I got this book from Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my views and opinions in any way.
Seeking peace and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she can rest easily. But the land is ruled by Antiochus IV, descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals, and when he issues a decree that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws upon pain of death, devout Jews risk everything to follow the law of Moses.
Judah’s father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands his son to pick up his sword and continue the fight – or bear responsibility for the obliteration of the land of Judah. Leah, who wants nothing but peace, struggles with her husband’s decision – what kind of God would destroy the peace she has sought for so long?
The miraculous story of the courageous Maccabees is told through the eyes of Judah’d wife, who learns that love requires courage… and sacrifice.
It took me a bit to finish this novel not because I didn’t enjoy it but because of life not giving me enough time to read a whole lot but when I did finish it, I felt extremely happy I took the time because now I’m really sad it ended already. This story is loosely based on Judeah Maccabeus and the Maccabees through the eyes of Leah, Judas’ wife, fleshed out. While it was known that he had a wife, it wasn’t revealed anywhere in the texts what her identity was and since the book of the Maccabees has no known author, it was convenient for Angela Hunt to make this novel through Leah’s eyes and she made for the perfect storyteller.
I loved how much character development both Leah and Judas had gone through the whole of the story. Their growth as individuals were inspiring but more than that, their growth as a couple is fantastic. Since a lot of the battles were factual/historically accurate based on the book, they were extremely epic and interesting and truly miraculous.
The whole set of characters were easy to empathize with, and it also greatly added to the readability of the novel. By the end of the book I pretty much looked like this because it was bittersweet:
(I love young Leo so much btw <3)
Even if you are a non believer I still suggest you give this book a whirl even if you consider it more of its historical side. Four and a half stars for me! I would definitely recommend this!