As some of you may know, I am an avid reader (have been since high school). I love to read all kinds of Christian fiction: romance, historical, action, drama, mystery, etc. I rarely read anything other than fiction, unless it’s something related to Christian living like a book by James Dobson or something. Some of my favorite authors are Ted Dekker, Tim LaHaye, Francine Rivers (oh I loved, loved, loved Redeeming Love), Karen Kingsbury, and Coleen Coble; just to name a few.
For about a month or two now, I have been anxiously awaiting Ted Dekker’s new book, Immanuel’s Veins. I love Dekker’s writing. He always does this almost supernatural kind of fiction that really keeps you on the edge of your seat, but at the same time makes you really stop and think. Well, this book was no exception!
To quote Ted Dekker’s website:
“It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.
Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover. With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds. Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow. Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter. But remember, not everyone is for this story.”
This story follows the lives of two people who are in love with each other but don’t tell each other until the almost bitter end. Now, before you go thinking this is a typical romance novel…think again. This is nothing of the sort. There is nothing typical about this book.
Possible spoiler ahead!!
It is written in first person narrative by both of the lead characters, Toma and Lucine. Toma is a warrior sent by Catherine the Great to protect Lucine and her mother and twin sister. Toma immediately falls in love with Lucine and she too with him, however neither says a word until the almost bitter end of the story. But there is a dark force trying to win Lucine over to himself…Vlad van Valerik. A beautiful being whose life and lifestyle is enticing to all who enter his castle. The story moves through how each of the characters in the book are enticed into some part of the world of Vlad van Valerik. But Lucine is who he wants the most. Once he has her, the real battle for the heart and the mind begins.
I won’t tell you anymore…I’ll leave the rest for you to discover.
As for my take on the book…WOW!! When I first started reading the book, I was worried I would not like it because it was written in third person. But because it was written by one of my all time favorite authors and it was so talked up, I continued on. I was very quickly caught up in the story line and the first person narrative no longer bothered me.
Another thing about the story that made me wonder at first was this: during the scenes at Vlad van Valerik’s castle, the clan who lived there were not only living wildly in sin (which you expect because you need to see that contrast between good and evil), but they were biting each other and it was for the blood. I was worried that Dekker had lost it a little and was buying into the whole vampire fad that is going on right now. I was determined to continue reading to see, but I was worried I would no longer be able to read his stuff.
What I found out was that this was about something bigger…not about vampires at all.
During the last quarter of the book, you begin to see the theme come together and you start realizing that this is a story of heaven and hell fighting a physical battle on earth. It’s a retelling of sorts of the love of Christ to die for our sins and the defeat Satan. I loved the imagery, especially at the end of the story. It was beautiful how Toma was willing to die for Lucine because he loved her that much and how his love for her saved her from death. Which is exactly how Christ loves us.
So, for this book, I will give it two thumbs WAY UP! If you love to read and if you like fiction, may I suggest that you grab a copy or download it on your Kindle, Nook, whatever and sit for a spell. I guarantee you will not be able to put it down.
KiWone Inc., c/o Creative Trust. (2010). The Official Website of ‘New York Times’ Best Selling author Ted Dekker. Retrieved from http://www.teddekker.com/?content=album&album=89140