Perhaps one of my favorite books of all time has to be Ted Dekker’s phenomenal masterpiece, Immanuel’s Veins. Being a Christian author, some might surmise that Dekker would take the cliche route of presenting normal and realistic characters in the real human world who deal with real hardships that lead them to God in the end. This isn’t so with Dekker. The great thing about him is that he transforms our world with fantasy and the supernatural, making it more interesting to all of us fantasy-fiction lovers and bringing dark elements into the story to reel us in so much, that we can’t stop reading until the last page has been turned.
I can never seem to get enough of his work! I always want more. But my appetite was satiated by this last book. I felt if he never wrote anything again, it wouldn’t matter. This book has it all, and it’s epic and it’s delightful and I’ll reread it again and again. With this one, Dekker takes us to an even darker world of sin and evil.
The story follows two loyal warriors, Toma and Alec, as they are sent by Catherine the Great to guard and protect two young daughters of a Moldavian Countess. From the first night Toma and Alec are sent to protect the girls, the situation fast becomes dangerous as a very charming Russian family makes themselves welcome at a party the Countess is holding. There is something very strange about them, and Toma senses there is something quite dangerous going on underneath the alluring facade.
Soon the Russian leader of the group, Vlad van Valerik, starts to show his true colors as he chooses one of the Countess’ daughters, Lucine, for himself. What erupts is a dark and powerful story of love, lust, passion, evil so black you won’t soon forget it, and the power of God’s redeeming grace.
As Lucine is wooed by Valerik, the story unfolds into a chaotic pit of despair, and we soon learn the truth behind this Russian family who have no morals and have no heart. Toma is drawn in deeper to the chaos when his love for Lucine is too strong, and he can’t handle seeing her being overtaken by an evil so great. As he gets involved, the story goes even darker, and what you encounter throughout will leave you chilled to the bone.
I don’t want to give away much more, but I hope I whet your appetite enough to read this brilliant book. The beauty in it is that it weaves in the redemption of Christ and what He did for us on the cross, without getting preachy or in your face. It’s a story told so well and so uniquely. I cried at the end, more for the sheer power of the story than anything else.
I hope you won’t disregard this post but actually read this book. I don’t think you’ll be sorry. It has everything in it: action, love, power, good vs. evil, darkness vs. light, great writing, suspense, and a heart pounding ending. And if you read it, tell me what you think.
Never mind, there’s no “if.” You are going to read it!