cover image Jerusalem's Heart

Jerusalem's Heart

Bodie Thoene / Author, Brock Thoene / Author, Brock Thoene / Joint Autho

This third installment in the Zion's Legacy series continues the Thoenes' tradition of strong characters and fine historical research without succumbing to the embarrassing anti-Muslim stereotypes that so marred their first two novels. The scene is still Palestine of May 1948; war-weary Jewish refugees struggle to retain hold of Jerusalem's Old City, while Muslim forces squeeze the city from all sides, cutting off supplies. Just outside the city, other Jews attempt an Alamo-like last stand at the battle of Latrun, which ends disastrously, leaving them no road to resupply Jerusalem. Much of the ensuing suspense revolves around Jewish attempts to find, and then utilize, an ancient Roman path that will circumvent the Muslim armies and relieve the beleaguered forces in the Old City. The Thoenes' Christian message can sometimes be overstated: a mysterious Jesus figure appears disguised as an elderly gardener, and armies that oppose the Jews find themselves turned back by divinely whipped desert winds and angry hornets (per biblical promises to God's Chosen People). The authors capitalize on the poignant stories of the Jews who are fighting for their homeland. A Hasidic father whose son is the only one of his six children to survive the Holocaust loses his mind when the boy is killed by a grenade, and a Russian family that miraculously survived the Holocaust intact is not so fortunate in the Promised Land. For Christian fiction writers, the Thoenes allow a liberal amount of gory violence (this is war, after all) and present female characters with surprising chutzpah. (Apr.)