Finally, in one set
The stories collected in Ropuszki have so far been scattered in various places – Aneta Jadowska’s website ( you can still find a few there ), the first edition of the collection (Fabryka Słów 2015), and Copernicon publications. I suspect that you know a lot of them from those versions, especially if you are fans of the author. As such, I probably do not have to convince you to buy, because the members of Satan’s Book Club try to support writers and publishers. Meanwhile, I invite those who doubt and curious to a little sightseeing!
As in the collection Cud, honey, Malina , the stories are preceded by short introductions. Jadowska writes about her inspirations, the history of ideas and publications, as well as Toruń and the convention that takes place there. These are usually short remarks that are great at setting the mood, helping to place a given story on the timeline of cycles about Dora and Witkacy. As for the latter, you will find the first short story (and the title one) in which he appeared as the narrator. On the occasion of the next one, you will learn how Jadowska started writing her shamanic books.
Toads have been really elegantly published, in hardcover – just like the other two short stories from Thorn and Green Jar. It’s a thick book, made so neatly that it won’t start falling apart even if you keep leafing and photographing. Thanks to the illustrations by Magdalena Babińska, it is perfect for a bookstagram. This time the illustrator created the title pages of the stories and showed some of their content. If I had to stick to something, then … the hard cover and the enlarged format do not match the Hexalogy at allthere will be a little chaos on your shelf, reflecting the character of Thornverse so well. On a more serious note, the fact that all three collections are published similarly to, but differently from, the rest of the series may be misleading to those unfamiliar with Dora Wilk. And these will not have as much joy with Toads as those who know the subject.
What was happening in and around Thorn?
The stories that make up Ropuszki fill the plot gaps between the volumes of The Hexalogy on the Witch and the Shamanic Cycle , sometimes showing events only mentioned in one of the volumes, taking place in the background. In a kind of original Wild West Fantasy fanfic, you will also find a completely alternative view of Dora (and Miron). The whole thing has been arranged chronologically, so you will remember the different stages of the life and relationships of the characters. You will definitely not get lost, the introductions and the occasional “off-screen commentary” will allow you to easily see where you are. The timeline right after the table of contents is also very helpful.
As for the books, I’m a huge fan of the first half of Hexalogy , but it turned out that when it comes to the stories, I prefer the later ones. The development of the style of Jadowska and of the entire Thornverse world is not without significance here. My favorite stories? I am from Pomerania, so the storm in a glass of grog won my heart . There is even a selkie motif of a woman changing into a seal, also present in older Kashubian folklore. And the Baltic wind that all northern witches love. I was also impressed There is no smoke without fire . It is Jadowska touching and heroic, and at the same time a link between the cycle on Dora and Chicken and Salamandra. If you are not worried (to paraphrase Nell) that your eyes will sweat, be sure to read My great wolf wedding. At the end of the collection you will find stories in which Witkacy takes over, and the shortest forms of Jadowska, originally published in the Copernicon guide. These are very witty looks at the interpenetration of the world of Thorn and our everyday life.
SQN pampers Polish fantasy readers with new, really nicely published versions of Jadowska’s books and other items from the SQN Originals series. He makes perfect sets for book-alcoholics, adding books, mugs and sometimes other gadgets to the offer. I hope that we will have more and more premieres in the style of Ropuszek , i.e. good texts, great illustrations and trinkets accompanying the book for faithful readers.