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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...
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 5.50 X 8.38 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
Series: The Living Water
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?
“Filled with memorable characters, The Thief is a tale of hopelessness turned to hope, of high stakes made higher, and ultimate love. What happens when a character at the lowest rung of society crosses paths with the most well-known figure in history? The story of The Thief. I couldn't stop reading.” —Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot
“WOW! LOVE IT!!! I started reading on my way home from a conference and was so engrossed in the book I almost missed the flight! The Thief stole my heart and lifted my spirit. Masterfully told, this story of a Roman centurion and a Jewish girl explores familiar New Testament passages but plumbs new spiritual depths. A powerful message of faith and hope intersecting at the foot of the cross.” —Mesu Andrews, author of In a Broken Vessel
“You know the feeling you get looking at a mountain sunset, listening to sacred music while James Earl Jones reads the Sermon on the Mount? The Thief captures that emotion in an unforgettable story of desperation and beauty.” —Regina Jennings, author of Caught in the Middle and Sixty Acres and a Bride
“A compelling story and vivid characters immediately come off the page and into your heart as Stephanie Landsem brings ancient Jerusalem to life in her enthralling second novel, The Thief. As you run through the streets with the little thief, Mouse, or dip in the Pool of Siloam with the secretive Nissa, a masterful tale full of adventure, heartbreak, and hope unfolds. A must-read for anyone who loves a good book they simply can’t put down.” —Laura Sobiech, author of Fly a Little Higher
"To read The Thief is to be completely transported to another time and place. Landsem’s impeccably researched novel moves at breakneck speed toward a climax that doesn’t disappoint." —Rebecca Kanner, author of Sinners and the Sea
"Powerful and moving, Landsem grabs hold of the soul and never lets go. As compelling a portrait of mercy as I have ever read. Don't miss this one!" —Siri Mitchell, author of The Messenger
beckieAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5thief reviewApril 1, 2014beckieAge: 35-44Gender: female"The Thief" by Stephanie Landsem is the second book in the Living Waters series. It is not necessary to read book one first. "The Thief" is the fictional telling of the story of the last year of Jesus' life in Jerusalem. It is told through the eyes of Nissa, the sister of the blind man Jesus cured with mud. Nissa is a thief. Not just any thief, but the best thief in Jerusalem. She supports herself and her brother with her earnings. Nissa meets Longinus, a Roman centurion, and they share a love/hate relationship. Longinus is the character of the soldier that cut Jesus' side while on the cross.
I was supposed to have read this book a couple of weeks ago, but got a little behind on my reviews. On the day I started, our church had the blind man as the sermon and scripture reading. Which was beneficial; I am glad I waited. I would suggest reading the biblical story first. It brought a lot more to the story. This novel is told really well. She keeps to the biblical story while still drawing the reader into the main character, Nissa. She keeps the Nissa and Longinus to the front of the story exploring the culture and history of the time period and area. I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
barbjan10Arlington, TXAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5MIRACLES HAPPEN AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSSMarch 20, 2014barbjan10Arlington, TXAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Exciting and compelling, the scenes written so realistically that moments of holding my breath during the tense drama of this saga were literally "breathtaking." My personal reading appetite for Biblical fiction mixed with fact was satiated upon complete digestion of The Thief by Stephanie Landsem. My imagination needed no help as the characters leaped into my mind lucidly through Ms. Landsem's colorful word paintings describing ancient Jerusalem in a wholly distinctive approach during the most life changing events to ever occur.
Nissa, a shrewish unmarried Jewish woman feeling abandoned by God, was pressed to provide for her household and blind younger brother Cedron. Their uncaring and abusive parents were sinful addicts, her mother to wine - her father to gambling. There are the usual traits peculiar to human nature at all times, it seems. Nissa has a secret about her relationship to Mouse and the Greek Dismas, both talented thieves. Cedron could be a depiction of the blind man healed by a mysterious healer in the Pools of Siloam. One might think the parents would be overjoyed over Cedron's healing, however their unwarranted shame caused their complete abandonment and disowning of Cedron and Nissa, again left to fend for themselves. Longinus, a Roman centurion was a bystander at Cedron's healing and for the first time noticed Nissa, to whom he was strangely attracted; as well as questioning the new mixed emotions and amazed curiosity about the miracle he had just witnessed. Could the Hebrew belief of there being only One God be true? Who is this miracle worker called Jesus? Longinus has problems of his own having just lost his best childhood friend and comrade centurion to murder; and assigned the duty to arrest the thieves before Passover to earn a transfer out of Judea. The breed of personalities encapsulating the Roman soldier's brutality and unmerciful violence was compulsory to author this story to its paramount finality. The supporting cast is spectacular and many surprises and shocks are yet to come.
