Zipporah does not impress Review by S.K. Slevinski

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The second in Marek Halter's Canaan Trilogy, which details the fictionalized lives of biblical matriarchs, Zipporah: Wife of Moses lacks much of the appeal of its predecessor.

Zipporah is the adopted daughter of High Priest Jethro of Midian. Her prophetic dream of meeting an Egyptian prince comes true when Moses shows up in her father's camp during his exile from Egypt. As she and the exiled prince fall in love, her prophetic instincts lead her to encourage Moses toward his destiny of winning freedom for the Hebrew slaves in Egyptian bondage—even when Moses is reluctant to believe her vision of his future. Together, they follow the treacherous road to her husband's biblical calling, a journey that turns out to hold both physical and emotional danger.

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One of the things I most enjoyed in the first book in this series (Sarah: Wife of Abraham) was the lush physical and cultural details of the city of Ur. Perhaps it's a necessity of the milieu, but I felt this novel lacked the richness of setting that made the first Canaan novel so atmospheric. This novel also got a little romance-y for me at times, focusing too much on Zipporah's various relationship problems with Moses, especially the problems with his sister. In general, the novel has a very negative outlook on the relationships between women. Finally, I felt that the novel suffered from the same ultimate problem as Sarah, that is, it is bound to a disappointing ending by the fact that it is constrained by the well-known parameters of the established biblical story.

Fans of historical fiction will find this novel a sufficient but not outstanding read.

S.K. Slevinski is senior editor for ARWZ Literary Magazine and a long time reader of alternative reality fiction. She is currently a graduate student, specializing in folklore.

Alternative Reality Web Zine: ISSN# 1559-3037

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