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The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1)
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Magical Beings > Golem and Jinni -Spoilers

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Christine (chrisarrow) | 1388 comments Mod
A place to discuss the book with spoilers.


Jalilah | 4352 comments Mod
This book ended up being quite different than what I expected! When I nominated it, I thought it was YA and was interested mainly because I was reading Arabian Nights and was in the mood for more stories involving Jinn. I was expecting a cute love story between a Golem and a Jinni. I often like love stories, but the fact that there is not a classical one here worked well. I was surprised when Chava married Michael and felt it was out if character, but towards the end when she explained it was because Ahmed has stolen her spell to destroy herself it made sense. As I said in the non spoiler thread what I liked was the realistic part of the story was just as interesting as the magical part.


Julia | 214 comments It was important to Chava that she 'fit in.' She couldn't have 'fit in' her Orthodox Jewish community and not be married. Don't you think that's another reason she married?
Another reason, because she was married to him, Michael fit in better, where he didn't before.
Third reason: in gratitude to Michael's uncle.
Fourth reason: to keep herself away from Ahmad.


Jalilah | 4352 comments Mod
Julia wrote: "It was important to Chava that she 'fit in.' She couldn't have 'fit in' her Orthodox Jewish community and not be married. Don't you think that's another reason she married?
Another reason, because..."


Excellent points, all 4 of them Julia. But still it just seemed like Chava should have known it would not work with Michael, especially him not knowing what she was before they married.
As for a relationship with Ahmed......who knows? I am glad the author left the ending open. I wonder if there will be a sequel?


Christine (chrisarrow) | 1388 comments Mod
I think the marriage was in part like Julia said, but part of it was a reaction. She wanted to run from what she was.


Julia | 214 comments Yes Chris, 'she wanted to run from what she was.'

BUT as a golem, she had to have someone to obey. A fifth reason to marry.

A question for you all: as a reader, film watcher and a Jew I knew a lot about golems. Was Chava your first golem? Do you think you will seek out more golems to read?


Christine (chrisarrow) | 1388 comments Mod
Wasn't my first golem book or movie. It was the most interesting however.


Katy (kathy_h) | 829 comments Not my first Golem, but I am trying to remember what other books have had one in.


message 9: by Jalilah (last edited Dec 10, 2013 07:17AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jalilah | 4352 comments Mod
Julia wrote: "Yes Chris, 'she wanted to run from what she was.'

BUT as a golem, she had to have someone to obey. A fifth reason to marry.

A question for you all: as a reader, film watcher and a Jew I knew a l..."


Yes, Chava is my first Golem. Although I had heard the term before, I did not really know what one was until I read this book. I also did not know that Golems were part of Jewish folklore. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golem they are mentioned in the Torah and the Old Testament.
I would definitely read more about Chava! Whether or not I would read more about Golems, I guess it depends on what the author does with them. For me it is not so much the supernatural creature as the writing and story.


Christine (chrisarrow) | 1388 comments Mod
Breath of Bones A Tale of the Golem by Steve Niles

Well, it must be fate. I just got approved via Netgalley to read the ARC for the above.


Kimberly Read So one of the things that really struck me about this story was the naïveté of Ahmad and Chava. I expected them to be the powerful creatures of lore, which was certainly there but they also had an endearing vulnerability. I think our jinni and golem were quite a window into the human need to be accepted. I think the story is beautiful.

I also think Wecker did a remarkable job using myth and magic to ask us to question our personal beliefs about mores about religion. She doesn't discount religion at all, but highlights how we can loose our direction through irrationality. Ibn Malik cum Schaalam is the obvious example, but Michael does this too.

It's a deep book.


Kimberly Read Julia wrote: "A question for you all: as a reader, film watcher and a Jew I knew a l..."

