The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero – Book Review

The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero – Book Review

The Dollmaker of Krakow by R M Romero

The Dollmaker of Krakow

Author – R.M. Romero
Publisher – Walker Books
Pages – 338
Released – 5th October 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1406375633
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover
Reviewer – Nia
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
Post contains affiliate links.


A timeless fantasy set in the Second World War that weaves together magic, folklore and history, perfect for fans of The Book Thief, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Goodnight Mister Tom.

One night a little doll named Karolina comes to life in a toyshop in Krakow, Poland, in 1939 and changes the life of the gruff, broken-hearted Dollmaker. And when the darkness of the Nazi occupation sweeps over the city, Karolina and the Dollmaker must bravely use their magic to save their Jewish friends from a terrible danger, no matter what the risks.

This powerful story is about finding friendship in the darkest of places and the importance of love in times of great pain.

New one review witch 2017

This book is a strong contender for my favourite book of 2018, it’s going to take a lot to beat my enjoyment of this book!

If you do buy yourself a copy of this book (which you should), you should absolutely buy the hardback edition. Not only is the cover beautiful, the pages smell divine (if you’re into that kind of thing) and there are illustrated embellishments to the pages that you just don’t see these days that makes the book feel extra special.

The story itself comprises of two parts in alternating chapters; a war in the Land of Dolls where rats have come from across the sea to eat all the gingerbread houses and sugar flowers, and the development of WW2 in Krakow, Poland.

When Karolina, a doll, is brought to life by a WW1 veteran dollmaker in Krakow, they form an unbreakable bond and she sees familiar atrocities take place as the Germans invade the city. HOWEVER. This book reads like a fairy tale, a magical talking doll and her human friend see the magic in the world, the pain of loneliness and the importance of being kind. The writing is so beautiful, you read the human aspect of the war through the eyes of a doll with all the compassion you’d expect from a doll designed to comfort children.

The Dollmaker himself gains so much from having her around, pushing him to make connections with the people around him. Karolina is brave, intelligent and strong willed when it comes to protecting those around her.

I usually avoid books about the world wars because they make me bawl my eyes out, and this was no exception. Everything about it is bittersweet but the overriding message is one of loyalty, kindness, and magic in the worst of times. Reading The Dollmaker of Krakow was a great experience and one to be highly recommended!

Reviewed by Nia

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About the Author

R.M. Romero

R. M. Romero is a Jewish Cuban-American author. Although she travels frequently, she currently lives in Miami Beach with her witchy black cat. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program.

When she is not writing, R. M. Romero occupies her time reading fairy tales, taking care of a feral cat colony, and studying Polish.

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9 Responses

  1. Trema Minning says:

    Hi. I found the link to this review over at Goodreads(awesome site isn’t it?)<3
    I love this review. I'm a huge sucker for anything WWII and this seems to be a complete 180 to the tragedies surrounding war.

  2. DJ Sakata says:

    I fear this would wreck me 😉

  3. Imarah says:

    This was a great review to read, well done. Can I just say your Goodreads reading challenge is actually goals! 😀

  4. Love Reading says:

    What an awesome review. This sounds like such a great book!

  5. Nikki says:

    5 stars and a pretty cover how can I resist. You actually grabbed my attention at fans of Boy in the Striped PJs – I have yet to read it, but own it and love John Boyne! I am intrigued.

  6. Abominable BookGirl says:

    Omg this cover is gorgeous and it’s like a female Golem!!! I actually want this one!!

  7. Tasha says:

    It sounds like a well earned 5 stars. Brilliant review. I love the cover.

  8. I love WW2 historical fiction! I’ve never read any set in Poland though, definitely adding this to my TBR list! Great review!

  9. Megan @ Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest says:

    That is a very intriguing cover. I am just starting to branch into historical fiction so I might have to pick this one up. Great job on your review 🙂