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The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker

The sequel, The Hidden Palace, is available now.

Title: The Golem and the Jinni

Author: Helene Wecker

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Plot: A golem, a clay creature, named Chava is created by a rabbi as a companion for a man traveling to New York City. The man dies on the journey and Chava is left without a master. A local NYC rabbi takes her in. Chava wanders NYC and finds a job in a bakery. Ahmad is a jinni, a spirit made of fire and air, trapped in a copper flask and released, though still connected to the flask, by a local metal worker. Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends. Both learn how to live among humans. Both learn they are connected, and hunted. Who is hunting them? Why? Will they survive? How are they connected?

Rating: 4.0 – Good story, fantasy based on Jewish and Arabic myths and set in 1899 NYC with a bit of magic thrown in. Good views of a life of immigrants and wealthy.

Rating: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a great combination of fantasy and historical fiction. I also enjoyed the facts that the fantasy is based on mythology, and not European mythology either. Though the plot is a little slow, it gives a little more depth into the lives of different classes and peoples in NYC at the turn of the 20th century. The book has some great plot twists, too. And there were great changes in character importance, too. I thought this was a great book. It has a great blend of historical fiction and mythology based fantasy. Helene Wecker did a great job in her debut book.

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