Immanuel's Veins

( 230 )

Overview

This story is for everyone—but not everyone is for this story.

It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction.
A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.

Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces ...

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Immanuel's Veins

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Overview

This story is for everyone—but not everyone is for this story.

It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction.
A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.

Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.

With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope,
because the heart knows no bounds.

Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow.

Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.

But remember, not everyone is for this story.

Note: Final recording length may vary.

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  • Immanuel's Veins
    Immanuel's Veins  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dekker jumps on the vampire bloodwagon with an 18th century novel set in the Carpathian Mountains. When two warriors are charged by Catherine the Great of Russia to guard two young women at risk of harm, Toma, the narrator and protagonist, must choose between his duty and honor and the passion he feels for one of the two, the beautiful Lucine. When she falls into the hands of a group of descendants of Nephilim—offspring of the angels who bred with humans, as mentioned in Genesis—Toma must rescue her by means of blood and a love he's never known but must come to understand first himself: the blood of Immanuel's veins. Dekker takes Christian fiction to the edge of darkness in a way that makes redemption and the ancient practices of the church—holy communion, confession of belief in Christ, baptism—bright and believable by contrast. This is classic Dekker clothed in Eastern European garb, passionate and shocking. Pacing is fast as a hummingbird, villains induce cardiac arrhythmias, andthe novel must be read with blood pressure pills. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In 1772, Catherine the Great sends warrior Toma Nicolescu to Moldavia to protect the Cantemir family. During the course of his assignment, he grows fond of their daughter Lucine. Then Vlad van Valerik appears with the intent of courting Lucine. Toma senses something is wrong with this new suitor. Are his own feelings for Lucine getting in the way, or does this stranger pose a serious threat? VERDICT Best-selling suspense author Dekker has written a page-turning spiritual thriller populated with intriguing characters. Fans of CF suspense and fantasy should eat this one up, but historical fiction fans will also enjoy the Saint Thomas of Russia story line.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595540096
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Pages: 367
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker is the New York Times best-selling author of more than25 novels. He is known for stories that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil. He lives in Texas with his wife and children. Twitter @TedDekker, facebook.com/#!/teddekker

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First Chapter

Immanuel's Veins


By TED DEKkER

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Ted Dekker
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-6261-8


Chapter One

My name is Toma Nicolescu and I was a warrior, a servant of Her Majesty, the empress of Russia, Catherine the Great, who by her own hand and tender heart sent me on that mission at the urging of her most trusted adviser, Grigory Potyomkin, in the year of our Lord 1772.

It was a year of war, this one the Russo-Turkish War, one of so many with the Ottoman Empire. I had slain the enemy with more ambition than most in the humble service of the empress, or so it has been said, and having earned Her Majesty's complete trust in my loyalty and skill, I was dispatched by her to the south and east, through Ukraine to the principality of Moldavia, just north of the Black Sea and west of Transylvania, to the country estate of the Cantemir family nestled up against the base of the Carpathian Mountains.

To my understanding, the family descendants of Dimitrie Cantemir, the late prince of Moldavia, were owed a debt for his loyalty to Russia. Indeed, it was said that the path to the heart of Moldavia ran through the Cantemir crest, but that was all politics-none of my business.

On that day my business was to travel to this remote, lush green valley in western Moldavia and give protection to this most important family who retreated to the estate every summer.

Russia had occupied Moldavia. Enemies were about with sharp knives and blunt intentions. The black plague had mercilessly taken the lives of many in the cities. A ruler loyal to Catherine the Great would soon be selected to take the reins of this important principality, and the Cantemir family would play a critical role in that decision as they held such a lofty position of respect among all Moldavians.

My charge was simple: No harm could come to this family. These Cantemirs.

The sun was sinking over the Carpathian peaks to our left as my friend in arms, Alek Cardei, and I sat atop our mounts and stared down at the valley. The great white castle with its twin spires stood on emerald grasses an hour's ride down the twisted path. A tall stone wall ran the length of the southern side where the road ran into the property. Green lawns and gardens surrounded the estate, encompassing ten times the ground as the house itself. The estate had been commissioned by Dimitrie Cantemir in 1711, when he was prince of Moldavia for a brief time before retreating to Turkey.

