The outcast daughter of a powerful Arabian sheikh, Maviah is called to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch an attack, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors. Their dangerous journey takes them to a brutal world subjugated by kings, where Maviah must form an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.
But Maviah’s path leads unexpectedly to an enigmatic teacher, who speaks of a way of life that offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, it may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.
Ted Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of over thirty five novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans. Ted’s latest work, a historical fiction based on the teachings of Jesus, is a radical departure from previous outings and is receiving critical acclaim.
I have read a lot of Ted Dekker’s books. He has a unique way of exploring spiritual truths, and A.D. 30 is no exception. For those of you who are expecting a speculative novel, you may be a bit surprised. With a setting of 2000+ years ago, this novel fits the historical genre, yet has aspects of suspense, while incorporating some mystical elements as well. I found the audiobook riveting, making this one hard to turn off. It is definitely a recommended read.
Maviah has been shuttled around from birth. Her mother’s origins and her father’s disdain forced her into slavery in Egypt at a very young age. Reluctantly her father brings her back to his household, but it is an uneasy relationship. Maviah is an outcast and could have easily slipped into the role of victim. But her tenacious spirit and her desire for justice drive her on a dangerous journey through the Middle East to the royal courts of Palestine and an encounter with Yeshua, a prophet who seemingly speaks in riddles.
Maviah is an interesting character. A true outcast, she is also intelligent and shrewd with a mother’s heart that remains open and tender despite the battering it takes. Her first person account lets the reader into all she experiences. The setting runs from the Arabian desert to the courts of Herod Antipas to the cities beside the Sea of Galilee — familiar settings for those who read the Bible, yet in Dekker’s hands are exotic and dangerous. Complex characterization is a big plus in this novel, with Dekker’s portrayal of Jesus the most intriguing. I was often reminded of Jesus’ question to his disciples — Who do you say I am? (Mark 8:29), because of the various reactions from the other characters. A.D. 30 explores God’s role as a true father, the nature of God’s Kingdom, what forgiveness looks like and what it means to really see. Because of the many elements of this novel — rich in historical detail and suspense-filled — I think it has a wide appeal. The reader for the audiobook did a great job as well. All in all, I really, really enjoyed this book!
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(I purchased this book from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)