May 21, 2015 - Book Reviews    No Comments

Book Review: SERPENT ON A CROSS by Wendy Garfinkle

Dennah Dubrovnika is a formidable hunter and talented healer. However, she cannot control her own powers, which have suddenly reawakened in the aftermath of her mother’s violent capture by a powerful warlord who destroyed their village in his wake. As she races to free her mother, Dennah is accompanied by Jeth, the man she loves. But she’s increasingly, inexorably drawn to the mysterious Skallon, who is allied with her greatest enemy.

This was quite a fun book. Well-written, easy to read, good plot. It’s quite obvious that a lot of time has been spent researching both the era (medieval Europe) and Jewish culture.

I really liked Dennah’s strength, and her determination to do what needed to be done – I can definitely identify with her stubbornness! I did find at times though, that there was a sense of inevitability – that some choices she made were because that’s what the plot needed to have happen, rather than the character. A few situations left me thinking “Really? Would anyone decide to that so easily?”

The other part I both enjoyed and struggled with at the same time was the Jewish references. Look, the book is a Jewish fantasy novel, by definition, it will have a very large amount of cultural, religious and language references. That was awesome – it’s not something I know a lot about so being able to learn something (anything) was wonderful. But more than once, I was left a bit confused by Yiddish words being used where context gave no idea to meaning, and often it seemed thrown around for the sake of reminding the reader that this is a Jewish novel.

I’m very curious to see how the story progresses, and I do recommend it to anyone wanting something a little different out of their high fantasy, but know that you won’t be finding anything ground breaking as far as underlying plot elements go – just the potential for a great series.

Purchase: Amazon

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!