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Book Review–Jerusalem’s Heart by Bodie and Brock Thoene (Zion Legacy series book 3)

Jerusalem\'s Heart

Title:  Jerusalem’s Heart

Authors:  Bodie and Brock Thoene

Publisher:  Viking

Pages:  328

ISBN:  0670894877

Synopsis:  In this, the third book in the Zion Legacy series, war still rages over Jerusalem and all of Israel.  The defenders in the Old City get weaker and weaker due to deprivation and the numbers of them grow smaller and smaller as more and more are wounded.  Men are separated from their families for the cause of Israeli independence.  Moshe Sachar, archaeologist and leader of the Haganah defenders, is trapped with Dov Avram behind enemy lines after they masqueraded as Arabs to destroy a cannon that was perfectly situated to fatally damage the Jewish Old City.  Meanwhile, Rachel Sachar waits inside the Old City with her grandfather and younger brother, as well as factions with differing opinions.  Rabbi Akiva leads a group which wishes to surrender to supposedly judicious King Abdullah of Jordan, whose Arab Legion is methodically working to capture Jerusalem.  Lori Kalner waits for the inevitable to occur to Jerusalem even while she comforts and finds hope in the life of a small boy named Abe.  Newly immigrated Jews are meanwhile conscripted into the fledgling Israeli army just as soon as they set foot on Israeli soil.  Jacob Kalner fights his way toward Jerusalem while leading these untried soldiers, but his only thought is really for his wife and her safety. 

My Thoughts:  So far, I think this has been my favorite book of the series.  It seemed to move faster to me than the first two.  Perhaps it is because there were more “human interest” stories because of the Jewish immigrants and the reappearance of Ellie Meyer, Madame Rose, Jerome, etc.  There are specific spiritual overtones and references, too.  For example, we learn that the half-wit Alfie Halder is, according to Rabbi Lebowitz, one of the lamedvov, or righteous ones who hold back the wrath of God.  God’s power is miraculously displayed in a seemingly circumstantial run-in between the Arab legion and a swarm of hornets.  Lori Kalner’s hard heart is softened through the possibility of love again in the person of a little orphan named Abe.  The stories go on and on of people whose lives are changed in this novel.  The story ends with a true cliff-hanger that the Thoenes are so good at writing.  I was so anxious to read the next book that I picked it up the morning after I finished this novel, and I’m already almost one hundred pages into it!  I admit that when I first started this Zion Legacy series, I was just reading it because I felt like I “had to” read it before I could read the A.D. Chronicles, but now I can say that I am enjoying these novels as much as I enjoyed the previous two series.   

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