Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker

I was very excited to learn that I could get the newest Ted Dekker release to review for booksneeze. I have read several of his works, including the Circle Series, Obsessed and Showdown to name a few. So when Immanuel’s Veins showed up in my mailbox I was more than excited to get it.

The story takes place in 18th century Russia. Catherine the Great sends two trusted soldiers, Toma and Alek, to protect a Moldavian aristocratice family, a mother and two beautiful daughters. Alek, the consummate ladies’ man, immediately falls for the younger daughter, a naive girl who is out to milk every physical pleasure she can out of life. Toma, the main character, falls for the older daughter, Lucine. Lucine has a painful past and is slow to trust or love anyone.

The antogonist is a mysterious Russian royal named Vlad. His mysterious castle and followers slowly entice each of the characters into a sensuous trap. Through many twists and turns Toma fights to free his love from the grasp of Vlad’s power, and uncovers the power of true love over lust.

Dekker is a master at taking spiritual truths and explaining them through story, and this book is no different. With one story Dekker explains God’s pursuit of His beloved and reveals the dangers of lust masquerading as love. The symbolism is powerful and poignant and the message is unmistakable. If there was anything I would have to criticize, it would be Dekker’s character development. After reading several of his other novels, I know what he is capable of and I was disappointed with characters who were entirely two-dimensional. While the story line was great, and the action was fast-paced, making this book a page turner, the characters came off as flat and hard to empathize with.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, it’s a good read, it just falls short of high standards set by a talented author.

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