"I see the twin peaks, but I see no gowns," Alek said, squinting down the valley. His gloved hand was on his gold-busted sword. Leather armor wrapped his chest and thighs, same as mine. A goatee cupped his chin and joined his mustache but he'd shaved the rest of his face in the creek earlier, anticipating his ride into the estate, the arriving hero from abroad.

Alek, the lover.

Toma, the warrior.

I looked down at the golden ring on my finger, which bore the empress's insignia, and I chuckled. Alek's wit and charm were always good friends on a long journey, and he wielded both with the same ease and precision with which I swung my sword.

I nodded at my fair-headed friend as he turned his pale blue eyes toward me. "We're here to protect the sisters and their family, not wed them."

"So then you cannot deny it: the sisters are on your mind. Not the mother, not the father, not the family, but the sisters. These two female frolickers who are the talk of Ukraine." Alek turned his mirth-twisted face back to the valley. "Heat has come to the dog at last."

To the contrary, though Alek could not know, I had taken a vow to Her Majesty not to entangle myself while here in Moldavia. She was all too aware of the sisters' reputations, and she suggested I keep my head clear on this long assignment that might too easily give us much idle time.

"One favor, Toma," she said.

"Of course, Your Majesty."

"Stay clear of the sisters, please. At least one of you ought to have a clear mind."

"Of course, Your Majesty."

But Alek was a different matter, and there was hardly any reason to deny him his jesting. It always lifted my spirits.

If I were a woman, I would have loved Alek. If I were a king, I would have hired him to remain in my courts. If I were an enemy, I would have run and hid, because wherever you found Alek you would find Toma, and you would surely die unless you swore allegiance to the empress.

But I was the furthest thing from a woman, I had never aspired to be a king, and I had no mortal enemies save myself.

My vice was honor: chivalry when it was appropriate, but loyalty to my duty first. I was Alek's closest and most trusted friend, and I would have died for him without a care in the world.

He blew out some air in exasperation. "I have gone to the ends of the earth with you, Toma, and I would still. But this mission of ours is a fool's errand. We come here to sit with babies while the armies dine on conquest?"

"So you've made abundantly clear for a week now," I returned. "What happened to your yearning for these sisters? As you've said, they are rumored to be beautiful."

"Rumors! For all we know they are spoiled fat poodles. What can this valley possibly offer that the nights in Moscow can't? I'm doomed, I tell you. I would rather run a sword through myself now than suffer a month in that dungeon below."

I could see through his play already. "From frolicking sisters to suicide so quickly? You're outdoing yourself, Alek."

"I'm utterly serious!" His face flashed, indignant. "When have you known me to sit on my hands for weeks on end with nothing but a single family to occupy me? I'm telling you, this is going to be my death."

He was still playing me, and I him. "So now you expect me to give you leave to exhaust your fun here, then go gallivanting about the countryside seeking out mistresses in the other estates? Or would you rather slip out at night and slit a few evil throats so you can feel like a man?"

He shrugged. "Honestly, the former sounds more appealing." His gloved finger stabbed skyward. "But I know my duty and would die by your side fulfilling it." He lowered his hand. "Still, as God is my witness, I will not tolerate a month of picking my teeth with straw while the rest of the world fights for glory and chases skirts."

"Don't be a fool, man. Boredom could not catch you if it chased you like a wolf. We'll establish a simple protocol to limit all access to the estate, post the sentries, and mind the women-I understand that the father will be gone most of the time. As long as our duties are in no way compromised, I will not stand in the way of your courting. But as you say, they may be fat poodles."

A sound came from behind us. "Who has business with the Cantemirs? Eh?"

I spun to the soft, gravelly voice. An old shriveled man stood there, grasping a tall cane with both hands. His eyes were slits, his face was wrinkled like a dried-out prune, and his long stringy gray hair was so thin that a good wind would surely leave him bald. I wasn't sure he could actually see through those black cracks below his brow.

Alek humphed and deferred to me. How had this ancient man walked up on us without a sound? He was gumming his lips, toothless. Silent.

I held my hand up to Alek and drew my pale mount about to face the man. "Who asks?"

