The Book of Uriel is a fiction masterpiece. Elyce Hoffman tells a poignant yet heartbreaking story of a little boy who saves the Jewish people from the Nazis during WWII. Uriel’s triumphs will become your guiding light through this touching tale.
- Title: The Book of Uriel
- Author: Elyce Hoffman
- Publisher: Project 613 Publishing on January 26, 2021
- Genre: Jewish Historical Fiction
- Pages: 303
- Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook, & Digital
- Rating: 5/5
Trigger Warnings: Holocaust, Murder, Graphic Violence
Many thanks to Elyse Hoffman for providing me with a digital copy of The Book of Uriel with a request for an honest review. Also, thanks to The Write Reads Tours for inviting me on this tour and providing the materials for this post.
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About The Book of Uriel
In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…
Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.
In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.
With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death…even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.
The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.Provided by The Write Reads Book Tours for Tour Use
Uriel is a mute ten-year-old Jewish boy living in Poland at the height of WWII. Uriel communicates through writing stories that he keeps in a golden notebook. Uriel’s village and everyone in it perish at the hands of Jewish-hating Poles and Nazis. Uriel lives only because the Nazis believe him dead after a trampling from a stampede. When he awakes, two angels visit Uriel and send him on a quest to free the archangel Michael from the clutches of the Angel of Death. During his trial, he meets and befriends Uwe. Uwe ends up on an adventure of his own. But, will Urial and Uwe live through their quests, or will they die trying?
Uriel’s character is so endearing that you can’t help but love him. He is bright and resourceful, which puts him in the perfect position to become the chosen Angel-Finder. When Uriel faces Samael, the Angel of Death, his tenacity and courage touch your heart. Uriel has the true heart of a believer of God. The boy wishes more than anything that his voice worked to allow him to sing God’s praises with the rest of the boys in the village. But, I adore Uriel just as he is because he doesn’t allow his muteness to stop him from living his life.
Now, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Uwe in the beginning. I had strong mixed feelings about him. I knew in my heart that Uwe was a good man. His immediate connection with Uriel, even though he believed Uriel dead on the streets of his village, told me that Uwe was good. I also know that Uwe wasn’t with the Nazis willingly. Torn from his home much the same as everyone else during Hitler’s reign, he was not a willing participant. However, when Uriel came back into his life, Uwe was very stand-offish and somewhat rude to Uriel. This behavior is the crux of my mixed emotions. I wasn’t sure what to think. But, as the story moved on, I learned that Uwe is the brave, kind, wonderful man I knew he could be.
The Nazis are evil, and the actions they took under the leadership of the Major made me sick to my stomach. I won’t go on because we all know how horrid the Nazis were. Let’s just say that they are evil through and through. I will allow you to use your knowledge of the Holocaust to guide you to how I feel about these men.
The setting takes us on a full gambit of sinister to glorious. The descriptions of the woods make it beautiful, but in the back of your mind, you have to know that behind the beauty is death and destruction. The author describes the Jewish villages beautifully. The synagogues and village homes are poor but still shine in my mind. The horrors that take place there are what turn them ugly.
There wasn’t a single thing that I didn’t love about this novel. Despite the tragedies, the book is inspirational and makes your heart feel light. I don’t generally enjoy books that are heavy on religion, but this story is different. I can’t explain why because the religious overtones are distinct, but the uplifting message told the story more than the religious aspects.
I happily award The Book of Uriel a full 5 out of 5 stars. I urge anyone with a love of history to read this book. If you aren’t a fan of historical fiction, there is still much to love about this novel and the characters who reside in it. If you are anything like me, your outlook on life will change after getting to know Uriel and Uwe.
About the Author – Elyce Hoffman
Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written six works of Holocaust historical fiction: the five books of The Barracks of the Holocaust and The Book of Uriel.