Ms. Landsem's research into Biblical history, layout of Jerusalem's city streets and alley ways, study of religious laws and holy commandments were only a few of the facts that drew this fictional story together as a sensational read. I deeply appreciated the background she drew into each character adding more depth to the story's significant consequences from the actual incidents. Stephanie Landsem's narrative brings the glory to God as each character is brought to the foot of the cross to recognize the Messiah. Ms. Landsem's pen was indeed guided by the master author of the universe. It touched my heart and soul. Well done!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Fitzysmom5 Stars Out Of 5March 7, 2014FitzysmomFrom 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.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Laura of Harvest LaneCarthage, MOAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The tears have finally stopped, the sniffles, too.March 7, 2014Laura of Harvest LaneCarthage, MOAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5My thoughts early in the book:
I like historical fiction because, when well-written, it can bring a depth of understanding to a time period that I may not be very familiar with. The Jewish people not only had a million and one laws set forth in Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Numbers, but innumberable laws and customs that the Jewish priests and people created themselves. The Romans had their own customs that are so different from any I could imagine even after studying Rome with my children.
I love the way that Mrs. Landsem brings the time of Jesus to life. I never really thought too much about the way the beggars lived or why they might live that way. It's so easy to judge when we don't see the heart issues.
My thoughts after I finished:
It's been a couple of hours now.
The tears have finally stopped, the sniffles, too.
They started in the garden.
They continued at the whipping post.
They increased during the long walk to Golgotha.
They broke loose at the cross.
This book moved me.
The deep love and peace Jesus gave and continues to give
is unspeakable. It cannot be put into words,
and yet He Himself is the Word.
Thank you Jesus.
Thank you Mrs. Landsem for reminding me.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
KateAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A powerful and moving story.March 5, 2014KateAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5What a powerful story The Thief, by Stephanie Landsem, was. My goodness, it was hard to put this book down. There were so many dynamics to this story that made this story come alive in my mind. The characters are solidly created, the way of life is fantastically researched, and it brings such an important time of the beginning of Christianity back to center stage, but offers it from a whole new perspective.
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, two others were there beside him, this story focuses on the thief's and how they came to be on their own crosses that day and how their close proximity with Jesus that day affected those around them.
Nissa has grown up in a poor area of Jerusalem. Her father only likes to play dice and squander what ever money the family can come by, her mother only cares for wine, and in these trials, Nissa does her best to care for her blind brother, Cedron. Nissa has tried her best to harden her heart to the brutality she has faced, she is tough girl who does her best, but is berated for her sharp tongue and harassed by others in her community since she has not been married. Nissa fights an internal battle throughout the story. It's one many people can relate to. It's the same argument that can run through anyone's mind, "You don't have a choice, it's the only way." "No one will like me for who I am, I will just do it one more time and I will quit."
You want to root for Nissa and you hope that she can over come.
Longinus is an outcast in many ways. He is Roman, so the Jewish people despise him. However, he is not Roman enough for his superiors. His father was Roman and his mother was from Gaul. The only thing that has kept him going and in good standing is his pursuit of a friend's killer. He is desperate to prove himself. However, while he is stationed in Jerusalem, he runs into Nissa and in doing so is introduced to her blind brother. With his own eyes, Longinus witnesses the miracle of Cedron regaining his eyesight when he washes at the pool, after receiving directions from Jesus. Despite his many attempts, Longinus wants to see this Jesus that everyone is buzzing about, but he keeps missing Him, that is until the night in the Garden of Gethsemane.
This story pulled me in. You know what is going to happen, but to see it to how it happened, not from Jesus' or his disciples' point of views, but from the witnesses and how it affected them. The Thief is a powerful story.
Thank you to Litfuse and Howard Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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