top of page

The Land of Stone Flowers aka The Nenuphar Book


Full English translation available

The Land of Stone Flowers aka The Nenuphar Book is a book about people written by fairies, dwarfs, elves and other fairy-tale creatures. It was found in a water lily under mysterious circumstances (hence the name). The whole book is a collection of evidence by fairy creatures proving that people exist. Bursting with intricate and evocative illustrations, The Nenuphar Book creates a world of fantasy and fable that slyly reveals many hidden truths about human existence.

It’s a book about people and human world, as seen through the eyes of fairy-tale creatures. They don’t generally believe in people, but some have traveled to our world in various mysterious ways. Such travelers collected evidence and observations about people in this book. It’s an assortment of drawings, letters, stories, diaries and other stuff about people, written and drawn by fairies, elves, dwarfs and other fairy personalities. These observations may be perplexing, funny and sometimes absurd, but they all present a surprised look at the things that we, people, take for granted.

Each chapter is written by a different creature – elf, fairy, dwarf, ogre, giant, witch, etc. It comprises such topics as human anatomy, types and origin of people, magic human things and dwellings, language, beliefs, rituals, work, music, dance, and many more. Some observations are odd, some awfully inaccurate, some – plain funny, but they all weave together into a tongue-in-the-cheek playful picture of a world so incredibly odd to an outsider, that it’s no wonder fairy creatures can’t believe in it!

This is a series of book illustrations that presents an attempt of fairy-tale creatures (who don’t believe in people) to understand what a man is, based on testimonials of people themselves (quotes by famous people on the nature of man). The resulting impression is rather perplexing.

With her imaginative illustrations, Sveta is overlapping philosophy and literature, creating her own fictional narrative in the form of fairy tale, whilst actually defining many truths about human nature.

After reading Nenuphar Book, you’ll come away with a new appreciation for the magical world, for your own world, and for your place in it. And you’ll learn to laugh a bit more at yourself and those around you. You may even start believing in magic. Magic that is invented in our minds and made real by our words and our pens. Magic that adds life to the human experience. Magic that touches even people like me who are strongly rooted in logic and objective truth... In the end, all I can say is, “Wow! This book is a masterpiece.” 

– GeekDad/GeekMom

Ukraine-born artist Sveta Dorosheva has been dedicated to creating some of the most beautiful book illustrations I have ever laid eyes on. <…> The Nenuphar Book, one of Dorosheva’s many graphic jewels, is a book about a world in reverse, where humans are Todorov’s so-called paper beings, while fairytale creatures shiver under their blankets in fear of our mysterious ways. Starting as a completely different project, that is a catalogue of fairies, it came to be an entire chronicle on humans as seen by fairy-tale creatures. The book looks inquisitively at the abstract mechanisms of love and hate and money, our daily habits and their rationale, if any, and our origins. The lacunae are of course filled with fantasy – since seen from afar, humans seem powerful beyond measure and their lives unknowable.

– Andreea Saioc, The Global Panorama

Sveta Dorosheva‘s fantastical art could be compared to a brilliant dream collaboration among noted artists, for whom the goal is a visionary book of enchanted tales. Imagine an artistic hybrid comprised of the intricately-lined illustrations of Harry Clarke or Aubrey Beardsley, the luxurious art deco magnificence of Romain de Tirtoff (Erté) fashion plates, and the beautiful-on-the-verge-of-grotesque visages drawn by the enigmatic Alastair. But! In this imaginary scenario, the artists realize there is something... some je ne sais quois... missing from their efforts. They entice illustrator Sveta Dorosheva to join their endeavors: she flits in, and with a mischievous smile and a gleam of amusement in her eye, announces “yes, yes, this is all very beautiful... but let’s make it FUN!”

– Coilhouse

Her illustrations take me back to childhood being in love with fairytales and knowing there was infinite possibility for imagination in the world ahead.

– Cupcake Punk

Book details


Graphic novel, 2015

216 pp

Rights sold

  • Translation rights sold:

  • World English Chronicle Books

  • Romanian Baroque Books

  • Japanese Maar-sha Publishing

  • Simplified Chinese Beijing United Creation

  • Arabic Egyptian Office For Publishing & Dit.

  • Albanian Fan NoliSerbian DeretaComplex Chinese (Taiwan) Azoth BooksCzech Omega

Literary awards

bottom of page