the Shahmar just yet.

Not only that, she explains to Soraya that she can take power for herself by ruling by the Shahmar’s side, influencing his decisions as his Queen. She might not have a better option right now y’all!

I completely forgot about the bloodstained blanket! Clever, this must have been why she asked to be given her old rooms back! She’s going to make herself poisonous again! I hope this works as this could be her only shot at killing the Shahamar and saving her family. Although without a feather from the simorgh she won’t be able to reverse her curse again.

Oh crap it didn’t work! Soraya’s last resort had failed.

But! When she tipped the bathwater into her rose garden it affected the roses, making their thorns poisonous! Perhaps the div blood just needs more time to take effect on her?

Yes she’s freed Paravaneh and all is good! Parvaneh knew it was a trap and she let herself be captured to save Soraya’s family! We have more kissing people ☺️

Yesss Parvaneh is going to free the simorgh and return with the rest of the pariks too. “And then I’ll deliver that bastard to you on his knees.” YESSSS Pravaneh!

Today isn’t just the day of Sorush’s execution but her wedding to the Shahmar too?! Oh boy what is she going to do if Paravaneh doesn’t return in time?

So those roses are growing at a rapid rate…

Oh mannnn it’s time! She sees her family, Sorush, Laleh, and Tahmineh on their knees bowed with their hands tied. Sorush won’t look at her, that feels somehow worse!

She has to kill her brother, there isn’t another option! She raises the sword…

Yes! Just in time the cavalry has arrived in the form of the pariks and the simorgh. She frees Sorush but just as she tries to do the same for her mother the Shahmar stops her!

Parvaneh swoops in to save her but the Shahmar has her! This is so intense as the div and humans battle it out!

Oh no he is about to kill Parvaneh but the simorgh grants Soraya a feather!

She shields Parvaneh! Yes Azad she’s been playing you just as you did her. How’s it feel, getting a taste of your own medicine?

She’s distracting him as Parvaneh circles around him and…she stabs him with the feather! Great teamwork ladies!

He’s human again, he can be killed! But Soraya finds herself pitying him as she remembers the emptiness she felt when the poison left her. She can’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy for him.

He lunges for Soraya but her mother steps in! He rises into the air with Tahmineh but his wings turn to ash, okay she needs to get to the roof to save her mother!

Surprisingly Ramin helps by fighting the divs in her path who are trying to stop her.

Oh no her mother is sacrificing herself? And Soraya starts to feel a pressure under her skin, maybe something to do with the poisoned thorns? I sense a transformation is about to happen!

Oh phew Parvaneh knocks him aside before he can kill Tahmineh but she’s hurt, badly. Ah man Parvaneh dropped the feather, really?!

Wow! Soraya surrenders to the poison and she’s growing thorns now?! She had always feared her transformation but she now feels whole.

Yes she can control it now, choosing to only release it through her thorns! Just as we hoped, she can now be touched and keep her power!

Not only that she can now control the vines too!

Yes Parvaneh found the feather, her mother will recover. Just Azad left to deal with then but she’s considering keeping him prisoner rather than killing him. That would be a fitting punishment buttttt

Tahmineh stabbed him!

Oh I wasn’t expecting this! He had wanted to goad Soraya into killing him, rather than leaving him to face all his failures, powerless as a human. She puts him out of his misery though by piercing his skin with her thorns. Thoughts on Azad’s character arch, were you hoping he would be redemmed?

Tamineh’s reaction to Paravaneh’s transformation is so heartwarming! ?

She has her vines lower her to the ground! Okay that’s VERY cool

I love seeing her flaunt her power over the divs! They surrender to her but they also have her protection. She will embrace them as they have her it seems!

And following her brother’s lead the humans lay down their weapons down too.

Awww it looks like her brother has forgiven her.

We jump ahead to a few months later and learn that Soraya is successfully keeping the divs in line and they’ve all returned to the pit of Duzakh. Not only that but the awkwardness she felt with Laleh is gone and they are now sisters! Just as Laleh wanted when they were children.

The pariks are helping to repair the damage done to the city by the divs and Sorush tells her she would be welcome at his court. Instead she has found a new home in the forest and will join the pariks, to be with Parvaneh. Returning to Golvahar when the court does in the spring.

This line got me in the feels guys; “more incredible still was the idea that she could be dangerous, all her thorns on display, and that someone would dare to touch her anyway.”

Soraya finally is at peace with herself and we love to see it! And her and Parvaneh are so cute together!

But just as things are wrapping up nicely, the simorgh is back! She offers another feather but Soraya doesn’t need it anymore. She wear her thorns proudly, without shame or apology.

She has her family, Parvaneh and a home. With her thorns she feels whole and has learnt to accept herself for who she is, letting go of the fear she had of herself all this time. What a lovely conclusion to this magical fairy tale!

