Book # 55. A.D. 30, by Ted Dekker. Unabridged audio.
I’ve read a half-dozen or so of Dekker’s prior novels, and liked a handful of them. He made his name in the Christian book business as a writer of fantasy and horror, but has spent the second portion of his career moving more into mainstream Christian fiction. This, for example, is a historical novel taking place in the book’s eponymous year.
Maviah is the outcast daughter of a powerful Bedouin sheikh. In the aftermath of an attack, she escapes with the help of her father’s two top warriors. In order to save her people, she must seek out an alliance with Herod, king of the Jews. And that journey brings her into contact with the enigmatic teacher Yeshua, who may be a different kind of King, preaching a different kind of Kingdom. We follow her as she struggles with physical danger, family drama, and a spiritual awakening.
This is my preferred way to read a novel about Jesus. He is impactful on the main character, but appears only infrequently. I believe that all of Jesus’ dialog is taken from his New Testament statements. The rest of the book also seemed well-researched. My only qualm with the historicity of the story was whether a single woman, even the daughter of a powerful sheikh, would have as much education and power as Maviah has in this tale. But that is a minor quibble, as her strength and ability make for a good reading experience.
Dekker has a second novel planned for this series, to be titled A.D. 33. I look forward to seeing how Maviah’s time with Yeshus has changed her, and how she reacts to the dramatic events of the end of his ministry.
Narrator Ellen Archer does a fine job bringing Maviah’s world to life in the audio version of this novel.
Source: public library