Saturday, June 23, 2018

Review - The Witch of Duva

The Witch of Duva (Grishaverse #0.5)
by Leigh Bardugo
Date: 2011
Reading level: YA
Book type: short story
Pages: 15
Format: e-book

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is the second of the companion stories I've read that are set in the world of the Grisha, the other one being The Demon in the Wood. Unlike that story, which is more of a prequel/origin story to the Grisha trilogy, The Witch of Duva is a standalone folk tale that could be read without any knowledge of the other books and stories.

I can't really find much to complain about. Although parts were graphic and disturbing, that's often the nature of stories like this. Those parts made perfect sense in the plot, though, and added a sense of urgency and peril. There's a definite Russian flavour to the story, with hints of Baba Yaga, but I also thought of Hansel and Gretel while I was reading. I can't really say much more about the plot without giving anything away.

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed Bardugo's writing. Perhaps this will get me motivated to check out Six of Crows.

Quotable moment:

Some wondered if the girls might have just walked into the wood, lured there by their hunger. There were smells that wafted off the trees when the wind blew a certain way, impossible scents of lamb dumplings or sour cherry babka. Nadya had smelled them herself, sitting on the porch beside her mother, trying to get her to take another spoonful of broth. She would smell roasting pumpkin, walnuts, brown sugar, and find her feet carrying her down the stairs toward the waiting shadows, where the trees shuffled and sighed as if ready to part for her.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 ladybugs

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