Series: A.D. Series #2
Published by Center Street on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Historical, Suspense
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New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker delivers the gripping story of Maviah, a woman whose life is radically transformed when she meets Jesus. They call her the Queen of the Outcasts. Maviah, a woman whose fate was sealed on her birth by this world-unwanted, illegitimate, female, a slave-subject to the whims of all. But then she met a man named Yeshua who opened her eyes. She found strength in his words, peace from the brutal word around her. Because of what he taught her, she has gathered her own traveling kingdom of outcasts deep in the desert, wielding an authority few have seen. But when her growing power threatens the rulers around her, they set out to crush all she loves, leaving her reeling as a slave once more. She must find Yeshua to save her people, but when she does, she will be horrified to discover that he faces his own death. Enter a story full of intrigue, heart-wrenching defeat, uncompromising love and staggering victory-one that re-examines everything you thought you knew about the heart of Jesus's stunning message and the power that follows for those who follow his easily forgotten way.
AD 33 | Ted Dekker
Three years have passed since Maviah the slave became Maviah the Bedu Queen—Queen of the Outcasts, Daughter of Yeshua. Those three years have not been easy. Her lover lies in prison in Dumah. She is the leader of all those cast out by the Thamud. Life is harsh, yes, but life is real and worth living as a daughter of the King. And now the time is come. It is time to set the captives free.
In AD 33, Ted Dekker throws readers back into the carefully crafted Beduoin world of the first century, a world strangely foreign to even scholars of the Gospels. Dekker wastes no time getting readers up to speed, meaning that while A.D. 33 can be read by itself, you most certainly will not want to do that. Instead, take some time to travel through A.D. 30. It’ll give you much needed insight into the characters and their motivations.
The story is a surprise a minute, peppered with thoughts that make you slow down and think. The A.D. series has been some of Dekker’s most personal work and, as such, let me be frank, the message is not very subtle. Many times I heard Ted speaking, rather than his characters. Take that as a flaw, take that as a highlight, your choice.
But the message is wrapped around an incredible story of war and intrigue as Maviah seeks to hold true to identity as a daughter of Yeshua while yet dealing with those who would come against her to destroy her. Though I doubt Ted would forthrightly claim such, I definitely saw shades of Thomas Hunter in Maviah’s character.
I shan’t say much about the plot, lest I spoil the surprise. Dekker handles the characterization of Yeshua very well. Usually, “Jesus characters” either come off as less-than-Jesus or incredibly forced and stilted. Dekker manages the balance well, holding true to the teachings of Jesus (for evidence, just see the appendix) while yet making this Jesus seem real to the story rather than a cardboard cut-and-paste from Scripture.
Dekker’s historical background is immaculate, a skill he learned, I’m sure, from the great Tosca Lee. He opens up the reader’s eyes to an ancient world we thought we knew, but one just beyond the borders of our experience. By making Maviah an outsider to the Jewish culture, he portrays the story of Jesus in a way not often thought about. How did Messiah affect those outside the Roman Empire?
The storyline and pacing flow well, though it’s a bit slow at points. Dekker’s writing is a bit fuller and deeper and makes you slow down to really immerse yourself. That’s not a bad thing, but it, along with many other things, makes the A.D. series much different than his other works.
A.D. 33 is the book Ted’s wanted to write for a decade and, coupled with his new spiritual awakening, the passion and power from a story held in so long just pours out on the page. Take a wild camel ride through the desert and join Maviah, Queen of the Outcasts, in her pursuit to follow the man called Yeshua.
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