prague counterpointHow could the world let an empire rise that would try and exterminate an entire nationality?  Then again, how could a leader who is so bent on making Aryans the most important race in the world, encourage the murder of his own people?  These two questions are extensively explored in Prague Counterpoint, the second installment of the Zion Covenant Series by Bodie Thoene.  Prague Counterpoint picks up where Vienna Prelude left off…and boy, am I glad it did!  I just had to know what happened to Elisa, Murphy and most importantly, Austria.

Sadly, the book opens with a character that wouldn’t live past the first few chapters.  But his twin boys, Louis and Charles would, and they become the center of the story.  Walter Kronenberger was a German, an Aryan…one of them.  Yet, in spite of this, he was hunted by his own people because of his son Charles, who was born with a cleft mouth and couldn’t speak.  With Hitler’s sterilization program, the family was targeted.  Walter’s wife was murdered.  After all, someone who gave birth to (what the Nazi called) a “monster,” certainly wasn’t fit to be producing citizens of the Reich.  The government was also out to end little Charles’ life – such imperfections could not be allowed to live.  On top of all this, Walter, a German reporter, was also pursued.  Who would want a master of words leaking the truth about what was happening in Germany to the outside world?  Such was the news that started wars…

With these characters in place, the reader is introduced to one of Hitler’s many cruelties – sterilization.  Not even Aryans were safe from him.  Not only did Hitler want an Aryan race, he wanted a pure one…no sick, no blind, no lame, no one with any type of physical imperfection could live in his presence.  Through the story of Charles, we learn how Hitler’s own people were persecuted and the lengths the Nazis would go to make it happen.  It’s one thing to be cruel to others, but to aim that same ruthlessness on your own gave me new insight into how evil Hitler was.

In addition to these new characters, Prague Counterpoint also continued the stories of Elisa and Murphy, and Leah and Shimon.  I felt the author did an excellent job in describing the plight of the Jews in Vienna and what happened to them; the scenes felt life-like.  When I read how Leah and Shimon were forced out of their apartment to stand in the square of the Jewish district – not allowed food, not allowed to use the restroom, and then finally, arrested and sent off to the camps – my heart dropped.  Surely, the author wouldn’t have these characters die so soon?  (They didn’t die, by the way!)  I guess, it could be considered “unrealistic” how they survived, but the twists and turns in the storyline didn’t bother me.  History was being told, and I soaked up how every line was saturated with portraying what life was like in Vienna after Hitler’s invasion.  If you’re wondering what that is without reading the book, let me just say that one word sums it up nicely – prison!

While Leah was separated from Shimon when he was arrested and sent off to the camps, Elisa and Murphy were carrying out their own story in Czechoslovakia.  The Czech’s were Hitler’s next target.  He had invaded Austria and would use the same manipulative tactics to take over the little Czech country.  There was only one issue – Elisa and her family were living in Prague, where they thought they were safe.  Murphy and Theo begin to see the situation for what it is, but Anna refuses to acknowledge it.  Couldn’t they just enjoy a little bit of peace?  Where everything can be back to normal for a while?  After “loosing” her husband once, can’t they just be a family again?  As Anna longs to hold everything together, Elisa looks for a reason to leave Prague for Vienna.  Determined to help Shimon and Leah, she re-enters Austria in search of her friends and is thrown into the world of the Kronenberger twins.  There, she makes an astounding discovery about a man whom she thought was a loyal Gestapo agent…

Conclusion:  I loved how the author made a seamless transition from Vienna Prelude to Prague Counterpoint.  The story read like it was all one volume, and when I’m in a mood for a  l-o-n-g book, this kind of series is my favorite!  They go on forever!  In closing, there is so much more I could say…  The descriptions of how Vienna changed with the invasion of Hitler saddened me.  The city went from normal, day to day activities to what seemed like a prison.  Even standing in line for the market the Nazi checked papers, and if they weren’t “in order,” off to prison camp you go!  Jews weren’t allowed to play in the orchestra and were replaced with Germans, even though the Germans couldn’t play the music properly.  Page after page, I could feel the oppression these poor people felt!  Anyway, the closing moments of the book were packed with action, but I won’t spoil the storyline for you.  All you need to know is, this is a great follow-up to Vienna Prelude and worthy of your to be read pile!

I read the 1989 edition, from Bethany House Publishers, 380 pages.

Recommended for…

World War Two, Hitler, history of how Austria was invaded and sterilization.

Purchase…

Paperback – from Amazon

Kindle – from Amazon

Read my other reviews from this series…

Book 1 – Vienna Prelude

Author: lynnschronicles

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