Monday, September 29, 2014

Enchantress by Maggie Anton



Fantastic tales of demons and the Evil Eye, magical incantations, and powerful attractions abound in Enchantress, a novel that weaves together Talmudic lore, ancient Jewish magic, and a timeless love story set in fourth-century Babylonia.
 
One of the most powerful practitioner of these mysterious arts is Rav Hisda’s daughter, whose innate awareness allows her to possess the skills men lack. With her husband, Rava--whose arcane knowledge of the secret Torah enables him to create a “man” out of earth and to resurrect another rabbi from death--the two brave an evil sorceress, Ashmedai the Demon King, and even the Angel of Death in their quest to safeguard their people, even while putting their romance at risk. The author of the acclaimed Rashi’s Daughters series and the award-winning Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice has conjured literary magic in the land where “abracadabra” originated. Based on five years of research and populated with characters from the Talmud, Enchantress brings a pivotal era of Jewish and Christian history to life from the perspective of a courageous and passionate woman. 

Enchantress is a beautiful new novel about Jewish culture, its history, its practices, its superstitions. Hisdadukh has a gift for magic, helping love bloom or driving away demons. She is passionately in love with a man named Rava who is not a perfect choice for her. With flowing, lyrical prose, what unfolds is a passionately beautiful story, peppered with love and magic and a great deal of poignancy. The magical elements in the story do not detract from the realist feel of the story. With compelling characters, a fascinating storyline, and wonderfully researched historical elements about the beauty of an ancient religion, this is a most enjoyable read. The writing is a bit of a challenging read due to the many foreign words and terms, but it does not detract from the beauty of the tale. Definitely a lush read! Definitely recommended.