Review: The Triumph of Deborah

The Triumph of Deborah – Eva Etzioni-Halevy

From the back cover –

In ancient Israel, war is looming.  Deborah, a highly respected leader, has coerced the warrior Barak into launching a strike against the neighboring Canaanites.  Against all odds, he succeeds and returns triumphantly with Asherah and Nogah, the daughters of the Canaanite king, as his captives.  But military victory is only the beginning of the turmoil, as a complex love triangle develops between Barak and the two princesses.

Deborah, recently cast off by her husband, develops a surprising affinity for Barak.  Yet she struggles to rebuild her existence on her own terms, while also groping her way toward the greatest triumph of her life.

Filled with brilliantly vivid historical detail, The Triumph of Deborah is the absorbing and riveting tale of one of the most beloved figures in the Bible, and a tribute to feminine strength and independence.

My thoughts –

I am SO thrilled that Ms. Etzioni-Halevy was so kind to send me this book for review, because I truly enjoyed it and I’m honored that I can share this delight of a novel with all of you.  First of all, she really did her research for this book because there is a LOT of historical information and details, especially in the war scenes, which made this novel very believable.  This book is also very well-written, the scenes flowed seamlessly and the characters were all pretty decently fleshed-out so that I felt like I really got to know the majority of them.  I was sucked in to this novel right from the beginning and I found myself caring about all of the characters, even the selfish, womanizing Barak. 

I went into this book with zero expectations … to be honest, I had not heard of this author before so I really wasn’t sure what I was going to find between the pages.  I think that was for the best, because this book is a lot more of a historical romance than a straight historical fiction novel.  Which was completely fine with me, and I enjoyed it all the same, but for those of you not so into historical romance, I’m not 100% sure if this would be the book for you.  I did, however, fall in love with the story and the characters, so I could be wrong about that.  Just know in advance that there is romance and sex (lots of it).  This does not bother me in the least, but I know some of you bloggers are just not into that type of thing (you know who you are).

One minor critique I have of this novel (and it’s really very minor, I swear) is that I’m not sure how appropriate the title, The Triumph of Deborah, is for the book.  Deborah was definitely a main character, and her triumph was the satisfying conclusion to the story, but I felt like the majority of the book focused more on Barak, Asherah, and Nogah than on Deborah herself.  But really, not such a big deal, and this feeling of mine did not take away from the story at all while reading it.

Thank you, once again, Ms. Etzioni-Halevy, for sending me this wonderful book!  I’d highly recommend it and I’m very happy that I got the chance to read it.

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6 thoughts on “Review: The Triumph of Deborah”

  1. I haven’t read this one. I’m not much for historical fiction, but I’ve read a couple this year, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

    I hear what you mean about titles not really conveying what happens in a book.

  2. Heather,

    Thanks for the thoughtful and encouraging review of my novel.

    Here is a comment that I hope will interest people.

    I am by profession a sociologist, and sometimes friends ask why I turned from academia to the writing of BIBLICAL novels.

    It so happened that at some stage in my life I began reading the Old Testament of the Bible, and was entranced by it. What fascinated me is that it is full of the most dramatic and the most traumatic stories about people who lived thousands of years ago, and yet are so strikingly similar to us, in their hopes and fears and anxieties. I began to identify in particular with the women, who are presented as persons with strong feelings, desires and jealousies, which I could visualize as if they were my own.

    What also fascinated me about these biblical women is that they lived in a male-dominated society, had few legal rights and were rather downtrodden in family and society. Yet, paradoxically, they are described as strong women, who did not sit around and bemoan their fate, but took destiny into their own hands and achieved what they wanted to achieve in their lives.

    Mostly this was a marriage, or the birth of a son. But in some cases, such as that of Deborah (as descirbed in my novel THE TRIUMPH OF DEBORAH,) it meant the “breaking of the glass ceiling,” and becoming a revered judge, religious and national leader.

    There is a lot that modern women can learn from biblical women, and Deborah in particular.



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