Monday, March 3, 2014

The Thief Book Review & Tour

A Roman centurion longing for peace and a Jewish woman hiding a deadly secret witness a miracle that transforms their lives and leads them to the foot of the cross.

The Thief

Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure. Desperate to escape the accursed Judean province, he accepts a wager. If he can catch the thieves harassing the marketplace before Passover, he'll earn a transfer away from the troublemaking Jews.

Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Only with the help of Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, can she keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and a roof over their heads.

When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Longinus longs to learn more about the mysterious healer. Instead, his journey leads him to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.

Unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus, they wonder who this teacher is who heals others but does nothing to save himself. Is the mercy he offers in his teachings real, or just another false promise? Can Nissa and Longinus overcome their pasts to find a future free of their shackles?

The Thief is an evocative story of two people trapped in their circumstances and the life-changing power of forgiveness and love.

Purchase a copy:
About the Author: 

Stephanie Landsem Stephanie Landsem loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she's explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she's not writing, she's feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure---whether it be in person or on the page.

Learn more about Stephanie at:
My Thoughts:
Well written and fast paced, this was a good book if you enjoy Biblical fiction. The characters, Mouse, Nissa, and Longinus were full of life and almost jumped from the page as did Dismas the thief. I very much enjoyed how each of these people interacted with the other. They were complex and emotional; not cardboard cut-outs where everything turns out okay because we must have a happy ending.

I enjoyed how the author took these characters and wrote a story that very well could have taken place during the same time preceding and leading up to Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection. Seriously, what could have been going on at the sidelines? Having read the Bible from my young childhood and continuing to do so, I was entranced with how the author wove this story into the historical fact of the resurrection. I read with new light just how the thieves might have gotten caught that hung with Jesus, what could have transpired during the months prior, and saw just how desperate things could have been for Nissa and her brother Cedron. It made me think - and I like that.

Up to the point of the crucifixion, the author had done a good job of staying true to the facts recorded in the Bible, but two things stood out to me at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection that I feel I must address. Not because I enjoy finding fault with people or with tearing apart their work, quite the contrary, but because I feel that for my own readers, these needed to be addressed.

It's said that the nail went through Jesus's bone in his feet which sounds suspiciously like it was broken. This is in direct contrast to Old Testament prophecy that none of his bones would be broken. Psalm 34:20. This is a big deal. If even one of His bones had been broken, prophecy would not have been fulfilled and Jesus would not have been the Messiah.

The rock that covered the tomb was cracked down the middle.
Matthew 28:2- And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it.
Mark 16:4- And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
Luke 24:2- And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
John 20:1 - the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early. When it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
This also is a big deal as the Bible specifically states that an angel rolled it away and sat upon it.

I still think this is a good book. It held my attention and the characters were likable and I was sympathetic to their plights. This is a fiction novel and should be read with that in mind and never should a fiction book take the place of the Bible.

*My thanks to the publisher, Howard Books, for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. These thoughts are my own, and I was in no way required this review be positive.*

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