young adult • fantasy • retelling
I never felt satisfied reading a short stories or novellas because authors tend to not give a full focus on the development of the world and characters. It is sometimes so short that at the time the story starting to work things out BAM! The End. So, not really my type.
And then there’s this book.
I never intended to read this when I have it in my e-reader. I just love to have the complete series of the books in my shelf, that was why I have this one in the first place. And when I finished Shadow and Bone, I thought I needed to read more from the “before” in case there were more world building. So I read this with the expectation of reading something related to the main character, but it turned to be something different.
This story is about a young girl named Nadya who lived in a world set in the same world as The Grisha Trilogy. One day her mother passed away, leaving her behind with her dad and her brother, Havel. Long story short, her brother left to join the army and her father ended up marrying a women named Karina. Karina hated Nadya so much that she kept doing everything to make Nadya leave the house. Until one day she does and got lost in the woods where she met the witch.
I don’t know if this book was intended by Bardugo to be a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, but it seemed quite similar and not at the same time. The vibe felt similar, of course, with the witches in the wood, but somehow it didn’t also felt like the retelling of Hansel and Gretel, since Nadya’s brother didn’t appear much in the story. So I understand why some people compared this to the Grimm’s tale.
What amazed me in this story is how in that short amount of pages, I was really drawn into the story very quickly because the writing was really great. But it wasn’t just that, the plot twist was the best part of the book. I can’t even describe my feeling about that, so just read it by yourself and feel this epic short story’s plot twist slap you in the face. XD
By the way, If you haven’t read Shadow and Bone, you can still read this for it is not related to the main story.
(read it for free here)