Mini Reviews: The Dollmaker of Krakow & The Hundredth Queen

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

34079578The Dollmaker of Krakow by R. M. Romero
Release date: September 26th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, middle grade
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past.

The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina’s courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter–that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him.

But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.

How do I express my feelings about this book? I’m left without words. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. A rare find that completely surprised me. I had requested it on NetGalley on a whim. I simply thought that the cover was gorgeous so why not give it a try? I fell in love with it by the end of the second chapter and full on cried during the last three. It’s one of those precious books that you just want to hold to your heart and never let go of. I can’t wait until I can pick up a physical copy so I can properly cradle it in my arms. It’s simply a must read for all ages!

The writing is lyrical and twisted my heart into a thousand knots. The story takes place in Krakow, Poland at the beginning of World War II. The real world setting is also mirrored by a similar vicious and cruel war in the magical Land of the Dolls. Throughout the story the author doesn’t try to shy away from the horrible events that historically took place. Instead, the reader is forced to face them head on. Let me just say that there will be a lot of soul searching. Even though there are plenty of examples of cruelty and violence, the main themes of the book is hope, love and friendship. All three are interwoven throughout the story and it’s what kept me going, even when I was sobbing and using up an entire box of tissues. Hope can never be dampened by the darkness, it always finds a way to shine through.

This book is one that you really need to read! It’s emotional, honest, heartbreaking and absolutely beautifully written. And the cover is a new favorite of mine. Just look at it! *sigh* It’s stunning! I can’t wait to see what the author will release next. ❤


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

30811001The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King
Release date: June 1st, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

Oh, where do I start with this one? I wanted to like it. I tried and tried to…it’s just that it felt like a battle to get through. Should I have DNFed it? Perhaps, but I hate doing it and have already put aside tons of books this year. I requested it because of the really pretty cover and the positive reviews but it just wasn’t for me. It’s so disappointing!

The book moved at a sluggish pace. Characters were introduced, things were happening, but I just didn’t feel anything. It was slow and dull and I was bored. Sometimes I had to push myself to finish chapters. That’s not the type of reading experience I enjoy. Ok, I’ve had to do it with some books from university. Mining history is really not my cup of tea but at least I was learning something! The characters were also lackluster. They read as flat, cardboard-like, and elicited no feeling from me. Also, what’s with so many books that pit female characters against each other? It’s almost like the author doesn’t think women can get along or support each other. I HATE IT!!!!

I can say right now that I will not be reading the sequel when it’s released later this year. I feel like I wasted my time struggling through this book. Of course, that’s my fault for deciding to finish it when I could have easily put it aside. I sound like a broken record but I cannot for the life of me understand why this book has so many positive 4 star reviews on Goodreads. It’s boring and dull and goes absolutely nowhere. If you’ve read it I would love to hear your thoughts!

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9 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: The Dollmaker of Krakow & The Hundredth Queen

  1. I didn’t like The Dollmaker of Krakow at all, and I’m afraid I’m going to be the only one. I thought the doll was pushy and an odd choice for a protagonist, and the parallels between the doll world and WWII seemed odd and choppy. Oh well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Ultimate Harry Potter Tag – Bridget & Books

  3. Whoa I am totally on board for The Dollmaker of Krakow! What an absolutely stunning cover. AND it sounds like the insides match the outside. You sold me with this line “It’s one of those precious books that you just want to hold to your heart and never let go of.” Yes please!

    Now when you say the author doesn’t shy away from horrific events…. how graphic are we talking? I’m just curious since it says it is middle grade…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not graphic but it doesn’t try to cover up the fact that the Nazis brutally occupied Poland, stripping away the rights of the Jews, forcing them into slave labour and live in ghettos. There are also scenes at Auschwitz. I have read other middle grade books that kind of skim over the topic.

      Liked by 1 person

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