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.
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.
A simple tale, simply told. A step up from a beach read - think a well-researched historical romance.
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.
Very intetesting story. Drags in certain areas, but worth the read