Zuzanna Orlińska – “Sobowtór” – Review and Rating | Historic portal Histmag.org

Zuzanna Orlińska – “Sobowtór” – review and rating

Susanna Orlinska

“Double. The Magician’s Apprentice – Volume Three”

evaluation: 9

zlotys 34.90.000 zlotys

publisher: litratura publishing house

Year of Publication: 2022

Coverage: Difficult

number of pages: 344

Infographics: Marcin Minor

ISBN: 978-83-8208-040-7

EAN number: 9788382080407

Fortunately, the third part of Hazem Marcin Zięba’s Adventures was released very quickly. The two previous books were published in 2021, so that impatient readers can learn about the further fate of the boy (who becomes a young man in front of them) who experiences his adventures at an interesting moment in the history of Poland and Europe. Let us add that Polish literature does not often serve us with stories set in the early years after the Third Partition and/or in the Napoleonic era. Perhaps the explanation is the complexity of the political relations of that time, which only a good author can properly use to create a painting showing the adventures of his heroes. It is a pity, because that era in the domestic publishing market is still not used. Fortunately, there are exceptions, one of which is the book reviewed, and the third part of the Zuzanna Orlinska trilogy.

The author is a recognized writer and illustrator, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Her books have won a number of awards and are very popular not only among young people but also among older audiences. Most importantly, she can write with enthusiasm, and her writing shows a true passion and love for the history of our capital.

When recommending the first volume of The Sorcerer’s Student, my fellow editor, Pyotr Pegrovsky, wrote that this is how young novels should be written. After reading the three parts, I can’t help but applaud this opinion.
It is a book written in a modern way, addictive and colorful. It may seem that if we want to encourage a younger audience to read, we should rely on the classics. And yes, great and timeless works undoubtedly do not lose their value. Next to them, however, we can confidently put more than one book published by Literatura.

The next edition of the “Sorcerer’s Disciple” is not only a colorful story set in the time of the Duchy of Warsaw, but also an excellent picture of the capital and its extraordinary inhabitants. Orlinska Warsaw is not a boring rural city, but a place where people of different cultures and nationalities meet. It is a place where scientists can develop their original ideas, and spies of foreign intelligence services will try to get important information. “Weakness” to a greater extent than previous volumes shows another type of hero – outstanding military leaders, whom fate threw to Warsaw. And Marcin Zeuba will come across them many times.

Young readers will be absorbed by the fast-paced action and intriguingly drawn heroes, and those familiar with the history of the era will appreciate the impressive source base. It can be seen that the author made a powerful query, and even recognized the individual character types and presented them correctly. Thus, all events and situations are probable, or at least do not contradict what we know from preserved documents, memories and scientific studies.

I do not want to reveal the plot, also to those who, after reading this review, decided to return to the previous volumes. Here we will also meet well-known characters from “The Mouse King” and “Air Sailor”.

The hardcover and interesting posters showing the Warsaw Plan from 1807 and soldiers’ profiles are an undoubted advantage. The downside is the lack of illustrations within the book, because Wydawnictwo Literatura is so accustomed to top-notch graphic design. The revised novel is devoid of even the black and white inscriptions.

Perhaps the most important advantages of not only the “double”, but also the previous parts of the “Sorcerer’s Disciple” is to treat the reader seriously. The author not only tries to update some elements of contemporary reality, but also deliberately remembers them (more difficult terms are explained in the margins). In this way, the Orlińska trilogy becomes an excellent guide to Warsaw at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but also an interesting historical lesson, in which the successfully illustrated plot is a tool for talking about the past.

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