A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.
A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.
The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.
Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30.
The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. – Click here for full description.
If you do a quick search or click here, you will know I’m a big Ted Dekker fan, so when I was offered to review A.D. 33 I didn’t hesitate. Having read The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee I was curious about the way Dekker would deal not only with historical fiction but with the historical Jesus (Yeshua in the book).
Unlike what we may think, it’s not Jesus the one narrating his own life, it’s not a Christmas story, and definitely it’s not about Jesus performing endless miracles. It’s actually about a girl called Maviah, who has gone through a lot of problems since she was born. And it’s Maviah’s life the one that eventually collides with the life of Jesus.
The story evolves and unfolds naturally. I didn’t feel Dekker was in a hurry to introduce Jesus or Jesus’ teachings in the first pages as in a hurry to look preachy. Instead, as we get to know Maviah’s life and those around her, the need for redemption makes its appearance by itself.
For those worried about the author putting his own words in Jesus’ mouth, it’s good to know that in this case Dekker was clever in creating and re imaging different situations where he was able to actually quote Jesus’ teachings straight from the Bible. And there’s an appendix at the end where he presents each teaching with the corresponding passage.
I haven’t read all of Dekker’s books so I’m not sure about this, but I think this is one or maybe the first time where the protagonist is a woman. Maviah the main character has a unique voice, tough she’s a young girl, there’s a maturity in his words and actions from the beginning. There’s a lot to learn from Maviah’s life, I guess almost everyone can feel identified with her in one way or another.
Judah is another strong character and plays an important role in the story, he’s the link between Maviah and Jesus. And yes, he also provides the romantic side although this is not the main focus.
There are many characters and most of them are just as attractive as the protagonists. Everyone has its own voice and most important everyone play a role in the story and are part of the whole narrative. It may be for their evil intentions or their virtues but to me all of them became memorable.
This is one of those books that are not only a good work of historical fiction. It’s impact and message goes beyond the time you take to read and finish the story and if you allow it this also becomes part of your own story. I recommend this book for those who already know Ted Dekker, but also for those who are trying to find something fresh and inspiring for their lives.
I received this book from CenterStreet in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.