I recommend reading the author’s note too (if you haven’t already) to learn more about the myths, legends, traditions and history that inspired this story! ?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how this book wrapped up! What rating did you end up giving this? Did you enjoy the fairytale feel of this story, the inner conflict, the romance and the twists and turns it took? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you so much for joining this readalong, you made it so much fun!

We hope to see you in the next one!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!



23 thoughts on “Girl, Serpent, Thorn Readalong: Day 5

  1. Finished! I must say I wasn’t in love with the whole book though I loved the fairytale feel and the elements that really surprised me like the Duzakh. I’m still not sure what to think of Soraya…..she was still willing to kill her brother and that kind off annoyed me.
    I’m gonna give it three hearts out of five. Liked it, but I’m not gonna re-read it.
    Thanks for the readalong! I like it and it helps me a lot with my tbr list ? xx

    1. I’m so happy to hear you liked it! ?I landed on a 3 star rating for this one too, I did love the fairytale feel of this. Thank you so much for joining us for this readalong and for sharing your thoughts ❤️

  2. Ooooh i just finished reading it this morning! I’m so glad everything went well!
    except for Azad of course but he didn’t want anything else except ruling…

    I so like the idea of Soraya’s heading back ‘home’ in the spring, and setting with Parvaneh along the year!

    And her magic ! Those thorns!

    I love this book <3

    1. I’m so happy you loved it! Thank you so much for joining us for this readalong ?I hope you have a lovely week!

  3. This is a 3/5 for me.
    I like to have some surprises. This was a little typical YA which followed all the formulae of current YA books. So everything was a little predictable.
    That being said it still isn’t a bad book. A character starved of touch is always an interesting one to follow and I enjoyed all the mythological creates in this book, they’re not the typical ones I read of.
    I kind of wish we had the story of the Shamar running parallel to this, his story was fascinating.
    Thanks for all the structure of this readalong, will definitely be trying to take part next month!

    1. I am in the same boat. I think it was a 3 starts for me. I enjoyed the first half much ore than the second. I think a map would have been helpful as well. Imo helps to put a better picture in the world.

    2. I landed on the same rating for this 🙂 I loved the fairy tale elements and the world she created was very interesting and unique that being said it was a little predictable, still enjoyable though ?Thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your thoughts, I hope you will enjoy the next one too ❤️

  4. I really liked this book, though it was a bit predictable. I also liked how it was written. It was very easy to read. Great book for summer. I would’ve loved more romance though. But that’s a personal preference 😛

    1. I agree completely with all your thoughts! ? I’m so happy you liked it though and thank you so much for joining in! ❤️

  5. Oh my, I loved this book ? it’s a 4.9 stars in my opinion, that 0.1 missing because I would have liked more interactions between Soraya and Pravaneh.

    Thank you for the readalong, I’m looking forward for the next one~

    1. Yay! I’m so happy you loved it! ? I agree, I wish we had more interactions between Soraya and Parvaneh too!
      Thank you so much for joining us for the readalong and I hope you’ll enjoy next month’s too ?

  6. I finished this this morning before work! I loved this book. I felt really connected to Soraya which is really hard for me to find in YA fantasy these days. The story line was admittedly a bit typical but I didn’t see some things coming and I loved all the characters so much that it didn’t even bother me.
    It was really imaginative, well-written, not too teen-gushy, and the protagonist was FLAWED but LIKABLE.
    Five stars for me. 🙂

    1. Yesss five stars! I’m so happy you loved this one ?I agree, Soraya was such a good character to read from, I loved how morally grey she was at times and her acceptance of herself in the end ? I’ll be reading more from this author for sure!
      Thank you so much for sharing your overall thoughts and for joining us my love! ❤️

  7. There is so much growth in Soraya, trying to curse herself again and being ready to give up everything she always longed for. I was so proud of her in that moment and felt her disappointment when it hadn’t worked. On the other hand, she was worried about some pink water., but how would she have explained away a dead div in her room?

    The battle in the end was so dramatic. I loved the idea that the whole garden became a poisonous part of Soraya. When she came to accept herself and grew into her real strength, it was such an empowering moment. A beautiful coming-out story disguised as a fairytale.

    This book was so good. With twists and turns and lies and so much character growth and inner conflict and betrayal and longing and growing love and everything. I loved the characters who were all so interesting. Well, except maybe for Ramin who felt a bit one dimensional. All in all so worth the read. Thank you for choosing it for the box. I’d say five stars.

