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The Witch of Duva: A Tor.Com Original (THE GRISHA) Kindle Edition
See the Grishaverse come to life on screen with Shadow and Bone, now a Netflix original series.
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.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
About the Author
No Bio --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B0085UCUG4
- Publisher : Tor Books (June 5, 2012)
- Publication date : June 5, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 1599 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 58 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #212,337 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I am happy to buy it again though. I love Bardugo's dark, twisted fairytales, where bad people get what they deserve and even the happiest ending is...at least teaching a real lesson.
The Witch of Duva puts a great twist on Hansel & Gretel, ish. I still don't know what exactly the murderer was doing to those girls but it made me feel unsettled
Love. Read these if you like fairy tales. Read them if you like the Grishaverse. Read them❤
The woods outside of Duva are said to eat girls, at least that has what Nadya has been raised believing. She gets to test the tale when her evil stepmom forces her out of the house at night and she finds herself at the door of the Witch of Duva herself.
Bardugo has said that Hansel and Gretel influenced this folktale, and you can definitely see the influences here...although this tale kind of turns Hansel and Gretel on its head.
Nadya is an excellent heroine, she is so easy to sympathize with. She's a young girl with an okay life, but then as circumstances change and her father marries another woman and things get worse and worse for her. She is forced into a desperate situation where she must flee into the forest and confront the very thing that has always haunted her.
I was surprised at how engaging and entertaining all of the characters in this story were. They are so well developed and really came alive for me even though this was a very short story.
The suspense behind who/what the witch of Duva is and around the strange case of the disappearing girls is absolutely engrossing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out and predict what was going on.
There are a lot of twists and turns and by the end of the story no one is who you thought they would be and everyone is different from what you initially expected. The ending totally caught me by surprise, but then when I stopped to think about it I realized that there were a lot of carefully hidden hints throughout the story that supported the surprise ending. It takes a very masterful writter to mislead the reader so deftly and pull such a huge twist that is completely surprising but totally seamless with the rest of the story.
This is a dark and twisted folk tale and echoes many of the original Grimm fairy tales. Children are eaten and disappear, and dark things hunt the woods of Duva. Humanity follows a much harsher code and is much crueler than what we typically see in our day to day life now.
Overall an absolutely outstanding short story, I absolutely loved it. I immediately went out and bought The Too Clever Fox for my Kindle as well and can't wait to read that. It is amazing that Bardugo can write not only spectacular novels but also spectacular short stories. In my opinion really well done short stories are very hard to write because you have to set up the world, characters, and plot is such a short amount of space. I highly recommend this short story to fans of the Grisha series and to fans of dark and grimm fairy tales.
The Witch of Duva is a beautifully written fairy tale that feels close to our own fairy tales but it messes with your expectations by twisting the story around in new ways. This prequel novella reminded me of Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. The Witch of Duva, like Tales of Beedle the Bard, is a fairy tale set in the same world that doesn't necessarily advance the story but functions to flesh out the world and add a little more magic to it. I couldn't find more of a connection between The Witch of Duva and Shadow and Bone other than they are both set in the same world. I actually prefer this kind of novella to one that tells some back story of a character. I feel like the fairy tale is something fun that lets me stay in that world a little longer. When I've read novellas that try to continue the narrative, I found myself bored. This fairy tale was beautiful and engaging and I highly recommend it.
The Jessica Thinks Too Much Version
There were just too many awesome and juicy details that I couldn't skip discussing them. I will talk about the details of the book and the foreshadowing that I saw, but I won't tell how it ends.
The Witch of Duva reminds me of Hansel and Gretel. Like Hansel and Gretel, there is a witch in the woods that eats girls. Nadya, the main character, talks about how her mother becomes sick and the only thing that comforts her is sweet cakes from Karina. I love the theme of food in this fairy tale - especially sweet food - that ties it into our fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. One theory of why the girls go missing is that they smell food in the forrest and wander off.
I can see hints now of what happens at the end now that I'm reading it again. It describes the girls as "full-grown girls near old enough to marry." There's lots of misdirection to Karina since we are seeing the events through Nadya's eyes and she automatically doesn't like Karina trying to replace her mother.
Karina sends Nadya into the forrest to find the rabbit traps and Nadya follows the white stones that mark the path that were left by her brother, Havel. I'm geeking out over all the Hansel and Gretel references!! Nadya gets lost because the stones get covered in snow. I like how this changes the Hansel and Gretel version to fit into the Russian-like setting of Ravka.
Hungry, Nadya finds a house that smells like cooking sugar. The old woman that lives in the house feeds her. I love how Nadya even mentions that she feels like she's just being fattened up to be eaten later. But this is where the twists come in. The witch's house becomes a safe place for Nadya instead of the other way around. The witch helps people and even hides Nadya so rumors don't start that she kidnaps children. Haha! Oops too late.
I loved the elements that came from other fairy tales, too. There was a reference to the Gingerbread Man story. But again it's different than I thought it would be. The witch also asks Nadya all the time what she wants that reminded me a little of the original Beauty and the Beast.
I had a blast reading the fairy tale. I loved analyzing it and thinking about it and just getting lost in the world.
Top reviews from other countries
Once, long ago, it was believed that the woods near Duva ate young girls, and that a witch lived deep in the depts of the forest. Nayda, like all the other girls in their starving village, knows not to venture too far alone, for girls have disappeared, said to have been lured by the intoxicating smell of food. Nayda finds it hard to ignore the wood when her brother Havel has leave to join the army and her father has married Karina, who seems to hate her unreservedly. Soon, Nayda worries that Karina may actually be a khitka: a bloodthirsty forest spirit that can take any shape, especially that of a beautiful woman.
To sum this short story up in one word would be: charming. It is written in the perfect fairy-tale style, omnipresent third person, with beautiful detail to the world. The hunger of the starving villagers is captured in a way that is painfully realistic and make the read huger in sympathy, and Nayda's fears and loneliness is evident throughout the story.
The best part of this story, however, is that even though it starts as a typical fairy-tale, it actually challenges the troupes often used within these tales - the evil stepmother, the unloved and ignored child, the women who use magic always being witches - and turns them on their head. Traditional fairy-tales have a habit of using two-dimensional characters and categorising women as either the sweet, naive virgin, or the evil, seductive, or bitter villain. Leigh Bardugo uses these troupes only to then twist them around and rip them apart at the end, in a way that makes you see the whole story in a new light and question who is really the villain and try to see the hidden motives of the characters. Even with this though, there is no true villain: no one person who is pure evil through and through. This brings a realistic light to a genre that created many stereotypes, and make Leigh Bardugo an author to watch.