The second book in the Elisha Davidson series, the saga continues with further mystical Kabbalistic adventures, this time including visits to and advice from King Solomon, himself. Elisha, still misunderstood by his father, still trying to be a conscientious person and save the Jewish people in secrecy, finds and loses powerful amulets, searches for the elusive magical Shamir, tastes heavenly manna, tries to help the less fortunate, and worries about the fate of his people. Meanwhile, there is, of course someone who is up to no good who is working against Elisha and his friends. This is a renegade former Kabbalist, now known as The Other, and he has enough knowledge to wreak horrific damage to all Jews due to his petty selfish desires. Can be stopped before he has gone too far? We won’t know for sure until the next and final installment in the series.
Readers who up to now have had the impression that Judaism is all about ritual will learn that spirituality plays a major part in Jewish life, as well. And if they are under the impression that heroes of long ago reside in the dusty pages of history books, they will find that the long-ago figures are startling present and alive in the minds of Jewish youth of today. These elements combine with imagination running wild and result in exciting story-telling set in the city of Jerusalem in which even the stones seems to come to life.
Readers who are curious about Kabbala, the secrets of Jewish mysticism and the Chambers will find this well-researched, Harry Potteresque tale an engrossing read. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.