[Book Review] The Hidden Saint by Mark Levenson

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By Mark Levenson

Based on Jewish folklore, The Hidden Saint, follows Rabbi Adam. When his family is nearly wiped out Rabbi Adam sets off on a quest to destroy a supernatural force and recover his youngest son, who has been abducted. The story centers around 18th century Eastern Europe and interweaves fantasy, magic, and mysticism.

Levenson takes fantasy out of the shire and into the shtetl with this brilliantly written work. The story celebrates Jewish folklore and mystic teachings from the Zohar along with familiar tradition and custom. Levenson demonstrates an in-depth understanding of these texts in the construction of this compelling fantasy.

The world constructed within this tale puts the reader in the adventure with Rabbi Adam and his companion, a golem made from clay. The language is vivid and description while allowing the story to move along at a good pace. I was engaged from beginning to end, wondering what challenge Rabbi Adam would face next.

I’d like to thank publicist, Stuart Schnee, for the free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Mark Levenson

Mark Levenson is an award-winning dramatist, screenwriter, and short story writer, as well as a longtime journalist.

His Jewish-themed fantasy writing has won honors from The National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the American Jewish University, as well as a Union Internationale de la Marionnette-USA Citation of Excellence, an award founded by Jim Henson.

Levenson’s novel, The Hidden Saint (Level Best Books, February 2022), is the culmination of his more than 20 years of engagement with Jewish folklore. Levenson wrote The Return of the Golem and The Wise Men of Chelm for the stage, and adapted S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk for actors and puppets. His Jewish-themed short fiction credits include Mystery Weekly Magazine, Kindle Kzine, and Ami Magazine. He blogs about Jewish fantasy for The Times of Israel.

Perhaps Levenson’s interests in fantasy and folklore are in his blood; his ancestors include a magician-grandmother, “Lightfingers Ida,” and a great-great-uncle who was a Russian circus strongman.

Levenson writes for and about puppet theatre, and performs an updated version of the classic Punch & Judy. He was graduated from Cornell University. He and his family live in Westchester County, New York.

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