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.