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Climbing the Date Palm

(Mangoverse #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Prince Kaveh, the youngest son of the king of the City of Red Clay, is bisexual, and is completely besotted with Farzin, the engineer his father hired to oversee the improvements to the city's roads and bridges. However, the king doesn't share his positive feelings. After Farzin ends up at the head of the protest that ensues when the workers are only paid a third of their ...more
ebook, First Edition, 241 pages
Published July 2nd 2014 by Prizm Books (first published July 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  239 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So. These books. I already adored the first two in the Mangoverse series, so I knew I was heading for more amazing writing from Shira when I got CLIMBING THE DATE PALM. I started it on a flight to Wellington, and was completely sucked in. I absolutely adored this book. The overall message is one that I can totally get behind, which is that being yourself is brave in an of itself. I loved the characters. I especially loved the entire arc with Farzin's mother. Loved it. Basically, I wanted to star ...more
Chasia Lloyd
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I might turn this into a more coherent review in a few days, but for now, let me scream about everything awesome.

- Return of our beloved characters from Second Mango
- New characters join the family! And they're great!
- Bisexual prince rescuing his unconventional-looking male lover
- Said male lover, Farzin, standing up for workers not receiving their wages
- Food, lots of food
- Lots of discussion about sexuality, especially bisexuality
- Epic search for a lost lover
- Beautiful, heart-warming Passov
RoAnna Sylver
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
"My heart is completely consumed, and recreated to exist within you.”
“I’ll tend it well and keep it safe, here -- with my own."

* * *

I loved this, let's just start with that. I've loved the entire Mangoverse/The Second Mango series consistently since starting it - very out of order, as Book 2 is the latest one I've read. (Which is fine, because the books and stories really stand on their own very well, and you can probably start at any point you want and never get lost.) I can't really pick favo
Miss Susan
Apr 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
okay this series is just the best kind of corny? like you know when it's late at night and you watch one of those family movies where you're like 'omg are you kidding me' but then your cold cynical heart is won ever by the sheer earnestness of everything on the screen and you finish the movie like ahhh love is real, please ignore my shedding of a single crystalline tear :')

that's basically the vibe of shira glassman's mango-verse

so in this volume shulamit meets kaveh, a bi prince who is in despe
Claudie Arseneault
Word of advice: do NOT read this without snacks at hand. Especially of a more middle-eastern nature, if you can get your hands on them.

But please, DO read this book. Gosh is it marvelous. I started the series with The Second Mango, and while thoroughly enjoyable, Climbing the Date Palm feels more ... wholesome? It's a poignant story, with amazing characters (Farzin <3), so-cute-I-might-have-just-squealed-in-the-bus moments, and beautiful imagery.

I love Shira's writing. It has a way to be si
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
(3.5 stars)

The thing about the Mangoverse books is that the writing tends to be unpolished and sometimes awkward, and they're rather short and therefore a little under-developed, and yet I sort of love them anyway. Can anyone blame me? Gay Jewish fantasy is a very small genre — I don't have many options here!

Anyway, despite the occasionally awkward writing and simplicity of the story, I love Jewish characters and traditions being a basic part of the world building, and that despite there being s
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Though the writing feels clumsy and lacking in maturity, particularly in the characterization of Aviva, and words like ridiculous, cheesy, and corny often came to mind while reading, I feel a strange affection for this book. The author really does manage to leave you with a distinct impression of the world she's created, and it's very sensual: tied in with food and spices and smells that she describes. It's so nice to see a world that isn't based on medieval europe, to see queer protagonists of ...more
Aug 17, 2015 rated it liked it

