Thursday, February 28, 2013

“Iscariot,” by Tosca Lee

Tosca Lee is the NY Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, and the Books of Mortals series with NY Times bestseller Ted Dekker: FORBIDDEN, MORTAL and SOVEREIGN (Spring, 2013). ISCARIOT, her highly-anticipated novel of Judas, the infamous betrayer of Christ, releases February 2013.
Tosca received her B.A. in English and International Relations from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She also studied at Oxford University. In her spare time, Tosca enjoys adventure travel and makes her home in the Midwest. Check out her website.

Book Description:
Based on extensive research into the life and times of Judas Iscariot, this triumph of fiction storytelling by the author of Havah: The Story of Eve revisits one of biblical history’s most maligned figures and brings the world he inhabited vividly to life.
In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—the promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, he joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life. But soon Judas’s vision of a nation free from Rome is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems, in the end, to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.
Iscariot is the story of Judas, from his tumultuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus that forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

My Thoughts:

My Rating: 5 stars.
After reading Lee’s “Havah” and “Demon” I was ecstatic to hear that she was doing the story of Judas Iscariot. Unlike most historical authors, she actually does research and her characters are three dimensional. While we are all familiar with the Biblical account of Judas, this novel puts a humanistic face on him rather than writing him off as the incarnation of the devil. As the story unfolds, you begin to sympathize with him and understand that at that point in Jewish history, they were expecting a conquering king to free them from Roman oppression. Though Jesus stirred up some trouble, He didn’t fit the mold (at times He still doesn’t fit the mold people expect of Him). One point the author makes throughout the book, is what we would have done if we were in Judas’ position? I guarantee that you’ll walk away from “Iscariot” with a different perspective on the most maligned figure in the Bible.


  1. I didn't make it very far into this book. It just didn't work for me for some reason.

  2. Great review, sis! I am almost finished with the novel and have to say I see Judas in a whole new way. Not, as you put it, evil incarnate. He was a human and it must have been heartbreaking for not only Jesus to know what Judas would do, but after the decision tore him up immensely.

    Tosca Lee has done it again and she has not disappointed at all!