The Thief by Stephanie Landsem ~ A Biblical Historical Fiction Book Review

The Living Water Series, Book 2
Biblical/Historical Fiction

Back of the book:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Abandoned by the God she once loved, her only recourse is to depend upon Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, to keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and the landlord satisfied.

Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure and is desperate to escape the accursed Judean province. Accepting a wager that will get him away from the aggravating Jews and their threats of revolt, he sets out to catch the thieves harassing the marketplace.

When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Nissa hopes for freedom from her life of lies. But the supposed miracle brings only more misfortune, and Longinus, seeking to learn more about the mysterious healer, finds himself drawn instead to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.

Cedron, Longinus, and Nissa are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the love and redemption Jesus offers is true or just another false promise. How can the so-called Messiah save them from their shackles, when he cannot even save himself?

Read An Excerpt!
My thoughts:

From the very beginning this book pulled me in. It has a nice balance of descriptive language that puts you inside the story without boring you with unnecessary details. I could easily picture Mouse scurrying through the streets and back alleys of Jerusalem. 

One of the things that I'm pretty particular about with Biblical/Historical Fiction is accuracy. I appreciated the careful way that Ms. Landsem stayed true to the Scriptures, yet embellished enough to make the story feel full and complete. Jewish terms and practices were used and explained through dialogue that allowed the reader to understand why the situation was important.

The contrast between the Romans and Jews made for an intriguing tension between Nissa and Longinus. While the main point of the book was the redemption and grace found through Jesus of Nazareth, I completely enjoyed the romantic aspects of the contentious relationship between Nissa and Longinus. There is so much that separates the two that it seems impossible that they could ever come together.

There were so many moments in the story that drew me to the Savior. Ms. Landsem has written a novel that will be remembered for so much more than an entertaining tale. It is a piece of work that I am sure her Savior is smiling about.

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