Book Review: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

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He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. —from the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:35)

The Bronze Bow, written by Elizabeth George Speare (author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond) won the Newbery Medal in 1962. This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . and ultimately, as Jesus says to Daniel on page 224: “Can’t you see, Daniel, it is hate that is the enemy? Not men. Hate does not die with killing. It only springs up a hundredfold. The only thing stronger than hate is love.” A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.

This wasn't really something I would've normally read.

For instance, it's historical fiction... and Christian historical fiction at that. I'm not saying I have anything against Christians (I know some perfectly nice ones), but I don't like reading anything religious.

Daniel was a weird guy. I was kind of asking myself why he wouldn't just let go, and why he could be so blind to the needs of everyone else around him. He was so frustrated the entire time, and it was a little unpleasant to read. He was so mean and impulsive most of the book, and it wasn't until the very end that he kinda-sorta learned to control his anger.

My favorite character by far was Thacia. She was so proud and brave and strong. She helped Leah as well, which immediately puts her into my good books. Unfortunately, she is also kind of in love with Daniel, so uh... yeah.

However, the ending moral of the book was powerful and Daniel does change a bit, so it's an okay thing, I suppose. I don't think I could justify the Newbery, though. It all happened too fast and in a whirl.

Still, give it a try if you're bored :)
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