Time Period: 1947
Setting: Jerusalem, Israel
A few years ago I read Bodie Theone’s series, “The Zion Covenant.” I know, I know…I’m way behind reading these CF classics! But it was my first time to read Thoene’s work and I immediately fell in love with all the characters. I vaguely made the connection that the “Zion Chronicles” was a spin off series, but mostly, I just knew I wanted to read it too because of how much I enjoyed “Zion Covenant.” You guys, I waited way too long! The connections in this series to the “Zion Covenant” are outstanding and so many characters have returned, I’m just thrilled!
So, before I go any farther, I’ll quickly make the connection between the two series. The Zion Covenant series has nine books. Book four is “Jerusalem Interlude,” and from there, we have a host of connections to the “Zion Chronicles” series. In fact, there are sooooo many meaning characters and parts of the story that cross over, I would dare say you should read “Jerusalem Interlude” before reading this series.
“The Gates of Zion” begins with a girl after my own heart, Ellie Warne, who is a photographer living with her uncle in Jerusalem. (He’s an archeologist.) And get this, the opening scene ties in a theme with the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Insert heart thumping emoji!) But what I love about Thoene’s writing is that these books just don’t cover one or two characters – there’s several people who play major parts in the story and they just don’t break down into the traditional hero and heroine plot. Now, if I were to tell you of Moshe, David, Yacov, Miriam, Rachel, Grandfather and others, it would sound a bit overwhelming. Yet, when you read this novel, everything flows so well, you feel like you’re right there, living this reality out with each person. It’s truly amazing and one reason I’ve committed to read this whole series too!
Conclusion: I absolutely loved the start to this series! There were moments when I thought this was just a new series, with new characters and new plots and then the author would slip something in that made me go, “Wait, was that just?…Oh!” And wham, there was a connection to “Jerusalem Interlude” that made me sit on the edge of my seat. And that’s what made me give this book five stars. Even though the subject matter with Israel’s political situation added some heart wrenching truths, the author made this an enjoyable read. So much history! But above all, it felt real. And that’s why I can’t wait to continue the series.