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Enchantress

(Rav Hisda's Daughter #2)

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  366 ratings  ·  80 reviews
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 practitioners of these mysterious arts is Rav Hisda’s daughter, whose innate awareness allows her to posse
...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Plume
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Maggie Anton
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Personally, I think this is the best novel I've written. My editor at Penguin did a fantastic job of tightening the story, removing unnecessary exposition, and distributing the backstory from Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery into many scenes instead of a few big information dumps.

Imagine fourth-century Babylonia – land of jinni and flying carpets, where the very word “magic” originated. But this is also where the Talmud was created, and indeed, slipped in among its countless
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Melinda
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Completely captivated by the story I did find the numerous Jewish references a challenge. Continually consulting the glossaries and notes a must in order to comprehend the meanings was at best a distraction. My extensive lack of knowledge was my failing, the narrative was enjoyed along with eloquent prose. The heavy laden eye for detail was cumbersome at times, nonetheless appreciated.

I commend Anton on her painstaking research, a fascinating subject matter creating great interest. With the ext
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Dana

While not a fan initially, this book grew on me. I thought that the subject matter was fascinating albeit hard to believe it was based on real life. The author has obviously researched the Jewish faith extensively.

I enjoyed the main character although found her strict way of life hard to relate to, but still I could appreciate it. I did have a little trouble with all of the Jewish terms, with which I was not familiar with but the glossary at the end of the novel helps with this.

Overall I would
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Stephanie
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was a difficult novel for me to finish. It shouldn't take me over 2 weeks to finish a novel. I received an ARC through First to Read from Penguin group.

I will start on a positive note and say it was interesting to learn about Talmudic lore and the history of Babylonia. The story is incredibly well researched.

However, I found at times the story would get weighted down with too many discussions or debats on Jeweish laws and customs, especially when the topic was not relevant to the central
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Ionia
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Initially I was afraid that taking this book under my review wing would be a little scary. The amount of knowledge I had prior to reading this novel when it came to Jewish history could have been held in a shot glass. Even so, through Maggie Anton's magical abilities as a storyteller, I found myself immediately immersed in a world of long ago with characters so rich and vibrant that they dance off the pages.

The way this author interweaves her story with historical threads and uses such beautifu
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Nomi Eve
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's too easy to say that Enchantress casts its own spell, but such a comparison is impossible to resist. Hisdadukh, Anton's main character, may live in the early 4th century, but once you are immersed in Enchantress, she becomes as familiar as a dear friend and as fascinating as any of the great heroines of biblical history whose names are more familiar. An absolutely rewarding read!
Crystal
Aug 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Goodreads' First Reads program.)

I found this book to be a bit difficult to read. All in all, I enjoyed reading about parts of jewish culture that I didn't know before, however I found myself struggling to understand it all. The character development was stellar, and the story telling entertaining. Would I read this again? Probably not. Not due to any fault of the novel, it just isn't my typical read.
Lizzy
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was really interesting to read about ancient Hebrew and Babylonian sorcery, especially with how superstitious they were and to learn about the demon world. I will say, the sex scenes are really annoying and completely unnecessary. If you can ignore the overdone romance, the knowledge in here is worth it.
Joy Ramlogan
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Enchantress was a well researched novel with a message on the role of men and women in the Jewish community in ancient Babylon (Babylon in the centuries after Christ). The divisions between the Rabbis and those who follow the Rabbis' laws and those who want to follow the Torah only are touched on. The central story is of Hisdadukh a healer who becomes chief soceress and her husband Rava who is powerful in priestly magic is filled with expositions of Jewish law and courts and interpretations of t ...more
Shomeret
I received this book from Net Galley and participated in a blog tour to promote this book. This is the briefer Goodreads version of my review.

