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Tale of the Penitent
Thief is a compelling concept. However, the book itself proved a
Writing historic fiction gives an author liberty to fill in
gaps in the historic record, not the license to rewrite known facts. I was led
to conclude that either the author is unfamiliar with Biblical history or deliberately
chose to ignore it. For example, he has Joseph and Mary escaping to Nazareth
with their newborn, Jesus. Doesn’t everyone know they escaped to Egypt?
In this book the Magi warn Joseph to flee rather than an
angel as the Bible says…and they leave the same night Jesus is born! According
to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem
forty days after his birth to complete Mary's ritual purification after
childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the
Law of Moses.
He later names Herod Archelaus as the father of his full brother,
Herod Antipas. Are we to assume Archelaus slept with his own mother? The
historical inaccuracies continue right up to the crucifixion. Death by
crucifixion occurs by suffocation. A crucified individual does not have
sufficient breath for the long, extended dialog the author places in their
In reality, Jesus also died before either thief, but not in
this book. Recall they broke their legs to hasten death, but not the legs of
Jesus? This verified scripture that “none of his bones were broken.” In this novel,
Jesus receives the sword wound and continues talking. He was actually pierced
after his death to verify he was dead.
As for the character twist at the end, it came as a
surprise, but I found it too fantastic to be believable.
From an authorial standpoint Mr. Willis violates the prime
directive of writing —
Show, don’t Tell. The book is nearly all telling. The author has an active
imagination and perhaps needs to study fiction writing and then find a genre
without the constraints of Historical Fiction. I wish him well, but cannot
recommend this novel. —Gail Lewis
I received a free Kindle copy for review from BookSneeze.
Product Details: Source ISBN:
WestBowPress (April 29, 2013) Sold by: Amazon
Digital Services, Inc. Language: