Book Review: A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

By | January 5, 2015

Book review of Ted Dekker's A.D.30

About A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

In A.D. 30, you’ll step back into the year of our Lord, and dive head first into a war that is raging between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with his sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars.

From there, Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. It would be a journey filled with great danger. If they can even survive the vast trek across the desert, they will enter into a brutal world run by kings and emperors.

On the way, Maviah crosses paths unexpectedly with another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

My thoughts

I signed up to review A.D. 30 based solely on the other books I had read by Ted Dekker.  I didn’t really know anything about the book or the plot.  Based on Dekker’s previous books that I had read, I expected A.D. 30 to be filled with suspense and plot twists – a thriller that would keep me turning the pages late into the night.  So I was a teensy bit disappointed to discover that this book was different.  At first glance, it didn’t appear to have any of the mystery or suspense that I normally associate with Ted Dekker’s books.  I have to be completely honest that I did not expect to enjoy it at all.  I was so happy to be proven wrong!  Despite my pre-conceived notions, Ted Dekker once again did not disappoint.   A.D. 30 might not share much in common with the author’s previous works, but I found the story of Maviah’s transformation from unloved slave girl to Child of God to be completely enthralling.

At the beginning of the story, Maviah is a former slave, unwanted by her father, and feeling very much alone.  A war sets her on a journey that eventually leads to an encounter with Yeshua, which leaves Maviah forever changed.  By embracing her new found faith, Maviah is able to become the “queen” that she never quite believed she was.

Although historical fiction is not a genre I usually pick, I quickly found myself caught up in the setting and Maviah’s story.   I have never really thought much about the time period in which Jesus walked this earth, other than what I have read in the Bible and what I learned in history class about the Roman Empire.  So I really enjoyed learning more about what was going on in the world during this time – the political unrest, the uprisings, the oppression by the Romans.  This book does a really great job at exploring what it must have been like to be a woman during this period in history.

Although Maviah and her traveling companions are fiction, others mentioned in the story actually existed, like King Herod, Aretas, his daughter Phasa, Herodias, John the Baptist, and others.  You can tell that Dekker has really done his research into this time period and you get the sense that the story really could have fit flawlessly with what we know from the Bible about Jesus’ public ministry.

I loved the way Jesus’ teachings are woven throughout the story as well.  Although a fictional story, it really made me think about what it must have been like for people to have actually been there to hear Jesus speak and how they must have been completely enthralled by his radical teachings.

Even though the story was set nearly 2000 years ago, Maviah’s journey throughout A.D. 30 really resonated with me. I too at times am crippled with doubt.  I too at times forget the lessons of Jesus and let fear influence my thoughts and actions.  I too at times feel like an utter failure.  Yet just like Maviah, when I stop letting the fear, doubts, and insecurities have power over me, I can truly see God’s will for me.

All things considered, I really enjoyed A.D. 30.  It’s not a book I probably would have ever picked up on my own, but I am so very glad I had the opportunity to read it.

Want to read A.D. 30 for yourself?  You can order a copy at

Enter to win a $10 Family Christian Gift Certificate.  The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends January 14, 2015.

And now for a fun giveaway. Family Christian Stores would like to bless one A Heart Full of Love reader with a $10 Gift Certificate.  The giveaway ends January 14, 2015 and is open to US residents age 18 and older.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of the book to review. All opinions stated are my own.

35 thoughts on “Book Review: A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

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  2. latanya

    No, I have not any of his books. I am always looking for new authors and new books to read, so I would like to read some of his books.

  3. natalie yeoman

    i have not read this book before. But i would love to read it because i love reading books before bed and this books looks very interesting

  4. kathy dalton

    i havent read Ted Dekker’s other books but ive heard he is a good author

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  6. Mandy

    I have not read any of his books, but this one looks interesting. I’d love to read about the transformation Maviah goes through!

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  8. Anna

    I’ve never read any of Ted Dekker’s books, but this sounds interesting!

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  10. Jennifer Pittman

    I have not read Ted Deckker’s books yet, but I have heard great things about the books! I think that A.D. 30 sounds like a good read because of the girl’s journey to becoming a child of God! I also like how the book is set in the time of Jesus.

  11. Angela Saver

    I have not read any of Ted Dekker’s books. I would love to read A.D. 30 because it sounds like a book I would really enjoy the plot to & I enjoy reading about the time period!

  12. Krista Ballard

    I have not read any of Ted Dekker’s books before.
    I actually read your whole review and found myself excited to read this story. Sounds like it would be right up my alley. =) Thanks for the giveaway!
    Krista Ballard recently posted..Resolution, Smelsolution!My Profile

  13. Natalie

    I have not read any other Ted Dekke book as of yet. I want to read this book because I want to learn more about Jesus and deepen my faith.

  14. s.w.

    No, never have read them but this particular books looks interesting (because looks more authentic).

  15. vera wilson

    I do enjoy reading religious books and think this would be a good one. Sorry not had the chance to read any by this author before.

  16. Theresa Smith

    I have not read any of Ted Dekker’s books so far. I would like to read A.D. 30 because I like Christian fiction and I think I would enjoy this book.

  17. Lynne

    I have not read any of Ted Dekker’s books. I think I would enjoy them though, as I like books that are based in a real setting with real historical characters to accompany the main fictional characters.

  18. Julie Waldron

    No, I have not read any of his books. This book sounds like something that I would probably not like.

  19. Theresa N

    I’ve read several of his books and would like to read this because it sounds so interesting.

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  21. Marthalynn

    I haven’t read any of Ted Dekker’s books yet. I have heard such great reviews of his work, though, so I’m excited to read A.D. 30!

  22. shirley

    I have not read any other Ted Dekke books, yet. Would like to read A.D. 30, because of your review, its sounds like a good read.

  23. Carol G

    I have not read the books. I would like to read this one because it looks very interesting and I really like to learn more about Jesus.

  24. Brandy

    I have not read any of his books yet. I would actually like to read this because I also struggle with doubt.

  25. Samantha Daleo

    No, I have never read any of his books yet but I am looking forward to it because they sound like something that would be very helpful to me and very insightful.

  26. Nancy

    I have not yet read any of his books. I’d like to read this one because the various review of the book that I have read are excellent.

  27. C Knight

    I have not read anything by Ted Dekker. I would be very interested in reading 30 A.D. I often think about what is was like to live when Jesus was alive. I think it is much easier to be a Christain now in the US. I wonder if I would have the courage to follow him then…

  28. Jennifer Nielsen

    I have not read any books by Ted Dekker. I would like to read 30 A.D. because I love reading historical fiction, this book is right up my alley!

  29. Taryn T.

    I have not read any of Ted Dekker’s books, but I find historical fiction and this time period to be fascinating. I think it would make a great read!

  30. Kathryn Hyatt

    I haven’t read any of Ted Dekker’s books, but I would love to. I’ve heard great things about them.

  31. April Morrison

    I haven’t read any of the author’s other books. I would like to read this one because I feel it is in my best interest to start reading more about Jesus, God, and such things.


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