The Fifth Doll

The bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village that only a courageous woman can save.

Matrona lives in an isolated village, where her life is centered on pleasing her parents. She’s diligent in her chores and has agreed to marry a man of their choosing. But a visit to Slava, the local tradesman, threatens to upend her entire life.

Entering his empty house, Matrona discovers a strange collection of painted nesting dolls—one for every villager. Fascinated, she can’t resist the urge to open the doll with her father’s face. But when her father begins acting strangely, she realizes Slava’s dolls are much more than they seem.

When he learns what she’s done, Slava seizes the opportunity to give Matrona stewardship over the dolls—whether she wants it or not. Forced to open one of her own dolls every three days, she falls deeper into the grim power of Slava’s creations. But nothing can prepare her for the profound secret hiding inside the fifth doll.


My Review

This is the first book I have read from this author. Yet, I enjoyed this book enough that I do want to check out other books from this author as well. In the beginning, I was intrigued by this story but also, it did take me a while to really connect with the story and stay focused. However, once I did, I could not stop reading. Thus the second half of the story is better.

Matrona is a good main character. As I got to know all of the villagers, she really was the right person to battle Slava. No one else would have been as strong as she. The mystery surrounding Slava and his dolls is what kept me reading. For example: Why does Slava have Matrona return to open another layer of her doll only every three days? What secrets does the fifth doll bring? Can Matrona break Slava's hold on her and the villagers?

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