The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo

The Witch of Duva - Leigh Bardugo

This is my second foray into the story universe of Grisha, after The Too-Clever Fox. It is also the latest of the dark fantasy stories I've been reading of late. A dark retelling of Hansel & Gretel, but mainly focuses on Gretel Nadya - her brother and father does not feature much in most of the story.

The prose is lovely, dark and creepy - worth a read. There is a plot twist,

the identity of the villain - not the witch in the woods who makes gingerbread children in her oven, but the supposedly harmless woodcutter

(show spoiler)

but unexpected mainly due to lack of foreshadowing rather than clever manipulation of the reader's perception. 

Come on. The woodcutter is a cardboard cutout of a character throughout the story until the revelation.

(show spoiler)

But it is, after all, a novelette of short length, and as such allowances has to be made.