A bird flew in from the west, a large black crow. As I watched, somewhat stunned, it alighted on the old man's shoulder, steadied itself with a single flap of its wings, and came to rest. The man didn't react, not even when the crow's thick wing slapped his ear.

"I don't have a name," the old man said. "You may call me an angel if you like."

Alek chuckled, but I was sure it was a nervous reaction without a lick of humor.

"Who inquires of the Cantemir estate?" he asked again.

"Toma Nicolescu, in the service of Her Majesty, the empress of Russia, Catherine the Great, who now rules Moldavia. And if you are an angel, then you may vanish as all angels vanish, into the air of superstition."

"Toma?" the old man croaked.

"What business do you have with this estate?"

"Eh, that is you? Toma Nicolescu?"

His demeanor now bothered me more than I cared to admit. Was this my elder, whom I should honor, or a wandering lunatic?

"Watch your tongue, old man," Alek snapped.

The crow cocked its head and lined up one of its beady eyes for a hard look at Alek; the old man did the same.

"Eh? Is that you too, Toma?"

Alek's brow furrowed. "Stop playing the buffoon. And get rid of that cursed bird."

"State your business, old man," I demanded.

He lifted a bony, scarcely fleshed hand and pointed to the west. "There is evil in the wind. Beware, Toma. Beware the evil."

"Don't be a loon ..."

I held up my hand to stop Alek, interested in the oddity before us, this ancient blind prune and his all-seeing crow.

"What makes you think there is evil to beware?" I asked.

"Eh? The crow saw it."

"The crow told you that, did he? And does your crow speak as well?" Alek's voice wrung mockery from each word.

Lightning stabbed at the plains in the east. I hadn't noticed the clouds on the horizon until now. A muted peal of thunder growled at us, as if in warning I thought, and I wasn't given to superstition. The devil wasn't my enemy and God wasn't my friend. Nothing I'd experienced in my twenty-eight years had moved me to believe in either.

The old wizard with his crow was staring at me through slits, silent. I wanted to know why the man seemed to sense the threat-it was my job to know. So I dismounted, walked up to him, and dipped my head, an easy thing to do considering his age, for I had always been given to respecting the aged.

The black bird was only three feet from me, jerking its head for a better look, sizing me up, deciding whether he should pluck my eyes out.

I spoke kindly, in a low voice. "Please, if you feel it wise, tell me why your crow would warn us of evil."

He smiled a toothless grin, all gums and lips. "This is Peter the Great. I can't see so well, but they tell me he's a magnificent bird. I think he likes me."

"I would say he looks like a devil. So why would a devil tell an angel that evil is near?"

"I'm not the devil, Toma Nicolescu. He is far more beautiful than I."

I was sure I could hear Alek snickering, and I had half a mind to shut him up with a glare.

"And who is this beautiful devil?"

"A man with a voice like honey who flies through the night." The old man removed his right hand from the staff and used it like a wing. "But God was the one who told me to tell Toma Nicolescu that evil is in contest with you. He said you would come here, to the Brasca Pass. I've been waiting for three days, and I do think one more day might have claimed my life."

"So the crow saw it, and then God told you, his angel, to warn us," Alek scoffed. "How is that possible when we didn't even know which route we would take until yesterday?"

"Perhaps God can read your minds."

"Our minds didn't even know!"

"But God did. And here you are. And now I have done my thing and can live a little longer with my crow. I should go now." He started to turn.

"Please, kind sir." I put my hand on his. "Our mission is only to protect the estate. Is there anything else you can tell us? I don't see how a warning of evil given by a crow is much use to us."

The man's gentle face slowly sagged and became a picture of foreboding. "I can hardly advise you, who thinks the devil is only hot air, now can I?"

I was surprised that the old man knew this about me. But it could as easily have been a lucky guess.

"As for your oversexed friend, you may tell him that this valley will certainly exhaust his feral impulses. I suspect that you are both in for a rather stimulating time. Now, I must be going. I have a long way to travel and the night is coming fast."

