A very, very clever book. There has been a shortage of Jewish action heroes. Chabon places his on the fringes of a Muslim empire, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims mix freely, if not always peacefully, and he makes them mountebanks and con men, living by their wits. Wandering Jews. Of course Wandering Jews. As soon as you read about them, you know they were there all along, unnoticed, as befits their trade. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser would happily work with these guys, as would Alyx Picklock. I know no higher praise. The funny thing is, as soon as you read this story, you realize that all Peter Beagle's characters are Jewish too.
Jun 04, 2012