May
06

A Sneak Book Review – The Golum and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

The Golum and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

A fairy tale with historical fantasy mixed in.

The Golum and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I decided this time around to tell everyone about a book I may not yet have read (never enough time!) but that sound really fascinating to me. This one drew me to it because it had just enough fantasy elements in it to make it interesting, and enough of a historic background in it to make me curious.

The Golum and the Jinni is set in the late 1899 in New York City. It is a fascinating time to write a story around because so much was happening there at that time. The world was going through a lot of changes and New York was at the center of it all. Much of that change was in the form of migrations of people, and that is what this story centers on.

The Great European Migration

This was a time when many people, including many from Eastern Europe, were coming to America to find opportunities. In this story a rabbi in Poland has disgraced himself and his people by doing the most forbidden of rituals. He has created a Golem. If you don’t know about them; Golems are everywhere in Jewish folklore. They are a creature made of clay that is then animated but without its own direction. They are creatures of magic and very much forbidden. But the rabbi who created this particular golem has died en route to New York. So the golem arrives, masterless and without direction.

At the same time, as old copper flask that contains a jinn has been unstoppered releasing the magic imp from the flask. A jinn, for those who need to know, is an Arabian magical being much like a genie, but made of fire. The flask is also in New York, not that surprising considering how many old treasures found their way to the city at that time as wealth was building. So this jinn is released by accident and must also find its way through a bustling 1899 New York City and far from its desert home.

A Friendship Discovered

Somehow the two find each other in the midst of the confusion of the city, this Jewish creature of mud and clay and this Arab creature of fire. You would not think they would connect, but they do and in fact become soul mates. Every report on this story describes it as magical. It is long, almost 500 pages of story, and I think you would need to love historical fiction as much as fantasy to get everything from it. But the story that Helene Wecker weaves is said to be spell-binding.

A Find for History and Fantasy Lovers

I don’t generally recommend stories I haven’t at least read some of, but this just sounds too wonderful to pass up a chance to tell our readers about. If like me you love old fashion fairy tales, historical fiction and just great romantic fantasy stories, I think you will love this one. It is often being compared to The Night Circus, which I read and loved.

By the time this sneak peek at it hits our site it will have just come out, so grab it now. I just know you will be simply delighted with it. It will be coming out in all three versions: hardcover with truly delightful cover art that will make this a welcome addition to your bookshelves, a paperback for those of us on a budget (and it is large print as well, so easy to read!) and the Kindle version for instant gratification.

Categories : Historical Fantasy   

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