Hi Julia,

I was first introduced to golems when I was about 15 through the Golem in the Gears by Piers Anthony.


message 13: by Jalilah (last edited Dec 22, 2013 03:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jalilah | 4352 comments Mod
Kimberly wrote: "So one of the things that really struck me about this story was the naïveté of Ahmad and Chava. I expected them to be the powerful creatures of lore, which was certainly there but they also had an ..."

I agree with you Kimberly. It is a very deep book, that leaves an impression. I kept thinking about it even after I was finished.


Monica Davis One of my favorite passages in this book was the exchange between Arbeely and the Jinni regarding religion. Arbeely gave the Jinni a history of Christ and the founding of His church, and the Jinni said:

Let me see if I understand this correctly now...You and your relations believe that a ghost living in the sky can grant you wishes...And yet, according to men, we jinn are nothing but children's tales...Here I stand, making skillets. Does that not call your faith into question?


Jalilah | 4352 comments Mod
Monica wrote: "One of my favorite passages in this book was the exchange between Arbeely and the Jinni regarding religion. Arbeely gave the Jinni a history of Christ and the founding of His church, and the Jinni ..."

I laughed when I read that part Monica! I really appreciate how the author has the ability to write about people's beliefs without passing judgement or insulting them!


Monica Davis Jalilah wrote: I laughed when I read that part Monica! I really appreciate how the author has the ability to write about people's beliefs without passing judgement or insulting them!

Agreed...nicely written, and got the point across. This was an interesting and fun read. Great recommendation, Jalilah.


Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
I finally finished this one! It's a wonderful book!

Monica, that was one of my favorite passages too. It definitely made me laugh.

My first experience with golems was an old folktale - Jewish, I assume - where the golem had "Truth" written on its forehead, and the final letter was erased turning "Truth" to "Death" - and thus destroying the golem.

I wasn't entirely surprised by Chava marrying Michael. She needed to be needed, and he needed so much so badly. I wasn't exactly expecting marriage, but I did expect her to interact a lot more closely with him at some point.

I got the sense that she was frightened by what had happened (or nearly happened) and blamed it on her having desires -- and thus, to prevent it, she wanted to drown out her own desires by filling herself with someone else's desires. Michael was the neediest person she had known.

But as far as whether it was the right idea or not... look at it from a golem's perspective rather than a humans. Obeying orders makes Chava feel good. And in the back of her mind, she knows that she was created to make a master happy by obeying him. She might know intellectually that reality is complicated and that it doesn't always work that way - but in her heart, wouldn't she always feel to some extent that as long as she obeys enough, she'd be happy?


My version has a Q&A session at the back. I thought this bit was interesting:
... In some ways, the Golem and the Jinni are the ultimate immigrants. They aren't just new to New York or America. They're new to people. Like those around them, they wrestle with issues of religion versus doubt and duty versus self-determination -- but as inescapable aspects of their own otherworldly natures.


message 18: by Margaret (last edited Mar 29, 2014 08:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Margaret | 3559 comments Mod
I finished this tonight. I thought it was an amazing book. I've read historical fantasy before, and I'm generally a bit iffy on it, but I absolutely loved this. At first I had trouble getting into it. I think the constant pov changes made it hard for me to sink into the characters. But about a 3rd of the way in I knew all the characters well enough to become invested in the story, and from there on I loved it.

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett is the first golem novel I remember reading, but I knew what a golem was then, so I must have been somewhat familiar with the folklore. I really like this novel as well. Pratchett's Night Watch novels and Witches novels are my favorites.

I found it fittingly niave of Chava to marry Michael. She has no experience with how relationships work, and I agree with Julie as it being part of a reaction.

I have a question, though I know it's been a while for most of you since you've read it! When the Rabbi, Michael's uncle, creates the spell to bind Chava to a new master, who do you think he had in mind to bind her to? It couldn't have been himself, as he knew he had so little time left. Yet there's no indication he meant to bind her to Michael. Also, he seems to want to bind her before he dies, though regrets making the spell as he's dying. I'm not sure what he was thinking exactly in making the spell. Any thoughts?


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