Synopses & Reviews
Hisdadukh, blessed to be beautiful and learned, is the youngest child of Talmudic sage Rav Hisda. The world around her is full of conflict. Rome, fast becoming Christian, battles Zoroastrian Persia for dominance while Rav Hisda and his colleagues struggle to establish new Jewish traditions after the destruction of Jerusalem's Holy Temple. Against this backdrop Hisdadukh embarks on the tortuous path to become an enchantress in the very land where the word 'magic' originated.
But the conflict affecting Hisdadukh most intimately arises when her father brings his two best students before her, a mere child, and asks her which one she will marry. Astonishingly, the girl replies, “Both of them.” Soon she marries the older student, although it becomes clear that the younger one has not lost interest in her. When her new-found happiness is derailed by a series of tragedies, a grieving Hisdadukh must decide if she does, indeed, wish to become a sorceress. Based on actual Talmud texts and populated with its rabbis and their families, Rav Hisda's Daughter: Book I – Apprentice brings the world of the Talmud to life - from a woman's perspective.
Praise for the Rashi’s Daughters trilogy:
“Anton delivers a tour de force.” —Library Journal“A compelling combination of drama, suspense, and romance.” —Lilith magazine
A forceful novel of the power of learning, faith, and the two sides of love.
Midwest Book Review
Anton has reimagined the life and world of the famed eleven-century biblical teacher Rashi through the lives of his three daughters.
Readers will definitely be hooked on this series.
a fine storyteller
an absorbing, detailed account.
The writing successfully captures the pace of medieval life and pulls the reader into the details of the characters lives.
Jewish Times News
Praise for Rav Hisda's Daughter: Book I
“A lushly detailed look into a fascinatingly unknown time and culture—a tale of Talmud, sorcery, and a most engaging heroine!” —Diana Gabaldon, author of the bestselling Outlander series
Anton, the author of the acclaimed “Rashis Daughters” trilogy, has penned her best book to date. Using her extensive knowledge of the Talmud and other historical Jewish writings, she immersed herself in the tractates to uncover a marvelous heroine for this historical novel… Complex discussions of Jewish law and tradition as well as detailed description of the culture and customs of the times enhance truly wonderful storytelling. VERDICT This absorbing novel should be on everyones historical fiction reading list." —Library Journal (starred review)
“Fascinating reading await those who dive into the vividly depicted world of Babylonian Jewry … Anton succeeds brilliantly in drawing us into the formative period leading up to the Talmud … what we have is the work of a master craftswoman set upon repairing a major gap in Jewish literature —Philadelphia Jewish Voice “Rav Hisdas Daughter provides a wealth of historical detail about Jewish life in Babylon and Israel in the 3rd century CE. It depicts the daily life and coming of age of a prominent rabbis daughter rather than propelling its reader through a traditional arc of action with a crisis and resolution. Its interest lies in its portrayal of the sorcery, incantations, and womens customs in this exotic, faraway period of time and place, sometimes against the backdrop of war.” —Historical Novel Society
Praise for the Rashi's Daughters trilogy:
“Anton delivers a tour de force . . . [Readers] will fly through the pages and come away wishing for more.” -Library Journal (starred review)
“A compelling combination of drama, suspense, and romance.” -Lilith magazine
The first two novels in a dramatic trilogy set in eleventh-century France about the lives and loves of three daughters of the great Talmud scholar
In 1068, the scholar Salomon ben Isaac returns home to Troyes, France, to take over the family winemaking business and embark on a path that will indelibly influence the Jewish world?writing the first Talmud commentary, and secretly teaching Talmud to his daughters.
Joheved, the eldest of his three girls, finds her mind and spirit awakened by religious study, but, knowing the risk, she must keep her passion for learning and prayer hidden. When she becomes betrothed to Meir ben Samuel, she is forced to choose between marital happiness and being true to her love of the Talmud.
Rich in period detail and drama, Joheved is a must read for fans of Tracy Chevalier?s Girl With a Pearl Earring.
The first novel in a dramatic trilogy set in 11th-century France chronicles the lives and loves of three daughters of the great Talmud scholar.
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.
One of the most powerful practitioner of these mysterious arts is Rav Hisdas daughter, whose innate awareness allows her to possess the skills men lack. With her husband, Rava--whose arcane knowledge of the secret Torah enables him to create a man” out of earth and to resurrect another rabbi from death--the two brave an evil sorceress, Ashmedai the Demon King, and even the Angel of Death in their quest to safeguard their people, even while putting their romance at risk.
The author of the acclaimed Rashis Daughters series and the award-winning Rav Hisdas Daughter: Apprentice has conjured literary magic in the land where abracadabra” originated. Based on five years of research and populated with characters from the Talmud, Enchantress brings a pivotal era of Jewish and Christian history to life from the perspective of a courageous and passionate woman.
About the Author
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. In the early 1990's, Anton began studying Talmud in a class for women 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. 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 book about them was born.