With that he turned and walked away, a slow shuffle that made me wonder how he expected to reach the path, much less the nearest town, Crysk, a full ten miles south. This page intentionally left blank

Chapter Two

Lucine and Natasha stood on the balcony above the courtyard under a full rising moon, watching the guests who had gathered for this Summer Ball of Delights, as Mother had called it. The name tempted scandal by itself.

"The man in the black coat, there," Natasha said, pointing to a crowd of seven or eight by the fountain that led into the hedge garden.

Lucine saw him now, one of the Russian aristocrats from the Castle Castile. A group of five had come to the ball and shown themselves for the first time since the castle had come under new ownership three months earlier.

"I see him. What of it?"

"What of it?" Natasha cried. "He's magnificent."

Perhaps. Yes, in a way he was, Lucine thought. "A magnificent monster," she said.

Natasha's eyes flashed with mystery. "Then give me a monster." She wore a red silk gown draped over a slight petticoat, white lace whispering around her slippers and wrists. A trim of black satin graced her chest, low enough to provoke curiosity without revealing too much. Her blonde curls flowed over her pale shoulders-positively glowing under the bright moon.

Lucine's twin was a goddess, night or day. The kind of goddess any monster would gladly consume.

"Just watch yourself, Sister. We don't know them."

There was no summer except the summer in Moldavia, Mother said, and Lucine agreed.

It was said that Mother had once been the very vision of proper behavior under the scrutiny of her first husband, Dimitrie Cantemir. He'd ruled her with an iron fist, she said, and she grew to resent her life. But when Dimitrie had died of pneumonia while she was still pregnant with Lucine and Natasha, she had reportedly become a new woman.

Mother had waited six months, then she accepted the full benefits of the Cantemir name and wealth left her, gave birth to twin girls, and, as soon as her body allowed it, set out to find a man who would allow her to live a life full of joy, not servitude.

She and Mikhail Ivanov met a year later and were married in two months, but only on the condition that she be allowed to keep her full name, Kesia Cantemir, and pursue whatever pleasures she wished. For the most part Mikhail lived in a different world, and he rarely accompanied his wife and stepdaughters to Moldavia. At present he was busy conducting his affairs in Kiev.

Mother taught her twin daughters to embrace the full offering of life, and both Lucine and Natasha had, with more passion than most.

Lucine was only seventeen when she'd become pregnant. The father remained nameless, because she'd sworn never to think, much less speak, his name again. The thirty-year-old beast swept her off her feet with all the promises any seventeen-year-old might like to hear.

She'd shoved the memory of what followed to the deepest hiding places in her mind, but it was still there, dulled by time. The way she'd felt a new life grow inside of her belly. The way her passion for this life had found fulfillment in her love for her unborn child.

Kesia and Natasha had joined her in her delight-it was the Cantemir way. But the brute who'd given her his seed did not share any such pleasure. Lucine grew to detest him, and when she refused to be silent about her passion for this child within her, he flew into a rage, tracked her down, and beat her to within a single breath of death. With a stick of firewood he hit her belly until he was certain no life inside survived the beating.

She miscarried that night, while she clung to life. She arose from bed two weeks later, tracked down the beast, and took his life with a knife while he slept.

Then she put the incident behind her and insisted not a word of it be spoken. But she was not the carefree lover of men she had once been.

Four years had passed, and Lucine longed to be romanced by a true man who would win her for only one kiss if that was all she would give him. A man who would die to protect her.

Her twin sister, on the other hand, still preferred the wild ones with teeth because she was a ravenous wolf herself. And yet, at times Lucine wondered if they, being twins, were really still one and the same, living within themselves and vicariously through each other. Didn't a part of her long for the wolf as much as Natasha did?

"... more men than I can possibly consider in one evening," Natasha was saying.

"Whatever you say, Sister. I-"

And then Lucine saw the blond man staring up at her.

"What is it?" Natasha twisted her head and followed Lucine's gaze to the courtyard below. "What's wrong?"

He was just a man, a soldier of some kind, dressed in an officer's black suit with short tails, and sporting a black hat. But he was such a fine specimen and he looked at her with such intensity and confidence that she felt immediately ruffled.

The man with the golden mane removed his hat and, keeping his eyes on hers, bowed.

