Review: The Thief by Stephanie Landsem (Litfuse Blog Tour & Giveaway)

March 5, 2014

Title: The Thief
Author: Stephanie Landsem
Publisher: Howard Books
Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-1-4516-8910-5
Publication Date: February 25th, 2014

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Abandoned by the God she once loved, her only recourse is to depend upon Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, to keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and the landlord satisfied.

Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure and is desperate to escape the accursed Judean province. Accepting a wager that will get him away from the aggravating Jews and their threats of revolt, he sets out to catch the thieves harassing the marketplace.

When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Nissa hopes for freedom from her life of lies. But the supposed miracle brings only more misfortune, and Longinus, seeking to learn more about the mysterious healer, finds himself drawn instead to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.

Cedron, Longinus, and Nissa are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the love and redemption Jesus offers is true or just another false promise. How can the so-called Messiah save them from their shackles, when he cannot even save himself?
What a powerful story The Thief, by Stephanie Landsem, was. My goodness, it was hard to put this book down. There were so many dynamics to this story that made this story come alive in my mind. The characters are solidly created, the way of life is fantastically researched, and it brings such an important time of the beginning of Christianity back to center stage, but offers it from a whole new perspective.

When Jesus was crucified on the cross, two others were there beside him, this story focuses on the thief's and how they came to be on their own crosses that day and how their close proximity with Jesus that day affected those around them.

Nissa has grown up in a poor area of Jerusalem. Her father only likes to play dice and squander what ever money the family can come by, her mother only cares for wine, and in these trials, Nissa does her best to care for her blind brother, Cedron. Nissa has tried her best to harden her heart to the brutality she has faced, she is tough girl who does her best, but is berated for her sharp tongue and harassed by others in her community since she has not been married. Nissa fights an internal battle throughout the story. It's one many people can relate to. It's the same argument that can run through anyone's mind, "You don't have a choice, it's the only way." "No one will like me for who I am, I will just do it one more time and I will quit."

You want to root for Nissa and you hope that she can over come.

Longinus is an outcast in many ways. He is Roman, so the Jewish people despise him. However, he is not Roman enough for his superiors. His father was Roman and his mother was from Gaul. The only thing that has kept him going and in good standing is his pursuit of a friend's killer. He is desperate to prove himself. However, while he is stationed in Jerusalem, he runs into Nissa and in doing so is introduced to her blind brother. With his own eyes, Longinus witnesses the miracle of Cedron regaining his eyesight when he washes at the pool, after receiving directions from Jesus. Despite his many attempts, Longinus wants to see this Jesus that everyone is buzzing about, but he keeps missing Him, that is until the night in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This story pulled me in. You know what is going to happen, but to see it to how it happened, not from Jesus' or his disciples' point of views, but from the witnesses and how it affected them. The Thief is a powerful story.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Stephanie Landsem loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.

Don't miss Stephanie Landsem's outstanding sophomore effort, The Thief.

Best-selling author Tosca Lee had this to say of the book: Filled with memorable characters, The Thief is a tale of hopelessness turned to hope, of high stakes made higher, and ultimate love. What happens when a character at the lowest rung of society crosses paths with the most well-known figure in history? The story of The Thief. I couldn't stop reading.

Stephanie is hosting a Kindle Fire HDX and book giveaway at her website. CLICK THE BUTTON to find out more and enter to win.

Find out what readers are saying HERE. (Click the REVIEWS bar.)

Thank you to Litfuse and Howard Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thanks, Kate, for reading The Thief and sharing it with your readers!

  2. Stephanie, It was a delight to read! It is a fantastic historical fiction. I just bought The Well, I can't wait to read it!

  3. Kate, Don't you love it when an author leaves you a comment. I just posted my review of THE THIEF on my blog Thoughts from Mill Street ( Like you, I mainly review Christian fiction, inspirational nonfiction and some quality literary fiction or gentle fiction. I would love if you'd stop by some time to see my reviews. I am a retired school librarian and continue to love sharing books with others. Your blog will give me some ideas of what to read.

  4. Hi Sue, Thanks for your link! I will check it out. :-) I'm happy to share book ideas.
    It's a delight to talk with many people on the blog. Thank you for stopping by!


Thanks for stopping by. Leave a word, leave a line, I would love to hear what you have to say.

Latest Instagrams

© The Shelf Life. Design by FCD.