I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
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by Ted Dekker
The newest book by Ted Dekker, A.D. 30 will be released at the end of this month, and I was lucky to receive an advance copy to review. Dekker is a New York Times best selling novelist, whose work ranges from thrillers to mysteries to fantasy novels. This latest novel is historical fiction, and as you can see from the title it is set almost 2000 years ago in A.D. 30.
The heroine of the novel is Maviah, a young Bedouin woman. She is the illegitimate daughter of an important tribal leader, who was sold into slavery as a child. When the book opens she has been returned to her father’s house in disgrace after having a baby. She finds herself caught up in political fighting between her father, her half-brother and other Bedouin tribes. She escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors, Saba and Judah, and takes off on a mission to help her father, crossing the desert to meet King Herod of the Jews. As you might guess from the date in the book title, during her journey she also meets Jesus, which changes her mission and her life.I was a little unsure about this book when I got it, because it is not like any book by Ted Dekker I have read before. But it was fantastic, and a great mixture of action and suspense. It is clear Dekker did a huge amount of historical research, and he really makes you feel like you understand the hardship of life in ancient times. Sometimes historical fiction annoys me because the characters (especially women) have modern ideas and beliefs that aren’t true to the culture being portrayed. But Maviah isn’t like that, she is a woman who accepts her subservient place as a shamed woman, and she is forced into action only because she has no choices.
I also liked the portrayal of the disciples around Jesus, who clearly understand that Jesus is a great man, but are very confused and unsure about his message. Using Jesus as a character in a novel could be problematic, but Dekker sticks closely to the gospel accounts. The book went in directions I was not expecting, and ended with a dramatic conflict that clearly sets up a sequel, A.D. 33. This is an exciting book filled with action and suspense, and I enjoyed reading it.