I’ll be the first to admit that I was not a fan of the Grisha trilogy. Looking through my reviews you can see that there was more negative than positive to me. However, I enjoyed Bardugo’s writing style immensely, and I recognize that she is a talented writer. So I decided to take a look at the short stories she put out in between books, also know as the Folktales from Ravka. All in all I found these stories engaging and original. To me they were much more enjoyable than their parent series, exploring more of the world and history that Ravka was denied in favor of the main storyline. Here I’ll look at each individually, giving my (admittedly brief) feedback on all three!
The Witch of Durva: 4/5
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 was a very aesthetically pleasing story. Bardugo has a steady handle on how to build a setting and allow it to take shape around a story. I’ll admit that I did not see the twist in this story coming, which was pleasantly surprising. It’s a wonderful, twisted tale with witches and stepmother troupes that get destroyed by the end.
The Too-Clever Fox: 5/5
In Ravka, just because you avoid one trap, it doesn’t mean you’ll escape the next.
This was my favorite one out of the set. Koja was endearing and adorable, so I followed his story with interest. I did see this one’s twist coming, but it was still enjoyable. The description was wonderful, and the concept was top notch. Come on. Evil sister cloaked in animal furs? What’s not to love? Basically this was a superior story to the entirety of the Grisha trilogy to me.
Little Knife: 4/5
In this third Ravkan folk tale from Leigh Bardugo, a beautiful girl finds that what her father wants for her and what she wants for herself are two different things.
Probably my least favorite story out of all the folktales, this story was equally as well written and original. Being my least favorite does not mean I enjoyed this story any less (I totally did not see the twist coming), but I enjoyed the concepts and characters behind the other two more so.
I’m intrigued by Bardugo’s aptitude for folktales and short stories. All three showcase her ability as a writer and storyteller, something that I felt the Grisha trilogy was missing entirely. Her affinity towards fantasy makes me hopeful that there will be more explorations of Ravka in the future, allowing for this interesting land she has set up will be given the justice it deserves outside of Alina and Mal’s ridiculousness.