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>Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker

     Immanuel’s Veins is the latest thriller from the prolific Ted Dekker. It is the story of Toma Nicolescu, a warrior in the service of Catherine the Great, and his mission to protect the Cantemir family in Moldavia. Complications arise in the form a duke, one Vlad van Valerik, and his entourage. With this conflict, Dekker explores the heights and depths to which love can take us. We, along with Toma, learn the high cost of love. In fact, is the central theme of the book is a question: What is sacrificial love? And is it a price we are willing to pay?
     I found Immanuel’s Veins to be a fun, quick read. Dekker’s talent for creating a fast-paced, suspenseful narrative is in full force. It was romantic—sensual, even—without being tawdry. The trappings of 18th century Moldavia are pitch-perfect, but as the story steamrolls ahead to its conclusion, I felt that some of the supporting characters suffered in their depictions. I would have liked a little more depth, a little more time to get to know Toma’s compatriot, Alek, better. Other than this, the only real narrative weakness for me was Dekker’s attempt to tie the story in with his Books of History Chronicles, as this felt a little forced, a little tacked-on. It would have been better as a stand-alone narrative. All-in-all a compelling story, with central characters you care about, and a satisfying conclusion. I would recommend it.
     (My answer to the question–what is sacrificial love?–is simply doing what it takes to convince people that we love them. This may play out in a thousand myriad ways, but always comes back to: what will we give up for love? Will we, like Christ, give our all?)
      For a chance to win a Spread the Love t-shirt from Thomas Nelson, please comment below. Thanks for reading!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

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