The Thief is the second Biblical fiction book that Ive read by Stephanie Landsem. It is a wonderful story about the life and people in Jerusalem during Jesus last days immediately prior to His death on the cross. Like the first book, The Well, the author is very true to the Biblical account, but adds in her creative story that meshes with what we already know from the Bible. I think she does an amazing job in writing this novel.
I recommend this book to readers who like Biblical fiction. If you havent tried this genre, The Thief would be a great initiation, because the basic story is familiar.
I was hooked from the first page as I followed Mouse, a young pickpocket, darting in and out of Jerusalems alleyways and shops as he searched out his next target. After stealing a fat purse, he's captured then handed over to a Roman centurion, Longinus, to be scourged for his crimes. When a lucky distraction allows Mouses escape, he runs for his life. He cant afford an arrest; too many people are counting on him. And Mouse has a secret no one must ever find out. In Stephanie Landsems riveting tale, The Thief, I was transported back to the days of early Jerusalem, where whispers of revolt by Jewish Zealots against their Roman jailors mingle with rumors about a remarkable man of peace who heals the sick and makes the lame walk again. My heart ached for young Nissa, an impoverished young Jewess pressed into making impossible choices in order to care for her brother, and being hunted by a man she desperately wants to trust. When the unthinkable happens and Nissa takes part in an act that cannot be undone, she believes her soul is beyond redemption. Yet as the gripping story of Christ's Passion unfolds, an unlikely sacrifice makes her question her true worth. Has God turned His face from her? Or is Nissas salvation at hand? Landsems smartly compelling tale will keep you turning the pages to find out!
This book contains bad language. Once again, a book published by Howard contains things that should never be in a Christian book. I have read several books by this publisher that have not been good. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
"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.
Exciting 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.