Completed: June 18, 2013
Source: The Witch of Duva + The Too Clever Fox read on Tor.com; The Tailor read on Facebook.com (all available to read for FREE!)
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha#1) // Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) // Casting Call: Shadow and Bone // Five Good Reasons to Read Recap! // Fierce Reads Tour 2012 Recap
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo is easily one of my favorite series (dare I say it) of all time, so when I was having a bad day at work the other day, I snuck in all three of these series extras to brighten my day. Granted, they’re not all exactly bright and sunny stories, but good writing will always make me feel better, even if the content is a little on the darker side!
THE WITCH OF DUVA
I started with THE WITCH OF DUVA, which is a Ravkan folk tale about… well, the witch of Duva. Girls keep disappearing mysteriously with only the slightest trace left behind. In the suffering town of Duva, the girls no longer wander alone and parents try to keep their girls indoors for fears that the witch will snatch them up and take them away. This tale follows Nadya, her father Maxim, and his father’s new love interest Karina Stoyanova who Nadya suspects may be the town’s awful witch.
This story was dark for sure — it reminded me a bit of Hansel and Gretel from Nadya’s encounters with a real witch who lives deeper in the woods and a few events that occurred towards the end of the tale. Pieces of the tale were a bit shocking, others gruesome, others enlightening. While I suppose all folk tales & fairy tales are fictional (or at least fiction based on possibly true stories), this really felt like I was reading a fairy tale that has existed for centuries. Even the fact that fans of The Grisha Trilogy get to read these folk tales really makes the world come alive that much more. I feel like these characters are real people by getting this extra layer of their history.
THE TAYLOR is a snippet of SHADOW AND BONE told from Genya’s point of view. Genya was actually one of my favorite characters from SHADOW AND BONE because of her personality and her friendship with Alina. Although THE TAYLOR is listed to come in between books one and two, I’m actually glad that I read it after SIEGE AND STORM because of certain events in book two that show another side of her character. I don’t think it will spoil anything to read it before S&S, but for me personally, I was glad to know a bit more about her character as a whole before starting THE TAYLOR.
It was nice to read about Genya because we not only get her point of view from one of her encounters with The Darkling (Helloooooo, Darkling!), but also we receive a little backstory of how Genya came to work for the Queen, how their relationship evolved and deteriorated, and what really goes on behind the scenes in the palace. It was just a quick little snippet (only 15 pages), but I was glad to have that little something extra from Genya!
THE TOO-CLEVER FOX
In SIEGE AND STORM, Alina compares Sturmhond to the Too-Clever Fox so it was really fun to be able to read the folk tale that accompanied this thought. I feel like The Too-Clever Fox is really somewhat of a fable more than just a tale because there’s a nice little “moral of the story” at the end and we learn something from the fox’s encounters in this tale.
I loved how clever the fox was and there were even some tiny twists, making the entire tale clever in itself. This story wasn’t as gruesome as THE WITCH OF DUVA, but it’s also not without it’s own touch of villains and it does get a little dark at times. It’s billed as #2.5, but really this can be read at any point in time in the series. It’s another folk tale, like THE WITCH OF DUVA, so there really aren’t any spoilers or major plot points for the series.
Go read them! All three of these are available to read online for FREE (I think you have to ‘like’ some content on Facebook before you can read The Taylor, but still free) and they were really great additions to add more depth to the series. Leigh Bardugo is a master at her craft and I easily got swept away in each of these short stories.