Read The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo Online


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....

Title : The Witch of Duva
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781466820753
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 15 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Witch of Duva Reviews

  • Anne
    2019-06-06 08:51

    There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.Ahhhhhhhh! This was fantastic, well written, and so fucking creepy!AND THAT TWIST AT THE END!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 pushing advising me to read this one.

  • ~Poppy~
    2019-06-01 12:48

    "Now you know what monsters once lurked in the woods near Duva, and if you ever meet a bear with a golden collar, you will be able to greet him by name. So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces."It was a great short story! I really enjoyed it! What a twist at the end..Wow..I did not see that coming!(view spoiler)[I thought it was Karina who ate girls not her father!! WOWWW!!!! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • LolaReviewer
    2019-05-18 09:52

    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 it’s a Hansel and Gretel retelling and what can possibly be done with that story? Well, apparently, a lot since Leigh Bardugo managed to create so many twists and turns.And a likable heroine. I couldn’t help but be invested in Nadya’s story from the beginning. What I found a shame though is her brother, Havel, being, absent in the plot and only present when the narrator was willing to give us some insights on him. That wouldn’t have been a problem if it were just a normal story but, being a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, I feel like he should have been at least physically there during one chapter.This is set in the same world-building as The Grisha trilogy. Having LOVED Shadow and Bone, I had to read this. And I’m so grateful I decided to not prolong the reading time for I would have regretted it for sure. We do see enough of the world-building which itself is pretty rare in a short story—good job!I really don’t want to spoil it for you and, hey, being a short story, it’s better if you begin your read knowing pretty much nothing, at least that’s my opinion. I decided to summarize it anyway though, for those who are interested: Nadya’s mother died and her father started seeing someone else (there’s a famine in between and her brother going away—to the draft) but, that woman (Karina) does not like Nadya. At all. And it’s mutual. She keeps pushing Nadya on going away and leaving the house and so one day she does. Into the woods.And she encounters the witch.And things get really good—even though they already were. But, then, the plot is at its best. The writing was great and, seriously, I don’t know what happened. I turned the first page a minute ago and then BOOM, last page was already before me. It was so addictive that I didn’t even look once at what page I were at a certain moment, which I always do so I can count approximately how much time I will need to finish it (really bad habit.)It is recommended to read Shadow and Bone first for I think you would understand a little bit better and feel more connected to the story but, if you don’t, it’s not that of a problem; you will still enjoy this very much, I believe.The best part? You can read it for free, here! Enjoy! ^_^

  • karen
    2019-05-26 08:29

    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 writing a story within a story, adding an unexpected twist and throwing a fairy tale cloak over real-world horrors. this is impressive because the story within a story thing is so difficult to pull off without seeing the author's hand. but when it's done correctly, seamlessly, it draws the reader in in that particularly immersive, inclusive way where the reader is placed on the same level as the character-audience, and it becomes almost personal. but simultaneously, the fairy tale elements are distancing the reader because they are taking place in this fantasy atmosphere right until that very moment when she goes "yeah, no, we are really talking about this, sorry", and brings it back to a recognizable horror and this dance is just breathtaking. in a way, this one reminded me of Tender Morsels, which is a book that impressed me in its concept and ambition, but left me a little flat in its execution. this one didn't disappoint me in its execution at all. it is scrupulously detailed, and while there a couple of bits that stand out on the second reading as maybe too deliberately misleading, it's just such a perfectly encapsulated story, you don't really fret about's a tremendous story about perspective, protection, and sacrifice, with excellent food descriptions, and a genuinely haunting tone. and it's FUCKING FREE!good it for yourself here:

  • sana°¤°
    2019-05-30 09:35

    3 1/2 ☆'sWoah this was some twisted dark shit. A great retelling of Hansel and Gretel. I did not see that plot twist coming. I'm starting to really like Leigh Bardugo's writing. And...ITS FREE. You can read it here.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-05-21 08:51