The second book in Glassman's Mangoverse series is stronger than the first. It takes place a few years later, and finds all the characters from the first one getting involved with a prince from a neighboring kingdom, who has come to find help for his engineer boyfriend, sentenced to death by the king (for both political and homophobic reasons). The writing here is a lot more confident, although some of the dialogue is still awkward, and the engineer's "hil
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
This is such a wonderful book. I love being able to visit the world Shira Glassman has created because it's so beautiful and loving. It's so refreshing to have a book with such a diverse cast of characters whose plotline extends beyond the struggles of being diverse. Climbing the Date Palm absolutely lives up to the first book, The Second Mango, so if you haven't read The Second Mango yet, you should do that and then read this book!
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Shira Glassman has delivered a stunning sequel to her novel The Second Mango in her book Climbing the Date Palm. I didn't think a lgbt fantasy full of Jewish wizards, warriors, and queens could get much better, but then she added a happy ending and I fell in love.
Climbing the Date Palm is a definite must read for all lgbt fantasy lovers.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is so heartwarming! All this positivity and her adorable characters bring you instantly a smile on your lips while you're reading. It's refreshing to read a queer and faith positive book set in a fantastic world. I'm going to look for others story by Shira for sure!
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer
Marthese Formosa
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Thoughts after the review:

There is so much that I love about this book. I stopped reading around 30 pages from the finish and I wish I hadn't. I wish I read it in consecutive days to bask in its brilliance, but I got distracted by reading other books for review. I've gotten better at finishing books now:D

This book, like the first, has more Jewish culture. I'm only familiar with the religious elements not the cultural, so it was a nice, unique experience.

The book also represents a variety of rel
This story was very similar to the first book in the series, The Second Mango - in feel, that is, not in plot. Like the first book, Climbing the Date Palm was a fun, entertaining, not-very-deep story. However, it did go a bit darker than the first book.

Climbing the Date Palm introduces a whole new set of characters in a whole new kingdom, the main one being the bisexual Prince Kaveh, whose main personality trait seemed to be "being head-over-heels for this one guy." Although, considering the cir
Amy Aelleah
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diversity, fantasy, lgbt
I love and adore the bi-rep. It is so so wonderful to see that and have it be done so well. (The author is bi, too, so that is even better.) However, Shulamit is kind of starting to grate. I mean, she read young in the first book, sounding more like a thirteen year old than the twenty year old she was supposed to be - but that was explained (and believable) as her being a sheltered princess. This book takes place, apparently, years after the first one and Shulamit doesn't read as though she's gr ...more
Meri Greenleaf
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is EXACTLY the book I was hoping to get with "The Second Mango"! With the first one, I enjoyed it, but felt like it was missing something in terms of depth in plot and story development. "Climbing the Date Palm" didn't feel like it was missing anything! The story flowed so well, there was more depth to the plot, and it had me not wanting to put the book down because I was enjoying it so much. I loved seeing the growth in Shulamit and how she became much more mature than she was in the first ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-fiction
Where the first book was primary m/f and f/f, this book expands a bit more to include a m/m couple. And while the concept of labor rights might not feel quite like the modern struggle, it is still great to see it woven into fantasy stories.
There's a moment late in this book that makes me laugh, because impregnation by magic hairstick is even more ridiculous than a turkey baster. Again, the writing is charming, I recommend it for those seeking fluffy adventure romance without a lot of detail in
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so in love with this series...and the characters.... Really, if you like fantasy, or Judaica, or just good writing, you should give it a try.

As I have noted before, I met the author online (on Twitter) through a mutual friend, and figured I'd give her books a try. My only problem is that I can't decide for myself if they are YA or adult. In either case, I love both this and the previous one, and am looking forward to the next three very much!
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book well enough. I do think the author kinda glossed over solving the "labour rights" portion of the book, but I enjoyed the rest of it so much that I am willing to forgive that.
Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I enjoyed this even more than book 1. <3
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars!
Maya Chhabra
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reviewed here:

This is a short and sweet novel with an opera connection.

