Susan's Reviews > The Fifth Servant

The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia
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's review
Apr 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries-historical

Set in Prague in 1592, The Fifth Servant, is a page-turner of an education. The book, though fiction, is filled with so many factual events, people and places to qualify as a text book, albeit one that is a joy to read. Dr. Wishnia has indeed done his research. I am not Jewish by either faith or ethnicity, so the fact that I found the book fascinating would only be magnified for Jewish readers. There are many humorous and/or quirky parts - mostly dialogue - to keep the reader from feeling she is in school. Many disturbing events are also detailed, one of which is the requirement that Jews wear yellow badges - this in the 16th century. Chilling.

I recommend The Fifth Servant to anyone interested in historical fiction, historical mysteries or simply looking for a unique read. The author provides a dictionary at the end of the book for the Yiddish and German words he uses. This slows down the reading process, but is essential to the flavor of the mystery as well as the reader's understanding of events.
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