    Looking for creepy October reads? Here's one of my all-time favorites, a short story by Leigh Bardugo that's an online freebie as well! This is my favorite story ever by Bardugo (even more than Six of Crows). Final review, first published at 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 villagers. The children’s mother fades away and dies, the famine deepens, and ― worst of all ― girls begin disappearing from the village.Real fear came upon the town. In the past, girls had vanished every few years. True, there were rumors of girls being taken from other villages from time to time, but those children hardly seemed real. Now, as the famine deepened and the people of Duva went without, it was as if whatever waited in the woods had grown greedier and more desperate, too.Nadya’s father marries a neighboring widow, who makes it clear that Nadya isn’t welcome in her house. She sends Nadya out to check their traps for rabbits in the dark. When Nadya gets lost in the forest, she comes across a strange hut in the woods where an old woman cooks over a vast black cookstove, with bubbling pots and an oven large enough for a child to get inside… I might be forgiven for thinking that I knew where the story was heading at this point, but I was completely wrong.This short story is related to THE GRISHA young adult fantasy series, but is a stand-alone story unrelated to the characters and events in that series. (Although I liked the series, I think this story is even better.) This folk tale, with elements of both fantasy and horror, might be told on a dark night by a villager living in Ravka, the setting of THE GRISHA series. Or maybe by another witch ... Those who like dark fairy tales will enjoy this twisty tale.“… come help me stir the pot.”Available free online at

  • P
    2019-06-12 07:38

    “There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls”The Witch of Duva surprised me. I thought this book would be bloody and creepy but I was wrong. I liked THAT TWIST. Wow ! It's unbelievable that Leigh Bardugo could manage to tell a shocking story in just 40 pages. Stunning. She's so talanted. I fell in love with the Grisha world since the first time I read her book.However, there's something left unsaid and unexplained. I mean it's awesome to leave things out for the mysterious vibe like this, but I want some explanation to the story telling where this monster came from.“So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.”

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    2019-05-22 11:53

    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.

  • Fables&Wren
    2019-06-13 10:32

    WrensReads Review:"Sometimes she felt her curiosity clawing at her like a different kind of hunger"Now this was creepy. It was fun and creepy. And still just like Grimm Fairytale. I have a feeling she was aiming for that feel with some of these novellas. Nadya's mother died. And her father is marrying a monster. Little girls are disappearing. Nadya is being threatened. But she can't leave her father... she can't."Now you know what monsters once lurked in the woods near Duva, and if you ever meet a bear with a golden collar, you will be able to greet him by name. So shut the window tight and make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces. Shall we ahve something good to eat?Well then, come help me stir the pot."WrensReads | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

  • Andreea Pop
    2019-05-28 05:28

    Such a great short story! If there's anyone that can fit amazing world building, an intriguing plotline and nuanced characters in a matter of pages, then it's Bardugo. It was spooky, witchlike and surprising.Oh, how I love the Grishaverse.

  • Anna *no longer in use*
    2019-06-02 08:29

    “There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.” I expected a twist yet never saw that coming.

  • Elena Salvatore
    2019-06-09 12:30

    Ok this story is pretty creepy and the twist at the ending... DID NOT SEE THAT COMMING!I went through a few stages with this:- At first I thought it would be the story about the human eating trees Tamar was telling us about in Ruin and Rising,- Then I thought that Karina is the witch,- And lastly I thought it would all go on like Hansel and Gretel.Which of these hypothesess was correct?Well read it yourself and find out. ;)

  • Beth
    2019-06-02 07:51

    Turns out my kindle likes to lie to me about how far I'm into something...It was a good little story, the ending was a bit of a shock, but still quite enjoyable :)

  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    2019-06-11 09:50

    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 ... speechlessDefinitely you have to reading it ... AMAZING!

  • Diana
    2019-05-18 06:54

    So shut the window tight ad make sure the latch is fastened. Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces. Cinderella slash Hansel and Gretel retelling but with a shocking dark twist and— I did not see that ending coming.

  • Dannii Elle
    2019-05-21 11:37

    In just 50 pages Bardugo has managed to completely enthral and enchant me, before delivering one of the most unexpected plot twists I have ever read!

  • Liz* Fashionably Late
    2019-05-27 04:44

    Evocative, captivating, brillant.

  • Rose
    2019-06-09 09:57

    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.

  • Radmila
    2019-06-10 12:46

    Well, that was creepy!

  • Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
    2019-06-12 05:50

    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 isWarm Up (Vicious, #0.5) becauseVicious was just as good as the short story that preceded it and V.E. Schwab is a brilliant literary legend, but I digress.THIS. STORY. WAS. AMAZING.Honestly, it had everything going for it: captivating setting, complex characters, positively gorgeous writing, and a touch of dark whimsy. It read like a delicious cross between a fairy tale and a ghost story, with shades of the superb graphic short story collection,Through the Woods. But the part I thought was the most breathtakingly awesome was the twist.I've never before read a twist like that- one that managed to effectively (view spoiler)[switch how the reader views the antagonist and protagonist. The villain becomes the hero, the hero the villain, (hide spoiler)] and it never felt gimmicky or abrupt. It was beautiful and simply ingenious.Bottom line: read this story. You won't regret it. I am now super excited to read Bardugo'sShadow and Bone andSix of Crows. Read it here.No path could lead her back to the home she had known. The thought opened a bleak crack inside of her, a fissure where the cold seeped through. For a terrifying moment, she was nothing but a lost girl, nameless and unwanted. She might stand there forever, a shovel in her hand, with no one to call her home. Nadya turned on her heel and scurried back to the warm confines of the hut, whispering her name beneath her breath as if she might forget it.

  • Lyn
    2019-06-11 08:44

    Leigh Bardugo’s 2012 short work The Witch of Duva is a mesmerizing and well written prequel to her Shadow and Bone / The Grisha novels and stories.Told as a Russian or Slavic folk tale, and set in the eastern European forests, this has the tone and style of a fable.Nadya’s mother has died and her woodworker father has very quickly re-wed to Karina, a stern woman Nadya believes to be a witch. More concerning is a recent trend of disappearances in theirs and neighboring villages of young girls.Told with style and personality, and with a storyteller’s eye for detail, Bardugo also throws in some unexpected twists in this enjoyable story. The author has also blended elements of myth and legend to weave her revised folk tale and make it all the better.

  • Iryna (Book and Sword)
    2019-05-19 04:40

    WOW This must be witchcraft because holy smokes it was fantastic! In few pages I was both mesmerized and creeped out.This felt a lot like something Brothers Grimm would write : dark, delicious and traumatizing.And I LOVED it.This really has nothing to do with Grisha (now Shadow and Bone) trilogy. So even if you haven't read anything by Leigh read this. Give yourself a treat. A dark, very creepy treat.My WEBSITEMy INSTAGRAMMy WORDPRESS BLOG

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2019-06-13 11:49

    This was creepily F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C. The last couple of paragraphs gave me goosebumps. For realsies :)

  • Erica Ravenclaw
    2019-05-21 09:49

    ☆ ☆☆ ☆☆No spoilers and colorful language abound! The Too-Clever FoxLittle Knife SPECTACULAR!!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.

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    2019-06-09 11:35

    Actual rating: 3.5The 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 short story. Bardugo has done a fantastic job here and you really get the feel of an old folktale as you read. Still, Hansel and Gretel this is not. The characters are great. The atmosphere is amazing. The story is as creepy and eerily fascinating as it is lovely. There were some pretty great twists. What more can you ask for? Now I’m *really* curious as to what Shadow and Bone might be like. I think it’s time I finally read it!

  • 'Cila
    2019-06-15 06:49

    One of the better plot twists I’ve read.

  • Reem Ghabbany
    2019-05-30 11:35

    Very atmospheric, very intriguing and the ending was quite creepy

  • Keertana
    2019-05-27 07:29

    Rating: 1.5 StarsWell...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 least some more world-building; a better understanding of the fascinating world Bardugo had created, but came away disappointed and the lack of...well, everything! The Witch of Duva is a short story, very quick and can be easily read while drinking a cup of coffee (or tea), which is why I'd still recommend it to other readers. I am one of the few who haven't enjoyed it, putting me in the minority, and as such, I suspect I simply have an aversion to novellas that serve no purpose, or perhaps I am just tired of fairy tales. I will say, however, that the cover is bewitching and I hope that some mention of Duva is present in Siege and Storm - otherwise, this really is a useless piece of work.EDIT (5/6): Unfortunately, there isn't a mention of Duva or this part of the Grisha world in Siege and Storm, which I was lucky enough to read thanks to the publisher. Nevertheless, although this is a filler novella that serves no purpose to the story arc of the trilogy, I can reassure readers that Siege and Storm is every bit as good - if not much better - than Shadow and Bone. I hope that is enough to carry you through the depth of disappointment this novella is.

  • Meret Punk
    2019-05-21 04:44


  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    2019-05-25 07:57

    Huh. What a strange little story. This was more enjoyable than Shadow and Bone!