December 6, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

leigh bardugo-witch of duvaThe Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5) by Leigh Bardugo
June 5, 2012
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There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls…or so the story goes. But it’s just possible that the danger may be a little bit closer to home.

This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel, Shadow and Bone.






First sentence: “There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.”

The Witch of Duva is a beautifully written story that reimagines Hansel & Gretel very loosely. It’s not the greatest folklore I ever read, but it’s adequate on showing a bit the culture in the Grisha series. I will say that it’s disturbing (especially the end).

The story follows Nadya, a girl who lives in Duva where girls have mysteriously disappeared from which creates fear and concern among the people for their children. When a famine occurs, more girls start to disappear at an alarming rate, and Nadya begins to encounter many problems as she journey away from home.  And what happens by the end is an unexpected and very grisly turn of events that will make you flinch and see that nothing is what it seems.

I thought it was okay. I like the message that the story is telling readers – looks can be deceiving. You don’t know who the real monsters are. You can’t take everybody by face value or judge them by your initial impression. People have hidden motives – good or bad.

Overall, I just felt disconnected to the story. I had expected it to have some world-building to further cement this world. The entire story was nothing that really stimulated my interest, but it made me curious of whether this folklore plays a part in the Grisha series.gradeB-



4 Responses to “REVIEW | The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5) by Leigh Bardugo”

  1. I think the story was mentioned in Shadow and Bone or something (like Too Clever Fox is referred to in Siege & Storm) and it’s not too significant to the story, just some cool extras.

    I liked the story, though did feel a little disconnet like you. It was more disturbing than I expected, and I never even considered the twist at the end.

  2. Alicia says:

    I didn’t know there was a novella to the Grisha series! The cover alone is disturbing, but it’s got me very interested!! The world-building in Shadow & Bone is FANTASTIC, hopefully you enjoy it more =D

  3. Emily says:

    It’s always sad when you read a beautifully-written novel, but you feel disconnected from it… :( This one seems interesting, though! :D
    Great review, Cee! And I love your blog design ^^ It’s really simple, but pretty at the same time! :D

  4. I think that sometimes it’s hard to connect with a short little novella, especially when it’s not written with characters you’ve already grown to know and love in the actual series it’s tied to. But I really, really liked this story. It was so dark and creepy and totally unexpected. And I loved the writing.

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