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The Martyr's Song - Ted Dekker

I just finished reading The Martyr’s Song by Ted Dekker. I had heard that Dekker was a very controversial writer, so I must say I was a bit unfavorable towards him. However, I had received a recommendation, so I read it.

The book first opens in Atlanta, GA, during the 60’s. A girl in high school is shunned by the other students in her grade because she is not popular or pretty. She runs into a lady named Eve who invites her to her greenhouse and tells her that she can make her beautiful.

Marci, the girl, is skeptical, but she comes anyways. Eve begins to tell her a story. Very briefly summarized, the story is about five soldiers during a war who come upon a village which has so far been untouched by the war. The commander, Karadzic, is called by Dekker as demon-possessed. He enters the village in the middle of a birthday celebration for a girl named Nadia. The girl is rather homely, but she is a nice girl.

The soldiers interrupt the party, and the commander asks the priest why their church has not been broken down, as it is not a Serbian church. He gets very angry at the people, and orders them to deny their God, Jesus. Everyone refuses. The commander orders the women to carry crosses from the gravestone, and beats the first one who falls. He also orders one of his men to beat the priest. (The man he orders has been changing throughout the book, for the better, and cannot finish the beating.)

The commander loses patience and grabs a girl and puts a gun to her head. She had only asked him to leave. He tells the people that if one of them renounces Christ, he will leave, not shoot her, and leave them all alone. He kills her, and then loses patience and ties the priest on the large cross in the village. He repeats his threat with the priest, and no one says anything. He kills the priest.

Throughout the book, the priest goes through phases. Sometimes he is in a warm fuzzy land that Dekker portrays as heaven, and other times he is in the real world. I do not believe that Dekker’s image, children singing and laughing in a beautiful land, is heaven. I think that heaven will be unlike anything we could imagine.

By the end of the book, Marci is drawn into Nadia’s position and realizes the “truth” about beauty. Apparently, Dekker only thinks that reading this story will make us all happy and think that beauty is on the inside and what you stand up for, and not what others think. While this IS true, Dekker has left out a HUGE element from the book.

He portrays the cross and the pain that was on it, yet he leaves out the sacrifice of Jesus and WHY the cross was so important. He seems to think that if one stands up for your faith and dies, than you are a great person and committed to the Lord, and you go to heaven, which is so much better than here. He leaves out all of Jesus’ sacrifice and our salvation which can be obtained through Him.

Also, Dekker marks his books as Christian Horror. If all that reading Christian books for is to give us chills up and down our spine, yet make us happy because it is “Christian” then there is something wrong with our society today. You can get the book for 11.55 from, with a free CD. I glanced over the description but I am not sure what the CD is. It is a paperback and it is only 111 pages long. I finished it in about an hour and a half. I am giving this book a rating of 2.5 stars.

Andrew J. is the founder of Into the Book and keeps the site up and running. He is an avid reader and loves to write as well as read new books. He is a part of the Rebelution movement, a teenage rebellion against low expectations.


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