Maggie Anton's second book about the Jewish scholar and magical practitioner who she calls Hisdadukh, is far more fantasy oriented than the first volume. Demons appear and a mysterious magical artifact surfaces as Hisdadukh ascends through the hierarchy of sorceresses in the Jewish communities of ancient Persia. We learn that a number of eminent women wer
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Rachel
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Maggie Anton has done it again. She's written a book that is engaging, both from an intellectual and emotional point of view. I've read most of the books she has written and the reviews are on my Goodreads page. Anton has woven a rich world, once again during a time period I don't have a lot of familiarity with. She also struck a great balance of magic and life. Granted, reading a novel like "Enchantress" you expect magic but it was never so crazy that it broke my suspension of disbelief.

I love
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Betty
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbi-book-club, jewish
My first real exposure to Jews and ancient magic was in Maggie Anton's first book in the "Rashi's Daughters" trilogy. After reading it I discussed the topic with my rabbi who said superstitions were a big part of the Jews at one time. Then on one of my trips to Israel I saw that the Biblelands Museum was having an exhibit on Angels & Demons. Much of what I saw there had been mentioned in "Rashi's Daughters".

I enjoyed the book tremendously but am a bit torn. It seemed that the second book of "Ra
...more
 wade
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
The story of a Jewish lady during the days of the Roman Empire. She is widowed at the start of the novel and the book is epic in scope following her through marriage, family and old age. Along the way she becomes known as an Enchantress with great skills helping people with her mystical skills in their daily lives but also fighting demons that plague people in those days. As a non Jewish reader it would really would have been helpful if the author would have furnished some more detail about som ...more
Toby Schonfeld
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this very much. Just as good as the first one. Guess I'll have to try Rashi's daughters next!
Dora Carson
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This book continues the story began in Rav Hisda’s Daughter. I loved Rav Hisda’s daughter because it brought to life a time and a place I knew very little about. I loved all the details of daily life in ancient Persia and the discussions of Jewish law.
Enchantress is about the same characters and takes place in the same world, but the focus is on the details of beliefs and customs about sorcery, demons, and magic. While it is once gain based on historical documents, it just wasn’t that interestin
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Cindy
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One thing that Maggie Anton's books share is that I can't put them down!
Her knowledge and imagination are the ingredients to these most compelling books featuring amazing women in the context of Jewish history.

Thank you, Ms. Anton.
Sarah Bollt
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: have, recommended
Not as well-written as the first book; much choppier.
Judie
Apr 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Enchantress left me confused most of the time - I'm not into mtsticism and the proof reading errors put me off.
mad mags
(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Goodreads' First Reads program.)

DNF (did not finish) at 18% / 66 pages.

I took a chance on Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter in a Goodreads giveaway; unfortunately, it's just not for me. While Anton does a commendable job of explaining ancient Jewish beliefs, customs, and phrases for the reader, I often found myself lost and confused. I also didn't realize that this is the second book in Anton's Rav Hisda's Daught
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Susan
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was always taught in hebrew, and Sunday school in traditional Jewish tradition, Jews don't rely on magic, we rely on prayers to help us. Apparently, it is not so, according to Maggie Anton's research. I realize this is historical fiction. But, it appears we have been told wrong. It started when I started reading, Alice Hoffman's, Dove Keeper. When I learned there was magic, then. I talked to our local rabbi, and she told me yes, Jews did magic spells, and believed in spirits. I had a hard time ...more
Stephanie Ward
'Enchantress' is the beautifully told second book in the Rashi's Daughters Trilogy. The book tells the story of Hisdadukh - Rav Hisda's daughter - and her husband, Rava, along with their experiences with magic, the occult, and encounters with supernatural beings. Hisdadukh is a fascinating main character for the book and I immediately connected with her. The book is told from her point of view, so we get to see more of her character than with other points of view. The reader is able to get a mor ...more
Rachel
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book in an ARC giveaway. I also did not realize this was second in a series, and that may have impacted my perception of this book.

This book was extremely dry, and I never once felt the passion or romance that was probably meant to accompany Rava and Hisdadukh's story. I don't think I can explain it well, but the writing never felt organic; it just sort of jumped from plot point to plot point, many of which were resolved on the same page. Hisdadukh spen
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Lauralee
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enchantress tells the story of Hisdadukh, the daughter of Rav Hisda, who is frequently mentioned in The Talmud. Hisdadukh is a pupil under an enchantress called Em. Under her teaching, Hisdadukh is responsible for ridding out the demons who have taunted the people in her town. While she faces the demons and an evil sorceress she forms a budding relationship with a Jewish scholar, Rava. Based off of the characters in Talmud, this book shows us the Jewish history and culture.

