Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem- Litfuse Book Tour

A Roman centurion longing for peace and a Jewish woman hiding a deadly secret witness a miracle that transforms their lives and leads them to the foot of the cross.
Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure. Desperate to escape the accursed Judean province, he accepts a wager. If he can catch the thieves harassing the marketplace before Passover, he'll earn a transfer away from the troublemaking Jews.
Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Only with the help of Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, can she keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and a roof over their heads.
When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Longinus longs to learn more about the mysterious healer. Instead, his journey leads him to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.
Unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus, they wonder who this teacher is who heals others but does nothing to save himself. Is the mercy he offers in his teachings real, or just another false promise? Can Nissa and 
Longinus overcome their pasts to find a future free of their shackles?
The Thief is an evocative story of two people trapped in their circumstances and the life-changing power of forgiveness and love.
Purchase a copy: 
About the Author: 
Stephanie Landsem loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she's explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she's not writing, she's feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure---whether it be in person or on the page.

Learn more about Stephanie at:
Landing page: 
My thoughts:
What a way to bring the past back to life and make it real and palpable for readers!  I wasn't sure what to expect of this book.  It started to build a foundation right from the start that was strong and realistic.  What was life like when Jesus was alive?  How did the people live? Landsem brought them all to life and made a realistic city and lifestyle.
Nissa's father spends all his time gambling and has stopped working, her mother has taken to drinking her days away, leaving Nissa and her blind brother, Cedron, with no food and leaving the whole family with no money for rent.  In order to survive, Nissa has found  a way to cope.  No one wants to hire a plain girl who is unskilled, so she has learned to steal a bit here and there just to get by and from those who can afford to lose a bit.
Cedron spends his days either praying or begging, blind both in actual sight and in his understanding of what is going on around him.  He trusts that God is going to make things right for him, but at the same time places too much trust in other people doing the right thing.
Longinus is a Roman solider stationed in their city and tasked with finding two thieves to earn his way back home.  He meets Nissa and Cedron while tracking the thief and something about them and their lives won't let him forget them.  But Romans and Jews are not friends and it is harder to offer help than he realized.
I could really see the city and the people and feel the injustice of their legal system.  I wonder how people will depict and judge our judicial system from 2000 years in the future.  Will they think it makes as much sense as crucifying thieves and stoning sinners? 
Seeing Jesus from the eyes of those who believe and those who do not was eye opening.  How he was abandoned by his followers and forgave them, how the people reacted when the tomb was found empty, and the peace he was able to impart to others even when he himself was suffering.  Landsem brought it all to life and made it real and relatable.  It seems like such a tough task, but she made this time period so much more real to me than it has ever been before.

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