Hereville Review on

As a favor to Kristin, who wrote a wonderful guest post for me while I was recovering from surgery, I wrote her a review of Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword for

Obviously, you must check out the link to read my full review, but here’s a little bit about Hereville and what I talked about:

Hereville is a story about a young ultra-Orthodox Jewish girl who would rather be slaying dragons than learning how to knit. When she meets a local witch and rescues her pet pig, Mirka’s reward is the location of a sword that will allow her to carry out her dreams. But what will Mirka have to face along the way?

What I found interesting about Hereville was it’s focus on the ultra-Orthodox way of life. I understand that other people, especially non-Jews, may need the introduction to the super-pious lifestyle and customs, but found that the focus on religious life prevented Hereville from becoming the girl-kicking-ass-despite-everything story that I wanted. So much so that I have decided I am anxiously awaiting a Hereville 2 so it can fix the flaws of its first volume.

Of course there was much more to talk about in the review, so please check it out here. (And I promise there will be a nice, shiny, new blog post filled with an in-depth look at something manga-related that has been floating around in my mind as soon as I get all my work done!)

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4 Responses to Hereville Review on

  1. Kris says:


    Also, I keep wanting to read the title as: How Mirka Got Her Sword Back. I’m not sure why.

  2. DeBT says:

    Just read my library copy, and was pleasantly surprised by how much of a joy it was to read. When you think about enjoyable page-turners, an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girl as a main character is the furthest thing from your mind. I also appreciated the little touches, such as the translations of Yiddish terms, some of which escaped me.

    I also liked the anachronisms of modern technology, since I thought it took place years ago, or that these people were in an Amish village. Not to mention that even though everybody’s essensially Jewish, there’s still bullying and bickering – it’s not a perfect world, but still natural.

    It helped that the fantasy elements weren’t the sole focus here, but an aside that worked along the teachings of an Ultra-Orthodox life. It was basically educational without being necessarily overpreachy. The vague instructions she got from the witch (without having to memorize the passages) certainly helped too.

    Also liked the drawings as well, since they were cartoony without being overbearing, though I felt she overdid it a bit with the speedlines panels.

    • I also enjoyed the book, I just felt it got too hung up on the ultra-Orthodox side of things. While I understand that readers who are not familiar with that way of life are going to need the education, it just felt like it either should’ve been a longer book so that the fantasy aspects could really shine or part 1 of a series. I just wasn’t satisfied enough to end the story where it ended and Mirka’s unique personality was never accepted. She clearly does her best to solve problems and is respectful of her religion and it’s customs. She’s not a bad girl, she just has an imagination. I just wanted to see that rewarded instead of seeing the book end with punishments for staying out all night.

      Ideally, I would have cut out the scene where her older sister forces her into submission lest her sisters become labeled weird/undesirable by association and replaced it with a dragon fight where Mirka saves Hereville and is rewarded for her cunning and bravery.

      At least Mirka wins the troll battle through her smarts. I was quite happy with that part.

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