RaveThe A.V. ClubThe Books Of Jacob appearing now feels like a long-promised setting to rights, an occasion for English readers to experience a genuine global artistic event: the publication of a genre-broadening contribution to the historical novel ... The magic of the novel is that an encyclopedically researched account of a fringe schismatic denomination from nearly three centuries ago should feel so wildly contemporary ... In a certain sense, Tokarczuk is concerned with letting you see the sweat on her product. The book concludes with a note on sources, and every period detail reads as faultlessly placed. The Books Of Jacob projects verisimilitude ... Novelistic convention is subtle here, but ever-present ... the power of narrative, it’s clear, lies in the resonances and connections that artifice can reveal between known facts ... The suggestiveness of this choice in images for The Books Of Jacob is rich, as light and its manipulation come increasingly to be explained in the terms of the incipient Scientific Revolution. At the same time, it’s a virtue of mysticism to be contradictory and puzzling, and in Jacob Frank, Tokarczuk has a hugely confounding figure ... If there’s one thing that Joseph Frank, the messiah, is concerned with imparting, it’s the provisionality of all earthly things. In her clear-sighted rendering of enormous historical momentum, pitilessly displaying the dissolution of both national borders and whole systems of belief, Olga Tokarczuk achieves much the same objective.