Natasha chuckled. "My, my, does he ever clean up."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Immanuel's Veins by TED DEKkER Copyright © 2010 by Ted Dekker. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 230 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 231 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2010

    Bandwagon Jumper

    Immanuel's Veins
    by Ted Dekker

    I know that vampires are hot right now and anything about vampires is flying off the shelves but really how low does a "christian" fiction writer need to go to sell a book.

    The story centers around one Toma Nicolescu in Russia. There is a best friend (Alek), and twins (Lucine and Natashsa) who are the supporting characters. Toma and Alek are charged to protect the twins from some unidentified enemy. The neighbours..."the Russians" and their mysterious ways quickly become the focus of the book and Toma is abandoned by all of the characters to sweep in and save the day.

    I did not enjoy the book for many reasons:
    1) Characters were flat and uninteresting
    2) Plot was thin and HIGHLY predicable...we all know that it is about vampires so why try to avoid calling them vampires in the book.
    3) The allegory between Toma and Jesus's shed blood....REALLY in a vampire book. This was probably the most disappointing bit of the book. I mean okay if you want to write a vampire book to jump on the band wagon of vampires are selling now as a christian author to then take a theme about vampires and attempt to turn it into an allegory for Chirst's sacrifice is in my opinion a bit much.

    The end result is a book that is trying to be about vampires but isn't really. The characters are flat and uninteresting and I didn't care what happened to the characters. Worst of all there is no challenge to my own faith and I would not recomend this book to an unbeliever as it would probably scare them off faith.

    12 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I like this kind of book - just not this book

    I love Ted Dekker. Seriously, I love his writing, his style, his stories and can I just say that I met him last year and he is just a great guy (and I'll just say what we're all thinking - he's pretty sexy too!). I love the way his stories suck you in and grip you until they are finished and then they keep your mind captivated for days after. "Boneman's Daughters" was really good, "Kiss" with Erin Healy was excellent, "The Lost Books" are amazing, you get the idea. I was really excited for "Immanuel's Veins". In theory this book should be right up my alley, I get into the whole vampire, otherworldly books - the setting and era of this book was great too. But for some reason I just couldn't quite get into this one. I've read some other reviews and a lot of people LOVE this book. That's great, I thought it was good, there is nothing wrong with it, it just isn't my favorite Ted Dekker book. I encourage you to read it though because it might speak to you in just the right way and really be a life changing book for you (as it has been for a lot of people). I am totally anticipating Ted's next book because if one thing remains true about Ted, it's that he is not afraid to try new things and he is always pushing the envelope!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

    Disappointing

    To be honest, I was extremely disappointed to see this author fall prey to the popular. While usually appreciative and accepting of his fringe style of christian writing, this crosses the line and I found it vapid and boring. This is not up to par with other excellent books by Dekker. I returned it.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2011

    B&N RIDICULOUS Pricing!!

    How in the world can you possibly justify pricing an eBook higher than the hardcover price? B&N -- for crying out loud. Have someone write you a query on your database to look for all eBooks priced higher than hardcover. Sheesh!

    I won't even consider a purchase.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable, but...

    I'm a hard core Dekker Fan, so I wasn't dissapointed with his newest novel. A great read, exciting, enjoyable characters, great themes. He usually left me wondering what was going to happen next. I especially enjoyed some more overt references to Jesus in this book, which he has just touched on lightly in his past works. That was refreshing. I especially was moved at the end in regards to one of the side characters. I won't reveal any spoilers. I also enjoyed some ties in's to the Circle Triology (and others). But, I do have some drawbacks about this book. The ending just flew by with too little details. A lot of build up, and then it's over. Also, his use of "romance as example" to his story telling has been used too many times in my opinion. Because of that, I felt like I knew the ending to this story already. My mind went back to a number of Dekker novels thinking, "Oh, this is just like that book". I guess I was expecting something different. Lastly, some of the dialog confused me... as in what century are we in confused. It didn't fit. Is that another Dekker clue for a future book? I don't know. Overall, a great read, but given all of the hype on this release, it didn't quite deliver. I didn't see a lot of new imagination in this one, but it was still a fun read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2010

    Just Terrible

    This ranks among one of the worse books I've ever read. The story was trite as well as the writing! The historical references are a laugh!

