My review of Iscariot by Tosca Lee


About the book:

In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—a miracle-worker. The promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, Judas joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life.

But Judas’ vision of a nation free from Roman rule is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems in the end to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.

Iscariot is the story of Judas—from his tumultuous childhood and tenuous entry into a career and family life as a devout Jew, to a man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus himself that forces us all to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.
My review:

Nobody puts skin on biblical figures and brings them to life as well as Tosca Lee. For some reason she also picks the toughest ones to portray in fiction. This novel, Iscariot, rang true to me. Her depiction of Judas Iscariot’s belief system had a convincing historical basis. And unlike the stereotyped condemned man who personified betrayal, she made him human and someone who truly did love Jesus when he became one of the disciples. Even in the end, she showed his regrets and they made sense given the story up to that point. I didn’t know how she’d pull off making him a sympathetic character, but she did it well!

There was a lot of symbolism in this novel including the dirt that lingered in the bowl when it came time to wash Judas’s feet the night Jesus was betrayed. I loved how the author brought the scriptures to life with this book. So many things I’d read many times before brought tears to my eyes as I saw them unfold in my head. I understood their horror when he said they needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

The many miracles he performed brought tears to my eyes. And perhaps the best of all, seeing the prophecies fulfilled on the page and Judas’s recollection of them as he pondering everything in his heart really made an impact on me. I have always loved reading about the fact that Jesus never did what people expected. This is shown very well in Iscariot. I loved this story so much it’s making my favorite fiction list for 2013!

Iscariot was published by Howard Books (Simon & Schuster) and will release on February 5th!

 

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