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Elizabeth BirdMoriarty…not only makes religion central to the story, but mixes it with magic. Generally speaking, children's book authors have three ways of treating religion in a fantasy novel. They can do without it entirely, they can include religion but not base it on real beliefs or, rarest of all, they can use real religions alongside fictional magic…Opting for the last, Moriarty successfully mixes Judaism with spells, throwing in allusions to race relations for spice. She also sucks you into the life of the city, making it viscerally real.
—The New York Times Book Review