I received this book form the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
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.
But Maviah’s path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which 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, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.
A.D 30 has something that very few other fictional books have, an intimate experience that brings you closer to God and opens your eyes to see Jesus for who He is, and to see yourself for who you are, His child. All the while reading a story full of adventure, betrayal, action, romance, and everything a good fictional book needs.
Just in case you do not know, “Yeshua” is the Jewish name for “Jesus”, thus, the main (fictional) character, Maviah, meets Jesus and many of the great historians of the Bible. At first I was slightly hesitant on reading a book that was so courageously published, for fear that it may not live up to its full potential or would possibly be incorrect, however it exceeded my expectations by far.
I loved that Dekker did not fictionalize anything about Jesus to bring Him to Maviah, instead, he wove Maviah’s story around Jesus. “Yeshua” never said anything that was not written in the Bible first, He was not apart of a miracle that was not mentioned in the Bible, and He did not have a personality different from what is said about Him in the Bible. Dekker did an AMAZING job at this, I can’t even begin to explain that. Dekker also brought understanding to some of Jesus’ parables, by way of Maviah reflecting on them herself, or by her speaking to someone else.
A.D 30 is written in first person by Maviah, giving the book the necessary emotional affects, as well as giving those who read, a chance to relate to her. Maviah would be considered the “gentile” of the story, I think I place Saba as a “gentile” as well, as he did not believe in any god (Maviah believed in them all). Judah however is the Jew, and Dekker did a great job of making him earnest in meeting “Yeshua”, yet gave him the mindset of most Jews during Jesus’ time on the earth, expecting Him to rise up against the Romans in war.
There is one cuss word that sincerely took me by surprise, as none of the other books I have read by Ted have had any whatsoever. The word is b*****d and it is said roughly 3 times. Judah also swears his allegiance more than once on many different things and Maviah curses everything she knows in one scene. There is also lots of fighting (maiming) and kissing, however no sex scenes whatsoever.
So in conclusion, Christians, you will love this book! This is the book that Dekker has been waiting for, the one that will have influence beyond any of his other books, I can only imagine the power it holds should it be made into a movie! I rate it 5 out of 5 stars.