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.
I read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series last year and became completely obsessed with her fictional world where Russian folklore mixes with magic. The Witch of Duva is a companion folktale to the first novel in the series, Shadow and Bone.
It’s basically a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. The story begins when Nadya’s mother dies and her father quickly marries another woman who does not like Nadya. She is cruel to Nadya and keeps pushing her to leave the house, which Nadya does. She flees into the woods and meets a witch.
I really loved the writing in the story. Bardugo builds on the world she created in the Grisha series, which makes the plot read as complete and fully formed – this for me was one of the reasons I really liked it. I usually avoid short stories because they feel incomplete, I’m always left longing for more. I highly recommend this fast paced story. You don’t have to read Shadow and Bone to enjoy it, but you would be definitely missing out.
Read the short story online here. It’s free!