Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

Stephanie Landsem's Living Water series began with The Well and continues with The Thief.  
Each is based on an actual encounter with Jesus as described in the Gospel of John; then using extensive first century research, Landsem creates an expanded story which imagines how ordinary people might have reacted to the historical events happening around them, including the miracles of Jesus and the birth of Christianity.  In The Thief, an unlikely friendship forms between a young Jewish girl Nessa and a Roman centurian Longinus. Longinus becomes intrigued by the Nazarene when he witnesses the healing of the blind man, who happens to be Nessa's brother. When he sees how the religious zealots reject and even beat the healed man, Longinus wants to help.  This brings him to Nessa, who seems to be the sole person responsible for the family's care. At the same time, Longinus has been given the task of catching two thieves who have made the marketplace their target.  Despite almost catching the littlest thief, Longinus never expects it is actually Nessa.

I won't share any more, except to say that the story will progress to the cross.  Landsem has crafted a
story filled with people who need redemption and new starts.  How each reacts to the history-changing events happening around them makes a compelling read which felt historically accurate. I am sure the hardest part of the book to write was the ending.  How does one make her characters' stories stand out against the greatest story ever - the cross and the empty tomb?  Landsem does a commendable job.

I received a copy of this title from LitFuse for review purposes.  All opinions are mine.


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:

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1 comment:

  1. Dear Sue,

    What a delight to meet you and connect through our mutual love of books!
    I wanted to invite you to join us for Inspire Me Monday and Friendship Friday each week at Create With Joy. It's a perfect opportunity to share some of your favorite posts and book reviews and connect with some other wonderful bloggers!

    I look forward to getting to know you. Have a blessed week!

    Create With Joy