The Fifth Doll by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Charlie Holmberg is a relatively new author. I've read her Paper Magician trilogy, and it was highly original and was quite entertaining. The magic systems that she comes up with are Sanderson-esque.
The Fifth Doll is no exception. It's got a really creative and almost scary twist on magic and Russian nesting dolls.
You can read the blurb for what it's about, but basically, the main character stumbles upon a secret that a fellow townsperson is keeping, and is forced to start messing with the magic of some Russian nesting dolls. Over time, more and more is revealed, and Holmberg has done a great job of peeling back the layers of humanity, one doll at a time, to reveal that fifth doll inside.
Overall, a unique and hard to put down take on Russian folklore, magic, and seeing past the outside shells of the people around us. I'd definitely recommend this to people who like interesting magic and folklore and slow-reveal stories.
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