Friday, May 2, 2014

Burning Girls, by Veronica Schanoes

I enjoy a good culturally grounded magic story--all cultures with any history have a culture of "witch" magical lore, and Burning Girls delivers a fine example.  The magic delivered here is Jewish, from the 1800s in Poland.  Pogroms against Jews were a regular feature of Polish history, and one of them drives the survivors to America..  But first we have the training of the witch--she learns the lore from her bubbe in rural Poland.  She then must face a lilit, an apparently high-level demon quite close to Satan. 

I can find no fault and a lot of good.  I have read stories like this before so it wasn't something fresh for me, but would make an impression if you haven't read much of Jewish lore before.  It's not going to turn the world upside down for originality, but that's asking a lot.  Three stars from me.

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