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The Witch of Cologne
The Witch of Cologne
Author: Tobsha Learner
A Time of Peril —   — The Inquisitor, Carlos Vicente Solitario, charges a young Jewish midwife, Ruth bas Elazar Saul, with heresy.  Ruth may be the daughter of the city’s chief rabbi, but this is no protection against the Inquisition’s accusations.  —   — A Quest for Justice —   — Detlef von Tennen, nobleman and canon, cousin to the Archbi...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780765350466
ISBN-10: 0765350467
Publication Date: 1/15/2007
Pages: 480
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 66 ratings
Publisher: Tor Books
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

starfkr avatar reviewed The Witch of Cologne on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
As far as historical fiction goes, I've read better and I've read worse. I liked some elements of the book, particularly the witchcraft and Inquisition angle. However, this book had a romance novel feel about it that I just wasn't that fond of. Maybe it was the way it was written or maybe I'm just not a fan of romance novels; I'm not really sure. Tobsha Learner is kind of like Philippa Gregory Lite. Similar style but not as compelling. I'd give this one 3/5.
amichai avatar reviewed The Witch of Cologne on + 368 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A disappointment. The historically-based events kept me turning pages, but the prose has no charm, the characters' development is not nuanced and their motivations sometimes completely nonsensical. The author's depiction of Jewish life at the time is extremely weak, a huge drawback, since the main character is a Jewish woman who finds "the love of her life" in a Catholic canon. The main characters are anachronisms; modern people plunked into the 17th Century setting. Although the time periods are different, if you compare this book to Philippa Gregory's "The Queen's Fool" which follows a Jewish woman at the Elizabethan court (also something of a "bodice ripper" with an unusually modern Jewish woman heroine) you can see the difference it makes to follow a well-developed character. Jewish life described in the Witch of Cologne is so stereotyped and incomplete it really amazed me. Elements of this book I would have thought would make it good: kabbala, the demon Lilith, midwifery, era in history, iconoclastic main characters, sex - but, despite these...cannot recommend.
reviewed The Witch of Cologne on
Helpful Score: 4
A simple tale, simply told. A step up from a beach read - think a well-researched historical romance.
reviewed The Witch of Cologne on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Ignore the silly cover on this book. What was the publisher thinking? This is a well-written, tragicthough ultimately hopeful story of star-crossed lovers during a particularly brutal period in history. The kind of story that haunts you. It is romantic--but not light, with great historical detail. Wonderful.
reviewed The Witch of Cologne on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very intetesting story. Drags in certain areas, but worth the read
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DLeahL avatar reviewed The Witch of Cologne on + 48 more book reviews
I feel I should preface this review by informing the reader that my review comes from the perspective of me and my family - and that we are (as a whole) very informed about Judaism, REAL kaballa, history of the Jewish people and secular history.

We couldn't get past the first few pages of this.

I can see why people who know very little of the above subjects might find this book intriguing. Unfortunately, it not only presents a VERY false view of Jews, Judaism, etc. but it so distorts the truth as to be damaging.

As a Jewish woman in particular, I feel that this type of book only serves to perpetuate the myth that women are second class citizens in Torah true Jewish life and that the only way to gain power is to challenge the status quo.

I have the book on my bookshelf and actually have doubts as to whether I should trade it.

Even my son in law, who is a rabbi and generally enjoys reading books like this for the comedy factor couldn't get past the first few chapters, that's how bad it is - you can't even turn it into a joke.


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