I have never read The
...more
Lis Carey
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hisdadukh, daughter of respected rabbi Rav Hisda in late third century Babylonia, is learned, beautiful, passionate, and an aspiring sorceress of great talent. A young widow who has had to give her son over to his father's family to raise, she leaves her home in Sura to apprentice with Em the Healer in Pumbedita. In Em's house, she is living under the same roof with another rabbi, Rava, a firend and rival of her late husband, and a man with whom she shares both deep attraction, and shared confli ...more
Aubrey
Prior to reading Enchantress all I knew- or at least all I thought I knew- about Jewish folk came from TV and the movies so this book delivered quite a (pleasant) shock. The characters within these pages are not the black-clad kvetching yentas of Hollywood. They're more like wildly colorful intellectuals. The parts I enjoyed the most were the interesting philosophical debates about Jewish law and Hisdadukh's poetic incantations. I don't know whether those came from the author's creative genius o ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. "Enchantress" is the story of Hisdadukh, a young woman with powers that verge on the magical. It is the 4th century and Hisdadukh's world is filled with magic and mystery. This is the second book in the Rav Hisda's Daughter series but is very much a standalone book (I actually have not had a chance to read the first book in the series myself). Once this book hits its stride, it is a fascinating look at Jewish and Talmudic lore with memorable characters and a greatly detailed setting.

I
...more
Megan
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
It may well have been an assumption on my part, but I thought the Rav Hisda’s daughter series would be a trilogy just like Rashi’s Daughters. I figured the third book would tell about her time as head charasheta (sorceress or enchantress), but as I neared the end of this book it became clear no third book would be forthcoming.

I loved the book, but I am disappointed about the lack of a third book and more extensive details about her time as head charasheta. Her battle with Zafnat was underwhelmi
...more
Suzanne Lilly
This lovely book, Enchantress, was a surprise in many ways. Set in ancient Babylonia, the narrative describes a woman known as Hisdadukh who is a sorceress and healer. Her skills are widely known and her services are in demand. The story delves into how her personal life is affected by her talents, from causing her anxiety and sadness, to bringing her a new chance at love and family. I only wish the author could have gone deeper into Hisdadukh's emotions, but Ms. Anton focused on her main charac ...more
Henry Lazarus
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Maggie Anton writes historical tales about strong Jewish women. Rav Hisda's Daughter (trade from Plume) was one of the few women mentioned in the Babylon Talmud and probably lived from the late third century to the middle of the fourth at a time when the Parthian Empire, dominated by Zoroastrianism ruled Babylon and Persia and was invaded numerous times by the Romans. It was also a time of strong ceremonial magic with spells written on clay pots and metal amulets. When Hisdadukh was nine, she wa ...more
Zach
How I wanted to like this book. The concept is great-- historical fiction set in the middle east around the time of the destruction of the temple, and the rise of the Rabbis as a force to be reckoned with in Judaism, focusing specifically on the magic-practicing daughter of one of the great amoraim. And if the focus had stayed on Hisdadukh's learning how to use magic, and dealing with the politics of the era (Roman, Persian, Rabbinical and magical) it would have been great-- there are certainly ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Envision you as having you know multiple 1 1 Mar 03, 2015 02:45AM  
Jewish Historical...: New Novel set in 4th-century Babylonia 2 26 Sep 30, 2014 11:04AM  
Bookworm Bitches : Giveaway for ENCHANTRESS 1 15 Aug 11, 2014 01:58PM  

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Maggie Anton was born Margaret Antonofsky in Los Angeles, California. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jewish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. That was the start of a lifetime of Jewish education, synagogue involvement, and ritual ...more

Other books in the series

Rav Hisda's Daughter (2 books)
  • Apprentice (Rav Hisda's Daughter, #1)

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