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The Fifth Doll by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Fifth Doll

by Charlie N. Holmberg

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636283,004 (3.75)2



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Was not thrilled, for Charlie this book dragged and really was predictable - I am kinda sad on this ( )
  MrNattania | Jul 29, 2018 |
“This, you must do. You cannot understand me and my creations without finding your center, Matrona.” The chill in her chest abated somewhat. “My center?” He [Slava] held the doll out to her, and Matrona stared into the glazed face of her miniature. “You must open your doll.” The Fifth Doll is the second book by Charlie N. Holmberg I have read. The first was Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet, which I read last summer and rather enjoyed. In Holmberg’s The Fifth Doll, Slava, the local tradesman, has a secret collection of nesting dolls that bear an uncanny resemblance to the townsfolk. When Matrona accidentally stumbles upon this secret, he forces her to be his apprentice to learn the secret of the dolls. As his apprentice, she must open one of her own dolls every three days. But nothing has prepared her for the revelation of opening the fifth doll. The premise behind this book was interesting. I like the fact that the main character, Matrona, was a woman of twenty-six years old rather than a girl. It gave her character more depth, perspective, and knowledge that comes from age. I thought her character was well-developed, and I liked watching her progress from someone aiming to please her parents to an independent woman on a mission to save her village. The reveal of the implication of the fifth doll was surprising, and it was a twist I did not see coming. As an outsider, I did not necessarily agree with Matrona’s decisions 100% once she learned what she needed to from the dolls, but she did what she had to do and what she thought best, and I can respect that. Holmberg’s writing is descriptive and easily acceptable. It is seemingly simple on the surface, but much like a nesting doll, is more complex than initially appears. I really enjoy her style of writing, and so far have enjoyed both this and Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet thoroughly. I look forward to reading her next work! Thank you to NetGalley and 47North for an advanced copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review. You can check out this review on my blog, Allison's Adventures into Wonderlands! https://allisonsadventuresintowonderlands.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/charlie-n-hol... ( )
  Allison_Krajewski | May 10, 2018 |
I loved the premise of this book - that Matrona and her whole village were isolated not by geography but by magic - taken out of the real world. What are the trade-offs for safety? What is freedom of choice worth? I liked too the challenges Matrona faced - condemned by your people, condemned by yourself, to see who you were, to see who you could become. How would people react if they knew all the things you thought and the secrets you kept? How damaging are those negative thought you have about yourself? Interesting ideas explored in this book. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Mar 22, 2018 |
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? ( )
  Cherylk | Sep 5, 2017 |
This is not the type of book I typically read, but I was intrigued by such an original premise. The idea of matryoshka dolls that contained secrets of everyone in a village proved to be a story as great as I had hoped. I read the book in two sittings. I look forward to reading more by this author as this was a truly magical escape into another world. ( )
  poetreegirl | Aug 25, 2017 |
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To March--may you always seek truth and never doubt that God loves you (and so does your mom).
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The chest was one of the finer things Matrona's mother owned.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village. 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.… (more)

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