Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Thief ~ Romance, Murder, Deception, Fear, and Bravery In one Very Good Novel!

I am thrilled to have a guest reviewer for this book. My dear husband, Rick volunteered to read the book and offer his opinion on it. I'm glad he did!

Stephanie Landsem's The Thief is the second of three books in the Living Water series, historical fiction involving people mentioned in the four Gospels. While reading the first book [The Messenger] could make this book a richer experience, it is not necessary.
Jesus is not the central character, but does appear several times in the novel. The main characters are Nissa, a young Jewish girl who feels fated by circumstances to remain unmarried and in poverty unless she takes extreme measures; and Longinus, a Roman centurion who is often considered unusual by his fellow soldiers because he tries to be humane in a profession known for brutality.
These characters and many others are portrayed in rich detail. The reader is easily able to care about their inner struggles as they face mounting challenges.
One danger in historical novels is drifting away from the plot into lengthy explanations of objects and customs unfamiliar to modern readers. Landsem is adept at making necessary explanations without disturbing the flow of the story.
This is not a "romance novel". There is romance involved, but murder, deception, fear and bravery are also here in equal measure.
About the Book:

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.

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.

You can purchase a copy of the book HERE!

About the Author:

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 HERE!!

I received a copy of the book for the purpose of this review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are mine and my guest writer.

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