Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Review: 'The Second Mango' by Shira Glassman


Queen Shulamit has a lot to deal with, everything from thinking she is the only lesbian in her country to becoming queen at the age of twenty, following the unexpected death of her father. She also has severe digestive problems which make it hard to find meals that she can actually eat without getting sick. Her lonely plight is further compounded by the fact that no one believes she gets sick when she eats and no one understands her love for women. Rivka enters her life just when she needs a friend. Rivka is a warrior who also happens to be a woman, although she usually disguises that fact.
I liked Rivka a lot. She is a very believable character with a lot of depth to her personality. I felt very sorry for Queen Shulamit, and I know she has led a very sheltered life, but still she seems terribly immature to me. She is twenty and she has just become queen of her land, but all she can think about is finding a girl friend. She hires Rivka to help in this search, but soon the two woman find themselves trying to defeat a sorcerer and save a woman’s religious house where nearly all the woman have been turned to stone.
Queen Shulamit does seem to mature a bit over the course of the novel as she tries to figure out ways to defeat the sorcerer, but again, it was Rivka who held my attention. The dialogue feels contrived in places and Queen Shulamit’s obsession with women is definitely more adolescent than adult. But there were some wonderful moments and I really liked the dragon who could turn into a horse and then back to a dragon.
This is a very gentle lesbian love story and it needs to be commended for that alone. It is also a fun fantasy adventure, and readers of fantasy will certainly enjoy it.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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