By Ted DekKer
Thomas Nelson Publishing
Immanuel's Veins follows a soldier under the Russian Empress Catherene the Great who has been given the charge of protecting a mother and her twin daughters. The year is 1772 and the family is crucial to the stability of the Russian empire. A dark man comes seeking to court one of the daughters, but the soldier finds something about him disturbing. Since his duty is the protection of the family he steps in and, in doing so, places himself into the midst of a struggle for power that flows deeper than anyone could imagine.
I have followed DekKer's writing through the Circle Series and the Paradise novels, through World War 2 Serbian battles between good and evil, demonic possession, and even a father battling for his daughter's love. I have seen Ted weave love within stories of passion, hate, fear, death, and redemption. I have devoured books that he has penned that deal with the realities of the Spiritual realm interacting with the physical realm in ways that I had never imagined. But I was in no way prepared for the story that Ted tells in Immanuel's Veins.
Ted tackles a concept that many have written about, yet none have fully understood. I found myself engaging a thought on where the book was heading, only to find that I was way wrong - yet also exactly correct. I even found myself blurting out a cry of incredulity as I processed the page. Nothing can prepare you for the story that is revealed within the pages of Immanuel's Veins.
Throughout the lines of Immanuel's Veins, the question is posed to the reader: What is Sacrificial Love? For this reader, there is but one answer - The giving of oneself totally and completely to another, even unto the point of death so that the other will not die. It seems a rather silly notion to give your life for another considering the reality that if you love someone enough to give your life for them, you will never see the fruits of your sacrifice. For me, the answer runs deeper. Death in this world is a trivial thing. What is important is eternity. If, by my death, you may see eternal life, I willingly give my life for you. THAT is sacrificial love.
Immanuel's Veins is a terrific read, but it is quite a departure from DekKer's usual style. This is the first book of his that I have read that is partially in first-person perspective. In fact, it bounces around from first to third-person throughout the book as the scene changes. Unfortunately, this was a distraction for me.
The story sucks you in and holds you tight as it takes you through Toma's plight, and I literally found myself rushing through the pages. Ted's insight in theological matters, combined with his earnest and sometimes brutal realism, make this story one that you will want to read time and time again. I know for a fact that I'll be revisiting Immanuel's Veins in the very near future.
If you would like to hear a podcast interview with Ted DekKer about Immanuel's Veins, click here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com 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.”