I had been meaning to get around to reading something by Leigh Bardugo due to her popularity in the YA community. Though I had already picked up the original Grishaverse trilogy, I found this companion story on the Tor website and decided to give it a try. I am so happy that I stumbled across this short because I was honestly blown away.
“There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.”
The Witch of Duva is a dark fantasy about a harsh winter and the mysterious disappearances of young girls in a small village. The tone of the story is overwhelmingly atmospheric as Duva was brought to life. The whispers of an evil lurking in the woods left me with a sense of dread from the very start all the way to the story’s denouement. Even with the premise I was surprised with how dark this story ended up being.
The story has a feel of an old fairy tale, with characters and creatures pulled straight from Russian folklore. There are a lot of descriptions of food and had started to think that it was filler, but then realized that food and eating plays an integral part of the story. I fell in love with the food-based magic in this story which was different from the kind of magic that I’m used to seeing in fantasy stories. All in all, I was really impressed with this short story. It was the right amount of magical with just a touch of horror and it makes me curious to read more books in the Grisha universe.
Title: The Witch of Duva
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Read Online (here)
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.