I just finished this one the other day, and it was beautifully written. It jumps backwards in time to before Jesus’ birth, and tells the story of Mary & Joseph, as well as Zechariah and Elizabeth (the parents of John the Baptist).
Besides the first book in this series, this one has been the most believable. I was so bummed that it ended!
Unlike the other books in this series, the one flaw that bothers me the most is basically absent, which is refreshing. In this series, many of the characters look nothing like a first-century Middle Eastern person was likely to look. Far too many fair-skinned, fair-haired, light-eyed people for my taste. Thankfully, Fourth Dawn was more accurate there.
As far as I can tell, the historicity and theology of the books is accurate, and that is really the most important. I do worry, honestly, how the next book will turn out. I see glimpses of potential where the theology may begin to stray, and if that’s the case, I will be sorely disappointed to have to put the books down.
Taking on the life of Christ, from the perspectives of those around him is a huge undertaking, and I hope that the Thoene’s don’t push the boundaries and end up straying where they ought not to go. Thus far, they have not. It’s definitely hard to read this series with one eye on the Word of God, and one eye on the story.