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Apprentice by Maggie Anton
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Apprentice (2012)

by Maggie Anton

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Amazing story of young woman raised in the Persian Empire by a pious Talmud scholar. She learns the Talmud, but she also learns the art of making magical bowls and amulets. She travels to Israel, under Roman rule, and learns how different the Jewish community is in different lands. Romance is also a part of her story. Fascinating.
  ritaer | May 7, 2017 |
Hisdadukh, blessed to be both beautiful and learned, is the youngest child of Talmudic sage Rav Hisda. The series about her unfolds in third-century Babylonia, in the household of her father, one of a handful of beleaguered rabbis struggling to establish new Jewish traditions after the destruction of Jerusalem's Holy Temple.
The world around her is full of conflict. Rome, fast becoming Christian, battles Zoroastrian Persia for dominance while Rav Hisda and his colleagues face defiance by those Jews who cling to the old ways. Against this backdrop Hisdadukh embarks on the tortuous path to become an enchantress in the very land where the word 'magic' originated - where some women draw on the occult to protect and to heal as some employ sorcery to gain power for themselves and to injure others.
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, Hisdadukh replies, “Both of them.”
Thus she marries the older student, although it becomes clear that the younger one has not lost interest in her.
Despite her growing powers, Hisdadukh soon suffers a woman’s most devastating losses. Despairing, she flees to Eretz Israel, her people’s ancient homeland. There she confronts her greatest challenges – an evil sorceress intent on destroying her, a previous suitor she despises, and a charming mosaic artisan who offers her happiness at the cost of repudiating everything her family values most.
( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
Hisdadukh, blessed to be both beautiful and learned, is the youngest child of Talmudic sage Rav Hisda. The series about her unfolds in third-century Babylonia, in the household of her father, one of a handful of beleaguered rabbis struggling to establish new Jewish traditions after the destruction of Jerusalem's Holy Temple.

The world around her is full of conflict. Rome, fast becoming Christian, battles Zoroastrian Persia for dominance while Rav Hisda and his colleagues face defiance by those Jews who cling to the old ways. Against this backdrop Hisdadukh embarks on the tortuous path to become an enchantress in the very land where the word 'magic' originated - where some women draw on the occult to protect and to heal as some employ sorcery to gain power for themselves and to injure others.

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, Hisdadukh replies, “Both of them.” Thus she marries the older student, although it becomes clear that the younger one has not lost interest in her.

Despite her growing powers, Hisdadukh soon suffers a woman’s most devastating losses. Despairing, she flees to Eretz Israel, her people’s ancient homeland. There she confronts her greatest challenges – an evil sorceress intent on destroying her, a previous suitor she despises, and a charming mosaic artisan who offers her happiness at the cost of repudiating everything her family values most.
( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
A fascinating book, though there is as much tragedy as lightness in the story. I found myself doubtful that Judaic practice had reached the maturity indicated in the story by the 3rd century, although I could feel the authenticity on similar issues in the Rashi's Daughters series. But I am not an expert on the era, so I could be wrong. Certainly the Talmudic arguments were excellent. ( )
  lisahistory | May 28, 2014 |
did any sell last year? -- 2 sold, will keep
  TBE | Oct 8, 2013 |
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Book description
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.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452298091, Paperback)


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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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