Take this Cup is the second book in the Jerusalem Chronicles series. With the first page the reader swept away into first century Israel. This is the story of Nehemiah, a young boy to whom God has appointed a very important mission.
When his home is overrun by bandits, Nehemiah escapes with the family's Rabbi, Kagba. Taking refuge in a cave they find clay jars that holds several copies of the Torah and an ancient cup. In a dream, Nehemiah is given the task of finding Jesus of Nazareth and to give him the cup at the appropriate time.
This book was such a pleasure to read. If you have read any book by the Thoene's, you will know what amazing writers they are. The research that they do into ancient Israeli culture is truly impressive. The story and the characters were well thought out and very engaging.
The story is told from Nehemiah's point of view and includes characters from previous novels. The authors wove Jesus and later part of his ministry into the storyline. It was remarkable how they could take a few lines from a scene from the bible and fill it out with characters and dialogue that filled several pages. I enjoyed learning about the Sparrows and their way of life.
This book had drama and suspense as well as humor. It was an all- around enjoyable book and one I had a hard time putting down.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The way the authors write is incredible. This is the first time I've come across any of their books, and I am highly impressed with them. It's not surprising they are some of the widest-read authors in religious fiction. I have also noticed that most, if not all, of the books that Zondervan publishes that I have read have really been great books.
The storyline itself is wonderful, enough tension to the story that it made me want to keep reading. Not to mention that I wanted very badly to see how Jesus the person was portrayed. I have seen reviews dismissing the fact that the main character is making a thousand mile long trek basically by himself (with caravans and such) without parental guidance or supervision. I completely agree with this sentiment. I look at my own eight year old and know there is no way on earth she would come close to walking ten miles, much less 100, or God forbid, a thousand. Nehi is such a young boy to have such an adult point of view and voice in the story that it does feel like I'm reading about a 12 or 13 year old. I believe if the authors would have made him a few years older it would have been a much more believable book.
Fans of Brock & Bodie Thoene books will not be disappointed in "Take This Cup." In fact, those who've read their "Zion Legacy" or "A.D. Chronicles" series will love meeting several favorite characters from those books in this one as many come together to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem in anticipation of all He'll do to rescue them as King of His Kingdom.
In this book, little Nehemiah, named for Nehemiah the cup bearer from the Old Testament, finds himself on a dangerous mission to deliver a priceless cup to Jesus of Nazareth, a man suspected to be Israel's Messiah, come at last. As Nehemiah travels, he dreams of Joseph, Son of Jacob, who shows him events of Israel's history related to the cup, to Nehemiah's assignment, and to Jesus' true mission and identity. Nehemiah makes fun friends and exciting discoveries all along the way, unaware through most of the book of the true significance of the cup.
My favorite element of the Thoene's books set in Bible times is their on-going theme of everything meaning something and drawing this meaning out. They weave stories from the Old and New Testaments together, bringing historical events to life through the eyes of fictional witnesses like Nehemiah and biblical characters portrayed as they might have been. For readers who enjoy Christian historical fiction set in Bible times, it doesn't get any better than this!
I loved reading this surprisingly unpredictable book. I loved that I got to read it just in time for Holy Week. I can't wait for the next book in the series to be released! Thank you, Zondervan, for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.