  8. I LOVED this book. Even more after reading the author notes at the end (and I’m definitely going to try to look up some of the further reading, if I can find them)

    I kind of wish there had been a little more Ramin – but the rest of the characters were great. Soraya showed such strength, but I’m so glad Parvaneh got to her in time and she didn’t have to sacrifice Sorush. I don’t think she would ever have forgiven herself for that one.

    And I guess I was wrong about Azad – by the time he met Soraya, all the hugs in the world wouldnt have helped him!! However, I’m glad he turned out to be irredeemable, otherwise it would have all been a little too much of a nicey-nicey ending – nobody major died, and they all lived happily ever after!!

    For me, a 4.5 stars, I think.

    Thank you for another great book choice – and one of the prettiest books of the year so far (the artwork on the flipside of the dust cover is just stunning)

    Till next time xx

  9. I really enjoyed this story! Still have to run it through CAWPILE but probably a 3.5 or low 4 star for me. I thought the ending was pretty epic. I do wish that it had been longer with more developed relationships, especially between Soraya and her family as well as the romance. Overall it was fun and enjoyable though!

  10. So it being the final day of the readalong I have quite a few thoughts on it.

    First of all it was quick and fun read however I do have to say that I am just disappointed. My expectations for the characters in the story were different than what I was given. Which I have no problem with at all, I just wish it could’ve been different.

    My first expectation was that Soraya was going to continue having poison power until the very end, and either she loses this power or she grows to love this power. However that’s not exactly what happened. She gave up her power and then she wanted it back to the point where she even refused the feather to make her powers go away. Which I guess is a great way to end it, it truly is. However I would’ve like to see her develop loving her powers from the beginning not just wanting to give it up.

    The love aspect of the book was also kind of weird. Because from the moment you start reading this book you are assuming that she’s going to end up with Azad. And then halfway through the book you’re like oh she is kissing Parvaneh. So it did throw me for a loop, I’m glad that she ended up with somebody that she’s happy with though, which is what I did want for her. It was just slightly confusing following the line of who she wants to be with even at the end.

    Another expectation that I had, which I’m not upset about it all because it’s not important. I wanted more out of like azad. He is a very well rounded character. I just wanted better for him.

    Overall, I give this book a 3/5.

  11. Done! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was easy for me to become absorbed in this beautiful world.

    There were a few parts that could’ve been explored more, specifically the characters, but that’s a personal preference. I like how Soraya doesn’t end up fully human, although I would’ve liked to see her learn to embrace her gift instead of getting rid of it and then regretting it. I wish we could’ve seen more of Parvaneh, of her relationship with Soraya, and their life in the forest. I also wish Azad met a different fate. His past and his actions towards Soraya made for a compelling villain, more Azad would’ve been nice. We didn’t get much between Sorush and Soraya, but it was nice to see them united in the end.

    Nonetheless, we did see character growth through Soraya. Her loneliness, her fear, and her determination made her strong and dangerous whether or not she was poisonous. She learned how to identify what parts of herself made her vulnerable to the darkness, to the Shahmar and used that to her advantage. Not to mention the twists made each section of this readalong end on a cliffhanger, hard to to put down.

    This was a great read, a bit predictable at times sure, but also fun, captivating, and sweet. Also, this edition of the book was gorgeous! I’m so glad this was the book for my first Fairyloot readalong, thank you!

  12. This was a solid 4.5 for me. The pacing dropped a bit in the last third of the book but I really enjoyed it overall.

    Very excited that this was a debut, I can’t wait to see what the author does next.

  13. I really have no idea how to rate this book. The beginning felt like a clear 5 stars for me, the fourth part then destroyed it completely and the final part made up for a little bit of it, because Soraya finally embraced her dangerous self and her thorns.. but I really wanted to see a somewhat good side in Azad. I wanted him to be rectified in a way. And that completely fell flat. Also I wasn’t at all convinced by the “love story” in the end. I honestly felt much more emotion and spark between Azad and Soraya in the beginming than I ever felt between her and Parvaneh… i must admit that I am really disappointed now, because the story seemed so promising in the beginning.

    I did love the myth and legends aspect of it and I want to know more about it now!

  14. I really liked the book, gave it four stars on GR. I wasn’t familiar with any tale from Persian mythology before, so these elements were definitely new to me and I really liked them.
    I’m glad Soraya reconciled with her family and will stay with Parvaneh. It was a lovely story, would be cool to see it as a motion picture or as an animated movie!

    1. I really liked the persian elements as well!

  15. Now I finally know what thorns are all about. It was a pretty quick end and I still don’t know what to think about Azad being dead or Soraya killing him. I liked the conversation between Soraja and Nasu. She got important information to end the battle at the end.
    I really enjoied the persian parts of the book. I’ve never read something similar so far.
    It was a nice readalong and very interesting to hear the different opinions about the book. I will have to think for a while before I give my rating.


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