Saturday, April 5, 2014

What I'm reading: The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

A detailed, engaging, weirdly-romantic, slow-moving historical fantasy. My library copy is labeled "Historical Fiction," but to me it's pure fantasy - character-centric, magic-centric, with enough historical detail to paint a picture of the times, without that detail overwhelming the story. At its core, this book is about "nature:" human nature, and the non-human nature of non-human beings. The non-human characters in this book ring somewhat truer than usual; their thinking is more authentically different.

I was drawn into the story slowly but completely. It was easy, at first, to read the book in short stretches - until I got near the end and had to devour the rest in one sitting. But the slow-burn style was a wonderful way to read it, to sink slowly into the story and to absorb the world. I was reminded of The Historian and Jonathan Strange - high praise indeed from me.