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.
A love lasting the tests of time. A story filled with magic, spells, allure and sorcery. Hisdadukh and Rava begin their life with new discoveries. Hisdadukh carries on her mother’s legacy as she gains power and knowledge while trying to ascend to the chief sorceress position. She retracts information from cats, birds, speaks with Samael and conjures other varieties of supernatural power.
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 extensive Jewish references I did find my focus challenged more than I would have liked, diminishing my thorough pleasure of the narrative. A marvelous read with its set of challenges, highly recommend, patience required.
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 observance. In 2006, Anton retired from being a clinical chemist in Kaiser Permanente’s Biochemical Genetics Laboratory to become a fulltime writer.
In the early 1990’s, Anton learned about a women’s Talmud class taught by Rachel Adler, now a professor at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. She became intrigued with the idea that Rashi, one of the greatest Jewish scholars ever, had no sons, only three daughters. Slowly but surely, she began to research the family and the time in which they lived. Much was written about Rashi, but almost nothing of the daughters, except their names and the names of their husbands. Legend has it that Rashi’s daughters were learned in a time when women were traditionally forbidden to study the sacred texts. These forgotten women seemed ripe for rediscovery, and the idea of a trilogy of historical novels about them was born.
After the success of “Rashi’s Daughters” Anton started researching the lives of women in 4th-century Babylonia, where the Talmud was being created. Surprised by the prevalence of sorcery among rabbinic families, she wrote “Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Bk 1 – Apprentice,” which was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award Fiction finalist and a Library Journal pick for Best Historical Fiction.
Enchantress Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, October 7
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, October 8
Review at A Dream Within a Dream
Thursday, October 8
Guest Post at Bookish
Friday, October 9
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Monday, October 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Wednesday, October 15
Review at Based on a True Story
Thursday, October 16
Review at Mari Reads
Friday, October 17
Interview at Layered Pages
Wednesday, October 22
Guest Post at History From A Woman’s Perspective
Saturday, October 25
Review & Interview at A Cup of Tea & A Big Book
Monday, October 27
Review at TeacherWriter
Wednesday, October 29
Review at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, October 30
Review at Book Nerd