Title: The Witch of Duva
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)
In: Grishaverse Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Fantasy, Illustrated
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: The trees are hungry tonight.
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.
I love the notes of a traditional fairy tale throughout this story. The idea of “don’t go into the woods”. Be careful of the wicked witch. A young girls’ life being turned upside down by the remarriage of her father (after the mother has passed away). But this is where many of the similarities end.
The Witch of Duva goes to show that sometimes the danger is actually a lot closer to home than we realise. That the big unknown isn’t actually what’s scary and dangerous. It turns the traditional tales and themes on their head. Nadya is sent off in to the woods to protect her. Her step mother acts the way she does for a completely unexpected reason.
Bardugo does an amazing job of rewriting fairy tales with a spin, that, at least for me, feels far more realistic than the traditional stories. And this tale tells us that it is often that which is close to home that is the more terrifying and dangerous…