Radek Rak

Baśń o wężowym sercu / The Tale of the Serpent´s Heart



In his novel, the author delves into the mythology of ancient Galicia, where historical figures and events are steeped in legends. We follow the fate of young Jakub Szela, who becomes a rebel and the leader of a peasant revolt against the nobility in 1846. The book straddles the line between history and mythology – seemingly dead things come to life, with fairies and wise serpents intervening in the fates of men. At the same time, Szela’s story tells of social injustice, which is relevant in any era. Radek Rak has written a novel about the good and evil hiding in each of us, unequal opportunities, Galicia, and Poland – all that in vibrant and colourful language.

Published by Host, 2023


© Mikołaj Starzyński

Radek Rak (* 1987) is one of the representatives of new Polish fantasy fiction writers. He regularly contributes short stories to Nowa Fantastyka, a magazine. His debut was the novel I Love You, Lilith (Kocham cię, Lilith) (2014); then, in 2016, The Empty Sky (Puste niebo) was published,  a novel for which he was nominated for the Janusz A. Zajdel Award. However, it was not until his breakthrough-making book, The Tale of the Serpent´s Heart (2019), for which he received many genre and non-genre awards, including the most prestigious Nike Literary Award.


Michala Benešová