Graphic Novel Review – Demon in the Wood

I received Demon in the Wood for Christmas and decided it would be a nice short read before I jumped into the next Wheel of Time book. This story is set in Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse that is the setting for her Shadow and Bone series that I reviewed here: (book 1, book 2, book 3). The graphic novel is illustrated by Dani Pendergast.

Haven’t read any of the Grishaverse yet? Looks like you can pick up the first 5 chapters of Shadow and Bone for free on Kindle here.

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Here is the blurb:

Before he led Ravka’s Second Army, before he created the Fold, and long before he became the Darkling, he was just a lonely boy burdened by an extraordinary power.

Eryk and his mother, Lena, have spent their lives on the run. But they will never find a safe haven. They are not only Grisha—they are the deadliest and rarest of their kind. Feared by those who wish to destroy them and hunted by those who would exploit their gifts, they must hide their true abilities wherever they go. But sometimes deadly secrets have a way of revealing themselves…


This is a prequel and origin story for the Darkling – the antagonist in the Shadow and Bone series – so I don’t think it would be a good place for someone new to this world to jump in. The grisha (magic-users) feature in this tale and very little explanation of their powers are given.

Going by the name of Eryk during this story, we find him traveling with his mother as they arrive at a grisha village. Their unique power and its secrets has forced them into a nomadic existence which has never allowed Eryk to have more than brief friendships. He tries to fit in with the other grisha teenagers while a village of non-grisha exists nearby.

I didn’t expect the turn that this tale took, and it showed how harsh the life of the grisha must be. Eryk garners sympathy, but I was also able to loosely see how the trauma he went through in this story led to later events in his life.

The art throughout this graphic novel created a beautiful depiction of Leigh Bardugo’s world. I liked how there was relatively more artwork than words, and the illustrations clearly displayed the story.

My only negative comment about this book was that it was too short, really no more than a short story. I would have liked to see what happened after the events in this book. While I can see how this affected the Darkling to some extent, surely there’s more that happened to lead him down his isolated path.

Are you a fan of the Grishaverse? Which book is your favorite? Did you watch the television adaptation? Let me know in the comments (above).

Find more of my reviews here.

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