Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (11/2016)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘Deborah Rising: A Novel Inspired by the Bible’ by Avraham Azrieli on Blogcritics.
As a lover of biblical stories and religious inspirational fiction, I was happy to check out “Deborah Rising” by Avraham Azrieli. Let me first just say that no story (including my own) has ever hooked me right at the beginning quite like this one.
The story begins with the stoning of Deborah’s sister. Deborah is not only forced to witness this atrocity knowing her sister was innocent, she will also leave that horrible event knowing she will be next. Deborah has nowhere to go as her father is also dead and being a girl, she has no rights. Her inheritance will need to be awarded to her future husband, who happens to be the man that just stoned her sister to death.
So begins Deborah’s epic survival adventure as a Hebrew girl coming of age in biblical times. The reader will travel with Deborah through her journey in search of a magical elixir that will transform her into a boy, while also living each hardship females had to endure during the times. As a woman, I could relate to her and felt for her. Being raised by old-fashioned Italians, I too wished as a young girl to be a boy and have it easy like my brother!
Azrieli is very knowledgeable of the culture, and geography. His female point of view in this story is impressive, as it felt genuine. The character development was spot on, the descriptions of the sites and geography felt real and accurate, the action narration was vivid, involving all the senses within the imageries.
Overall, “Deborah Rising” by Avraham Azrieli is a well-written saga of a young Hebrew girl, who wished to be a boy, to escape all of the hardships that women in biblical times had to endure. It’s entertaining, suspenseful, and heart wrenching – definitely a five-star captivating page-turner! Can’t wait for the second book!