Friday, March 7, 2014

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

Thank you Litfuse for this review copy.
  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.
My thoughts early in the book:
like historical fiction because, when well-written, it can bring a depth of understanding to a time period that I may not be very familiar with.  The Jewish people not only had a million and one laws set forth in Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Numbers, but innumberable laws and customs that the Jewish priests and people created themselves.  The Romans had their own customs that are so different from any I could imagine even after studying Rome with my children.

I love the way that Mrs. Landsem brings the time of Jesus to life.  I never really thought too much about the way the beggars lived or why they might live that way.  It's so easy to judge when we don't see the heart issues.  

My thoughts after I finished:

It's been a couple of hours now.  
The tears have finally stopped, the sniffles, too.  

They started in the garden.  
They continued at the whipping post.  
They increased during the long walk to Golgotha.  
They broke loose at the cross.  

This book moved me.
The deep love and peace Jesus gave and continues to give
is unspeakable.  It cannot be put into words, 
and yet He Himself is the Word.

Thank you Jesus.
Thank you Mrs. Landsem for reminding me.

Read what other bloggers thought.
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.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. This book sounds great. I'm a bookworm in hiding right now (er, in denial?)...maybe once I get through the stack of books "to read" on my nightstand I'll be able to consider adding this one to the list. Don't want to get too far ahead of myself though!

  2. Laura, I loved you review. If it helps at all, I cried through writing most of those last chapters, too. Thanks for sharing The Thief with your readers.

  3. Dear Stephanie,
    Your book truly touched my heart. Thank you so much.
    Thank you for "talking back". It means so much to me when
    authors care enough to comment on my reviews. I look forward
    to reading your next book.
    God bless you and lead you in your writing and in your daily life
    with your family.


  4. Hi Betsy,
    I've been reading a lot. This one's worth putting at the top of the stack.

  5. You are my neighbor at Literary Monday. I loved your review and it is fun to fanticize about characters that come to life with your words.

  6. This books sounds so inspiring and I loved the personal messages you included in your review. Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement, Mary.


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Cancer Survivor