The Light of the Midnight Stars

Rena Rossner. Redhook, $28 (432p) ISBN 978-0-316-48346-9
Rossner’s folklore-steeped sophomore outing (after The Sisters of the Winter Wood) offers a complex meditation on tragedy and tradition. Reb Isaac and his family live in the Jewish quarter of Trnava where they uphold the traditions of the Solomonars, a sect capable of powerful magic. Their story unfolds through the eyes of Isaac’s three gifted daughters: romantic Hannah, the oldest, has a special connection to the earth; defiant Sarah can conjure fire; and Levana, the youngest and least developed, obsesses over the futures she reads in the stars. As a black mist descends on the town, infecting crops and creeping into people’s lungs, rumors spread that the Solomonars are responsible. When a goyish royal converts to Judaism for love of Hannah, the anti-Semitism only worsens—eventually forcing the family to flee their burning village through the woods. When they emerge in Wallachia, they take on new names and set aside their old ways. But faith and magic linger in the sisters’ hearts—and when they cross paths with the royal family of their new land, history threatens to repeat itself. With deceptively simple prose, Rossner creates a lush, immersive world through which the sprawling plot meanders, punctuated by moments of intense grief. The result is as lovely as it is heartbreaking. Agent: Brent Taylor, TriadaUS Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/08/2021
Release date: 04/13/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5491-3928-4
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