Mar 23, 2015

Book Review: "Immanuel's Veins" by Ted Dekker

Here I am again dear readers with another Book Review! This particular post has not been very nice to me-at all-so I think it's going to be more of a mix of a review and a breakdown. Bear (bare? lol) with me. :)

Spoiler Alert!

The Plot:

This is the first book by Ted Dekker that I have read, and I have to say, it is strange. It took me a little bit to get into the story, but the elements of it were enough to keep me reading. Dekker paints a haunting and beautiful picture with many messages within it's colors and it leaves you really thinking when you read the last pages.

The Characters:

Toma is our main character, a professed Atheist and a soldier of the Queen of Russia, sent to protect the Cantemir family during the Russo-Turkish War. He falls in love with one of the girls he is sworn to protect and eventually will do whatever it takes to win her, even learning what true love really is through Christ.

Alik, Toma’s friend and fellow soldier, assists with this mission, and falls for the younger Cantemir twin.

Lucine is the oldest Cantemir twin, waiting for a man who will truly love her, and not just marry her for her looks or wealth.

Natasha, is the younger Cantemir twin, who will throw herself at anyone who looks at her, and it is her who gets our main characters into a lot of trouble.

Vlad Van Valerik is our mysterious Antagonist, who draws the sisters to his castle and group of followers, with sinister seduction. Oh yeah, and he's a Nephalim. Basically a Vampire.

The Message:

There are many messages wrapped up in this story, and I could probably find more if I read through the it again, but the biggest ones are about love. That true love is not about passion and seduction and endless fun. Our Characters all fall into the Clan's traps and lies, and it is a vicious battle throughout the whole book between the good and the evil.

Lucine is taken by Valerik to be his bride, to be the Nephalim queen, leading a life of bliss and passion. While Lucine is drawn to it at first, she comes to realize that the life she was promised isn't what it was made out to be. She is under Valerik's complete control, and in her own words, she both loves and hates him. One moment he is caring and tender, the next violent and vicious. When asked what happens after their long lives are over, Valerik responds that they will both take their place in Hell, since they are both already dead. This leaves Lucine feeling horrified and empty.

Valerik symbolizes our bondage to sin. Satan promises us many things that in the present seem wonderful, but in the end we are really trading our spiritual well being for things that mean nothing later on. The result is always death.

Lucine, having been bitten by Valerik, has now become a Vampire, and no matter how much she wishes it, she cannot change that form. This shows that no matter how hard we try, we cannot change our sinful natures, because that is how we are. Tainted through and through.

Toma, is told by a prophet to be Lucine's “Immanuel”, and armed with an ancient book, and your standard vampire killing tools, goes to the Castle to confront Valerik. In the end, Toma must give his life to save his love, Lucine drowning in a pool of Toma's blood from wounds inflicted by Valerik himself. This symbolizes Christ's death and blood being the only means of saving us from our sin, and our souls from hell.

The ancient book, that tells all of what Valerik is, opens Lucine's eyes to the truth, and that to me was a picture of the Bible being used to help an unbeliever come to God.

To Sum it Up:

It is a vivid and emotional tale with stunning imagery and a message that reminds us of how much our salvation depends on Christ and how he sacrificed everything to save us who do not deserve it.

~Ria Faith

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