Iscariot

Tosca Lee. S&S/Howard, $22.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8376-9
From the author of Demon and coauthor with Ted Dekker of the Book of Mortals series comes mind-bending biblical historical fiction that dares to put readers in the mind of the most infamous character of Christian history. Lee uses a historically accurate setting for a fictional story of young Judas from Sepphoris, who becomes a Zealot after his father dies on a Roman cross during a Jewish revolt. As an adult, Judas studies and practices Torah, and though he associates with Jewish revolutionaries—like Jesus—he carefully avoids the same fate as his father. The Gospels never tell exactly why Judas betrayed Jesus, but the author’s theory is that Judas was no more confused or misguided than other disciples; however, his plans went terribly wrong. Some familiar scenes come to life (“‘Hail,’ I whispered, and kissed him with trembling lips.”) Though the book provides a speculative and unorthodox view of Judas, the research and writing is impeccable and masterful. Above all, Lee insinuates a lingering question for the reader: is it true and would I have done it, too? (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 02/05/2013
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