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The Witch of Duva (The Grisha 0.5)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,893 Ratings  ·  856 Reviews
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.
ebook, 43 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Tor
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Cameron Cassidy No. I don't think so at least. Maybe at least if you read the 1st book to get some background on the world but other than that there aren't any…moreNo. I don't think so at least. Maybe at least if you read the 1st book to get some background on the world but other than that there aren't any spoilers or anything you wont understand considering its a prequel.(less)
Free Four by Veronica RothDestroy Me by Tahereh MafiGlitches by Marissa MeyerHana by Lauren OliverSummer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa
YA Short Stories and Novellas
20th out of 612 books — 1,141 voters
The Witch of Duva by Leigh BardugoThe Too-Clever Fox by Leigh BardugoBrimstone and Marmalade by Aaron CorwinLittle Knife by Leigh BardugoPonies by Kij Johnson
The Short Fiction of
1st out of 147 books — 70 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat Stark
Feb 29, 2016 Kat Stark rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kat Stark by: karen
Shelves: fantasy, shorts, reviewed

Awesomesauce is all I have to say, and I’m a bit surprised, because I like this short probably a little more than Shadow and Bone (even though you can't tell much from my coffee review) because the style was completely different in a creeptastic way.

Characters: All of them were pretty standard, but I don't know...I felt a connection there. I think it was just they way they were portrayed made me want to read on more and get to know them better. Ain't that the greatest feeling? I don't even know
There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.


Ahhhhhhhh! This was fantastic, well written, and so fucking creepy!

So, Nadya lives in Duva, and...


Yeah, no. Anything I say is going to ruin it, trust me.
This is a short story by Leigh Bardugo, and set in the Grisha world.
However, this is also works as a stand alone novella, and is (I think) an excellent introduction to this writer.
Bonus: : It's Free Here!

Huge thanks to Auntie J, Jess, Miriam, & Cathryn for pushin
Lola  Reviewer
THAT TWIST. (There were many actually, but THAT twist!—was a poignant one.)


I don’t usually read short stories (or novellas) because they tend to feel underdeveloped and don’t give that kind of satisfaction after finishing them, since I always feel like there was something missing or could have been better but was not. I have an exception in mind though, besides this one: Gilded Ashes, which is a fairy tale retelling as well.

This…was captivating. I thought I wasn’t going to be surprised because i
Jun 22, 2014 karen rated it it was amazing
okay, tor shorts, i officially love you again. i am seriously smitten with this leigh bardugo, and as soon as my reading time becomes my own again, i am ON her series like crazy. these free stories were both great, but they are just little teases, little whooshes of "yeah, i'm doing what plenty of other people have done, i just happen to be doing it better, and without breaking a sweat."

i liked this one slightly less than The Too-Clever Fox, but it's still phenomenal. she is very very good at wr
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Jun 22, 2014 Shelby *trains flying monkeys* rated it really liked it
Shelves: witches, read-2014
I love folk tales. They slip up on you and turn you in a circle. You think you might have that little story all figured out? Think again.

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Revised review, first published at
There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls. . . .
Leigh Bardugo’s “The Witch of Duva” is a dark Russian-flavored fairy tale with echoes of Hansel and Gretel and a serial killer twist… or is it wolves? Nadya and her brother Havel are the children of Maxim Grushov, a carpenter and woodcutter. They live in a village on the edge of a deep, dark forest. When a famine hits, Maxim no longer gets enough work from the other impoverished
Anna *hiatus*
Aug 29, 2015 Anna *hiatus* rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
“There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.”

I expected a twist yet never saw that coming.
Apr 02, 2016 Sofii♡ rated it it was amazing
Omg this was too creepy ...AN EXCELLENT HORROR HISTORY

“So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.”


I can't believe it ... speechless

Definitely you have to reading it ... AMAZING!
May 22, 2016 Rose rated it really liked it
Apparently LB can write creepy too.

This is why she's one of my favorites. I swear I was creeped out and intrigued and THE TWISTS OMG.

Definitely gonna read her other short stories.
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.

I'm normally very hesitant to read books in a series that end in a decimal. This is because the #0.5s, the #1.5s, and (god help me) the #1.75s almost always seem to be either a transparent moneymaking ploy on the author's part or a lame spinoff of the same story but with the names changed. A notable exception is Warm Up (Vicious, #0.5) because Vicious was just as good as the short story that preceded it and V.E. Schwab is a brilliant
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Actual rating: 3.5

The Grisha is one of those series that I’ve been wanting to read for ages so when I found out about this short story I thought it would be a nice introduction to Bardugo’s writing. Some reviewers seem to think it’s better to read Shadow and Bone (the first instalment in the series) first but I didn’t and I loved The Witch of Duva all the same.

It really is a great little tale. Well-written, very well-structured, and the world building is pretty amazing considering this is a shor
Erica Ravenclaw
Dec 19, 2014 Erica Ravenclaw rated it it was amazing

No spoilers and colorful language abound!

The Too-Clever Fox
Little Knife

 photo tumblr_inline_n602m5GEUg1r8sudo_zpsivhuezfz.gif


Do you love fairy tale retellings with a dark and twisty current?

Are you bored as feck sitting in front of your computer reading the same old shit as always?

Yeah. I thought so.

Click here to be more awesome.

You are welcome.

May 06, 2013 Keertana rated it did not like it
Shelves: why-the-hype
Rating: 1.5 Stars

Well...that was a disappointment. The Witch of Duva, unlike what I had expected, has nothing to do with Shadow and Bone except for existing in the same realm. Instead, it's a re-imagined version of Hanzel and Gretel, beautifully written but nothing wholly original or captivating. While I appreciated the small plot twists - if they can be called that in a novella so very short - they didn't do much for me and I was rather detached from this tale. I went into it hoping for at leas
May 07, 2016 Radmila rated it it was amazing
Well, that was creepy!

Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads
This was creepily F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C. The last couple of paragraphs gave me goosebumps. For realsies :)
Jul 20, 2016 Maggie rated it really liked it
I'm so done with novellas, with short sorties, with folktales. They're better than the actual books at times. This needs to be read by everyone! Wow!
Jul 21, 2016 Maryjane rated it it was amazing
This was breathtaking. I didn't expect to love this as much as I did, I just assumed it was going to be a quick read that I would be done with and not give much of a second thought. From what I had read about this, it is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, so I did not expect to be so surprised by it as I was. This was creepy and enchanting at the same time, and I almost wish there was a bit more of it.
Jun 21, 2016 Tania rated it really liked it
I sometimes struggle with short stories or novellas as I feel I don't have enough time getting to know the characters, but this one really worked for me. Dark, well-written with an unexpected ending, it has convinced me to add the rest of The Grisha series to my soon to be read list.
Dec 14, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
The Witch of Duva is a free short story set in the same world as Leigh Bardugo's novel The Gathering Dark (called Shadow and Bone if you're in the US) but can be read entirely separately to the book because there is no cross over of characters. In fact this story is actually a fairytale that is told by people who live in Ravka to their children.

Our heroine is a young girl called Nadya who loses everything after the death of her mother. Her brother is enlisted into the army and her father quickly
Oct 06, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-story
This gem of a story has everything I want in my reading experience: interesting, believable characters; unobstrusive, lyrical writing; subversion of my expectations; heartache and sacrifice; redemption and beauty. As a bonus, it is dark and edgy, and packs a disturbing emotional punch.

It is told very much like a fairy tale. Its setting is a cultural location and world similar to Russia, especially the Russia of folklore and morality tales. I liked that the author did not try to water down the na
This is awesome. Absolute perfection. The art of storytelling.

Karen reviewed it much better than I ever could. Read Karen's review here.

Read it for yourself for free here: The Witch of Duva
Bipasha{is eviscerated by fiction}
May 22, 2014 Bipasha{is eviscerated by fiction} rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

''Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.''

I'm still blinking in shock, trying to process what I just read, for which I should construct a pedestal for Leigh.

This book. I can't even. Well, this is it. I have officially lost my ability to even and I am now no longer unable to even. Okay, sure, this had hardly any connection or tandem to the Grisha series, but putting that aside, and taking this as a basic short story, this was freakin awesome! I mean, only Leigh can make cak
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
Another shorty. Another fabulous cover.

I really need to read Leigh Bardugo' s Grisha trilogy. I love the way this author tells a story. Haunting, beautiful prose, dripping with secrets. Mysterious characters surprisingly dynamic for a short story. I loved this folklore-y tale and find myself strangely enchanted by it.

Witches are always a way to get me hooked and I love discovering how different writers interpret what makes a witch. The theme of how society views lonely and different women and t
Nov 19, 2015 Emina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Sve što sam pročitala od Bardugo (Grisha trilogija, Six od Crows, par bajki koje je napisala)kvalitetom odskače od ostalih autora YA literature. Nisam vidjela najave prevoda njenih knjiga i baš šteta, jer žena zna da piše interesantno, dinamično, prilagođeno mlađoj populaciji a pri tome ima jedan lijep stil pisanja, klišeji su prisutni ali minimalno, likovi izuzetno dočarani...

Sve u svemu kvalitetna literatura za mlade a i "malo" starija populacija može da uživa u njenim djelima bez onog osjeća
Katerina Kondrenko
10 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Fairytales aren't that easy to write: you have to start it spellbinding, continue with twist and end with logic, you have to use specific writing style, you have to be terse 'cause it's a tale and not a full-book and you have to put between 30-50 pages some meaning and stuff. I've read m
Mar 26, 2014 Cari rated it it was amazing
If you like folktales, fairy tales or short stories in general, you're in for a treat. This story is NOT RELATED TO THE GRISHA TRILOGY but it is a fantastic read anyways.

I don't think there's much I can say about "The Witch of Duva" without spoiling it, other than GO READ IT!!
It's mysterious and, for me, heart-breaking. It's told in a style that resembles the orality and patterns (ie. repetition of phrases) of traditional folktales. The characters are intriguing and the plot will draw you in.

Apr 01, 2016 Skip rated it liked it
A dark Russian-type fairy tale, with a Hansel & Gretel flavor. Nadya lives with her brother and father in a small village. The brother goes off to war, leaving Nadya with her father, who falls under the spell of another village woman, who bullies Nadya. Nadya runs into the woods, and falls into the clutches of the local witch. But, things are not what they seem. Good twists and cover art.

P.S. Nothing to do with the Grisha books by Bardugo. Really lame to brand this as Grisha #0.5.
Jun 24, 2016 Aoife rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, novella, ya-fantasy, kindle
I think this is one of the best novellas in a series that I've read and it contained literally no characters from The Grisha Trilogy but instead contained the atmosphere and folklore that made me fall in love with the Grisha world. This story tells the tale of a young girl who is living in a village where girls are going missing. I was totally entranced by the spell of this writing, and the mystical, haunting way it was written. It was a little bit of a twisted tale containting bits of Hansel an ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Laurie rated it really liked it
4 Stars

That was actually a really good novella, I loved that story about the witch who lives in the woods, I have to admit it kind of scared me.


The bad part was that, to my opinion, it is absolutely non related to the Grisha Trilogy.
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Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally
More about Leigh Bardugo...

Other Books in the Series

The Grisha (3 books)
  • Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
  • Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
  • Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

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“So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.” 7 likes
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