Mike Lester, Author . Picture Puffin $24.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-698-11926-0

In this fifth book in the Zion Legacy series, the award-winning Thoenes use the setting of Jerusalem in 1948 as a portal to take the reader back to biblical times for a fresh look at the life of Christ. In the last novel, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City fell to the Arab Legion, and Moshe Sachar and Alfie Halder sought refuge in Jerusalem's hidden library, far below the Temple Mount. There they found a cache of 70 scrolls, the first of which became the story recounted in The Jerusalem Scrolls (Book 4). In this latest installment, Sachar and Halder open the second scroll, and the reader is transported to the time of Christ as seen by the Roman centurion Marcus Longinus and a young beggar boy, Avel. As Avel struggles to survive, Longinus renews his acquaintance with his former lover, the strikingly beautiful Miryam Magdalen, whom he finds irrevocably changed by the prophet Yeshua (Jesus). The pace slows occasionally, as when Yeshua engages a character in a long conversation about being born again, but such trouble spots are rare. Because the library contains 70 scrolls, readers may legitimately wonder how long this series will be stretched out. However, the Thoenes, who have won eight Gold Medallion awards in the Christian market, are at their best here. Good writing, careful attention to details and a fresh spin on familiar New Testament miracles and characters should ensure keen interest among their fans. (Mar. 18)

Reviewed on: 02/04/2002
Release date: 01/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-399-23388-3
Prebound-Glued - 28 pages - 978-0-613-85667-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-24737-5
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