by Helene Wecker

Reviewer Rating:


The Golem and the Jinni is a tale of two mystical creatures, one made of earth and the other made of fire, who find each other in the unlikely setting of New York City, 1899. The Golem, created by a Kabbalistic priest with twisted motivations and experience with dark magic, finds herself alone after she is brought to life by a husband who immediately dies. She seeks a master in the overwhelming city, knowing that servitude is the only way she will be true to her nature as a Golem. The Jinni, in contrast, is released from a bottle accidentally, but still bound to human form. He cannot remember what cast the spell of his bondage, but seeks to break its hold at all costs.

As both the Golem and the Jinni attempt to reconcile their current identities with their true natures, they form a nebulous friendship that is further tested by the deep secrets uncovered during their quests.

For a reluctant fantasy reader such as myself, The Golem and the Jinni was surprisingly intriguing, and the fantasy elements not off-putting. The character development primarily drove the novel, though I also enjoyed the plot twists and ancient mysteries that pushed the narrative forward.

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