The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero
Star rating: ★★★★ ☆ 4/5 stars
Format: library eaudiobook
Summary: Karolina escapes the land of the dolls when rats invade her home, she finds her way to the human world. There she finds that she can walk and talk, much to the surprise of the Dollmaker who made her body.
Review: I don’t know what I was fully expecting from the book, I kinda just saw talking doll and was sold. Don’t think I remember reading far enough into a summary to know it had anything to do with WWII. I usually shy away from those just because in middle school I went through this whole WWII novel phase where I was pretty much only reading those (plus I think anything Anne Boleyn? It was a weird time guys, body glitter was everywhere) so I got burnt out on them. But I’m glad that this book got through that ban because I really enjoyed it.
I loved the character Karolina, she was cute but practical as well. She was a very likable character and I was immediately invested in her and what happens to her. Her relationship with the Dollmaker was very sweet and lovely. I loved their friendship and how she got him to open up to more people.
The land of the dolls was fascinating, I liked that her backstory from there broke up the main story. It was interesting to see how her experiences there were being paralleled with the Nazi occupation of Poland.
This book is sad, it ends on a lot of sad notes but still some hopeful ones as well. I didn’t find it too overwhelmingly sad, I think Romero was able to balance the reality of the situation but still keep the story from feeling soul crushingly depressive. I thought a lot of the book is really well done, the fantasy doesn’t get too wild and overwhelm the historical fiction.
The pacing felt a little weird to me in the beginning of the book, it felt slow but also like Romero was trying to rush through it as well. I think if it hadn’t been for that this book would be a five star from me.
Recommendation: There seems to be a never ending supply of WWII related books, both fiction and nonfiction. I think this one really stands out from the norm, it brings the element of fantasy to the historical events. I think if you’re not usually into WWII stories this one might be worth a try anyways.