The Hidden Palace is the sequel to the wonderful The Golem and the Djinni, and is itself, utterly delightful.
Unlike the first book, there is no real bad guy I this novel. Instead, there are series of events that have different consequences for different characters. Some of the issues to resolve, are of course, that Chava and Ahmad don’t age like the humans the live alongside. However, there is also the resolution of some of the issues at the end of the first book, such as what happens with Sophia.
All of the characters are so lovingly crafted and just a joy to read. There’s lots of characters from the previous novel, but some fantastic additions of Yossele and Dima. Even though it’s pretty long, with no real baddie, it is worth the read. I’m not going to lie, I had a massive ugly cry at the end of this novel. As I said with the first book, I don’t think you’d get such an emotional pay off without all the meanderings that happen with the novel. I also really loved Sophia’s story and almost wish she could have more delightful adventures where we follow her along exploring the Middle East at the the turn of the century.
But even with all the roving around New York and the rest of the world, all of the journeys have a point, with an impact on the plot or characters. Nothing was wasted or pointless, but instead it gave you deeper insight into the characters. And of course, the central two characters, are just so great. I love their individual personalities and how their complex relationship continues to unfold.
Anyway, if you’re not afraid of an ugly cry, definitely read this and it’s the previous novel. They are just warm and hopeful, full of live and interesting people. I really want more, it’s such a wonderful place to spend some time.