Queen Shulamit and her girlfriend, the cook Aviva, need a solution to prevent the lesbian queen from having to marry a man in order to conceive a legitimate heir. Prince Kaveh of a neighboring country needs someone to get his boyfriend out of jail, where he's scheduled to be executed for standing up to Kaveh's father, the king, in a labor dispute. They come to a mutually beneficial arr
If I liked the first book in Glassman's Mangoverse series, I absolutely love this one! I felt that it was better paced, had more fleshed-out characters, and strengthened the bond between all of the characters, making a wonderfully queer little found family ruling a kingdom and making happy memories together.

Climbing the Date Palm takes place a couple years after the first book, with Shulamit settling into her queenhood with her partner/personal chef Aviva, her bodyguard and best friend Rivka and
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Climbing the Date Palm is the second book in Shira Glassman’s Mangoverse, furthering the adventures of Queen Shulamit, Aviva, Rivka, and Isaac and bringing in a handful of delightful new characters from a city to the west of Perach. Prince Kaveh comes to beg Rivka’s aid in saving his lover, an engineer who is set to be executed for the dual crime of fighting for his workers’ rights and being a man in love with the prince. When Shulamit learns of his predicament, she commits herself, her friends, ...more
Anna Knight
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What I loved:

Firstly, the worldbuilding. LOVE IT. I will freely admit that I know very little about Jewish culture, but it infuses the fantasy setting in the Mangoverse series and I can’t get enough. I am used to a fantasy diet of “standard fantasy setting” - pseudomedieval European style places - and the kingdom of Perach is a breath of fresh air and sunshine in my TBR pile. Seriously, I hope Shira Glassman carries on writing these books for years and years and years.

Second - I still love Shul
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelf
A solid and enjoyable sequel to The Second Mango, this book celebrates queer love and chosen family in a middle eastern fantasy world. This is especially good for people who enjoy stories about "what happens after the happily ever after" and after they get married type deals. With a plotline around injustice and wage theft, Climbing the Date Palm is at least as poetic as it is unambiguously a crusade for social justice of many kinds. There were moments when I felt like there was more sex (queer ...more
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Two bi main characters (Prince Kaveh and the queen’s personal chef Aviva), a lesbian main character (Queen Shulamit) and a gay male main character (the engineer Farzin) make this sequel to The Second Mango clearly a story of interest to bi readers. Sometimes it seemed as if Shira Glassman had a list of diversities that she was ticking off as she created characters, making her fantasy young adult novel seem a bit didactic. It certainly led to an interesting mix, though. Yiddish phrases scattered ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I didn't like this quite as much as the first book, though I definitely enjoyed it. The plot structure sometimes felt lacking in forward movement, since Shulamit's plan for rescuing Farzin mostly involved reading and thinking, and her ultimate plan didn't seem that likely to work (although of course it did). Also, I felt that this book demeaned Shulamit a bit, talking about how tightly wound she is and how sensitive, and frequently mentioning how little she is, which is not in and of itself an i ...more
Medeia Sharif
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prince Kaveh adores both genders and has found love with Farzin, an engineer who ends up in prison with a scheduled execution. Queen Shulamit, her girlfriend Aviva, and their friends Rivka and Isaac all come together to help Farzin, so he can be reunited with Kaveh. There are interesting storylines as Shulamit would like a child, Farzin raises important issues about workers’ rights, and fascinating relationships arise. The fantasy-Jewish setting comes to life alongside amazing characters and act ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: please add cover 2 17 Nov 26, 2015 08:30PM  
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Shira Glassman is a bisexual Jewish violinist passionately inspired by German and French opera and Agatha Christie novels.

She lives in north central Florida, where the alligators are mostly harmless because they're too lazy to be bothered.

A note on my reviewing style: I read lots of books, but writing reviews is work and I only really do them to endorse books that I enjoyed enough to signal boost.

Other books in the series

Mangoverse (4 books)
  • The Second Mango (Mangoverse Book 1)
  • A Harvest of Ripe Figs (Mangoverse, #3)
  • The Olive Conspiracy (Mangoverse Book 4)
“Bravery isn’t all swordfighting and riding dragons,” said Rivka. “Sometimes it takes bravery just to be who you really are inside.” 1 likes
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