Monday, April 8, 2013

Litfuse Blog Tour: When Jesus Wept

Author: Brock and Bodie Thoene

Genre: Life

Series: Jerusalem Chronicles

Number in series: 1st

My rating on a 1-10 scale: 9

Type: Historical fiction

Number of pages: 328

Time period: Bible times (around 30 a.d.)

Publisher and price: Zondervan, $14.99

My overall opinion: You may have read a retelling of the story of Lazarus before…but I guarantee that it didn’t hold a candle to this particular version. Because this one? Is from Lazarus’s point of view. Before I give a few more details about that, let me mention that the amount of historical detail and accuracy in general relation to the time period in this book is simply stunning. I have been very impressed with all the research that the Thoenes have poured into all their books, including the A. D. Chronicles and the Zion Chronicles (two of my favorite series by them, especially the latter). But the detail isn’t boring at all – it’s just there, making the story realistic and enjoyable.

Now, on to the other things I noticed. I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the beginning, I picked up some of the story of Ben-Hur! If you aren’t very familiar with the book/movie, you probably won’t notice – but I’ve read and watched it enough that I caught it. And it totally made me happy because it was worked in so well! Another thing that was described in fascinating detail and with great (though reasonable) imagination included the Cana wedding, where Jesus performed his first recorded miracle. I was delighted to again meet Peniel, who we originally came across in the A. D. Chronicles (I think…but it’s been a while since I read them). One interesting writer’s liberty that the authors took was making Lazarus’s sister, Mary (the woman we remember as being sweet and worshipping Jesus and washing His feet with her hair) into the same woman as Mary Magdalene (who came to Jesus’ grave later on) and also making her be the woman who was caught in adultery. Remember her? The one where the leaders accused her, and demanded that she be stoned – Jesus said that the one among them who was without sin should cast the first stone. I rather doubt that Lazarus’s sister was ALL of these women, but it certainly made for an interesting concept. One other liberty that the authors took was to make Lazarus into one of the disciples who was sent to fetch a donkey colt for Jesus to ride in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. I can’t recall if the disciples who are sent are specifically named or not, but I’m not sure if this is accurate.
Other than that last thing mentioned, the entire book is amazingly accurate to the Bible and very believable. Much of the dialogue with Jesus is taken straight from the Bible (perhaps with slight editing to make it read more smoothly). The Thoenes are still writing strong, and I look forward to more books in this series!

**Litfuse sent me a copy of this book in return for my honest review. I received no other compensation. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I was not required to post a positive review.**

Celebrate the release of When Jesus Wept with the Thoenes by entering their iPad Mini giveaway and RSVPing to their {4/23} Facebook Author Chat party!


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A brand new iPad Mini
  • A book club kit - 10 copies of When Jesus Wept
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 22nd. Winner will be announced at the "When Jesus Wept" Author Chat Party on 4/23. Connect with the Thoenes, get a sneak peek of the next book in the Jerusalem Chronicles series, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be fun giveaways - gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of When Jesus Wept and join Bodie and Brock on the evening of the April 23rd for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!


Faith F. said...

Just reviewed this one myself! :-) I agree with what you said about Mary... and how it made for an interesting novel. I too met Peniel in the AD Chronicles, though I only read one of those. I loved the Zion Chronicles and Jerusalem Chronicles looks like it will be epic.

Analiese said...

This was a very good read - I have really enjoyed the little [so far] that I've read of Biblical fiction. :D

Charity U said...

Faith, glad you got to read it too! Great book, I thought. :) So looking forward to more in this series!

Analiese, glad you liked it. Biblical fiction is a wonderful genre!