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The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1)
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March 2019: Debut > [TBR] The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

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Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments I can see why this book gets so much love--rich historical setting, compelling characters, and magic handled with a deft enough touch to keep from scaring away readers who don't typically read fantasy. This was very much in the vein of literary fantasy, as the story was more driven by characters and how humanity filters through their very distinct viewpoints, but I still enjoyed it. Chava and Ahmad were wonderful foils to each other with a fascinating connection, but I could easily read another book set in this world and following any of the peripheral characters whose lives were touched by our title characters--chatty Maryam, heiress Sophia and her adventures, even the jinni's assistant Matthew and what becomes of him. I'll be curious to see where Chava and Ahmad go in future installments. Overall, an impressive debut.


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7875 comments Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. I too thought about the characters, and what is to come. Inserting what may be a spoiler for some-I saw a blurb that the(view spoiler)


message 3: by Hebah (last edited Apr 01, 2019 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments Joanne wrote: "Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. I too thought about the characters, and what is to come. Inserting what may be a spoiler for some-I saw a blurb that the[spoilers removed]"

Actually, I think it was (view spoiler)


Joy D | 3887 comments Hebah, your observations about it being written with "a deft enough touch to keep from scaring away readers who don't typically read fantasy." is spot on for me. I don't normally read fantasy, but I really enjoyed this book! I think it being "literary fantasy, as the story was more driven by characters and how humanity filters through their very distinct viewpoints" was one of the best aspects of it. Nice review!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5580 comments Hebag, that's a perfect description of why the book is so special. I haven't seen a tag for "literary fantasy" yet, but I'll look for it now. I would read more fantasy if it was written for adults and went beyond the standard fare. I liked that this book dealt with meaningful aspects of human nature, even though the characters weren't exactly human.


Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments NancyJ wrote: "Hebag, that's a perfect description of why the book is so special. I haven't seen a tag for "literary fantasy" yet, but I'll look for it now. I would read more fantasy if it was written for adults ..."

Literary fantasy is definitely out there. I think of things like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, for example, or the writing of Mary Robinette Kowal, whose Glamourist Histories are set in Regency England (the first book is straight-up Jane Austen pastiche!). I think The Night Circus might also even fit that niche.

It was interesting coming at this as a fantasy reader who doesn't read much literary fic, when I think most readers are literary fic readers willing to give fantasy a try. It's definitely a smooth middle ground with enough to keep us all happy, I think.


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