    Clearly a book for uneducated teenagers!

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    Great book!

    I was recently given an opportunity to review an advance copy of Ted Dekker's latest work, Immanuel's Veins. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the book, as I had never read any of Dekker's other books. The review snippets I had seen from others heightened my interest in the book, as they all had high praise for it.

    The story of Immanuel's Veins takes place in 1772 in Moldavia. Toma Nicolescu and Alek Cardei are sent by Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, to the Cantemir estate for the purpose of protecting the Cantemir family. The Cantemir family consists of mother Kesia, and daughters Natasha and Lucine, each strikingly beautiful. What should have been an easy assignment quickly turns into a very complex and dangerous situation. Toma hides the love he has for one of the daughters because his highest duty is loyalty to the empress, who had commanded him to not get involved with the daughters. He soon realizes that the daughter he loves is in grave danger and he sets out to attempt to save her in the face of incredible odds.

    Overally, I really enjoyed reading this book. It grabbed my attention with the first couple of pages and held it through to the end. It is a tale of redemption and sacrifice and love, and of good ultimately winning over evil.

    A couple of things I didn't necessarily like:
    -Vampires play a big role in this book. As one who is concerned and disturbed by the vampire craze that seems to be sweeping the country and even some of our churches, I appreciated the way that Ted Dekker incorporated them into this book. I don't want to give away too much so that's all I'm going to say about that. Had I known the book contained vampires I wouldn't have requested it. Having read the book, I'm really glad I didn't know about the vampires because then I would have missed out on what I think is a great book.
    -The Christian message in this book doesn't show up until pretty much the very end of the book. So don't start reading it expecting the entire book to be a Christian novel. It's rather worldly for much of the story.

    Thomas Nelson asked me to voluntarily include the following question, along with my answer.
    What is sacrificial love?
    Sacrificial love is the kind of love that is solely focused on meeting the needs of another, regardless of the cost. The greatest example of sacrificial love we will ever know is Jesus Christ's sacrificing his life on the cross for us - for me.

    Thomas Nelson also printed a limited number of t-shirts for this book. If you're interested in winning a free "Spread the Love" t-shirt, simply comment on this post and I will select a winner randomly on Saturday, September 18. (Grey t-shirt, sketch of a heart in black, with the words "Spread the Love" in red.)

    You can purchase a copy of Immanuel's Veins by clicking on the book image above.

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    just ok

    All of Dekker's other books have been impossible to put down. This one was just mediocre by comparison.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Immanuel's Veins, the struggle between good and evil

    Immanuel's Veins
    by Ted Dekker

    ".struggle between good and evil made flesh so that some may see." - Toma Nicolescu, Ch. 29 pg. 285

    Immanuel's Veins is a multi-faceted tale set in 1777 Russia and Moldavia. At the tail end of war, the empress of Russia, Catherine the Great sends her two most trusted soldiers, Toma Nicolescu and Alek Cardei, to Moldavia with the purpose of keeping watch and protecting their charges, the Cantemir Family. One soldier with his mind set on loyalty to his country and the other with his head in the clouds and heart set on love, the story takes many twists and turns keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.

    While nearing the Cantemir Castle, Toma and Alek are approached by an old man with an ominous warning, "There is evil in the wind. Beware, Toma. Beware the evil." Being men of action rather than of blind faith, both Toma and Alek choose to joke and brush off the old man's warning. Choosing instead to remain men of action, so sure that this assignment will be an easy one and they will quickly grow bored.

    The more I read of Immanuel's Veins, the more immersed I found myself. While typically drawn to this type of fiction or stories in a similar setting, I do not often find myself so connected with a character as I felt with Lucine. It was almost as if she called to me; needing me to finish the story so, that she too might know how it all ends.

    I especially enjoyed the parallels between Toma's battles of Good vs. Evil and his crisis of faith. It was fascinating to me to watch Toma's struggle with his faith in God, faith in love and faith that a belief and loyalty to something other than the empress could possibly make him happy.

    Without a doubt, I would recommend Immanuel's Veins, by Ted Dekker, to my friends and family. It was an immersive story full of love and intrigue. I pulled me in and held me captive for an emotionally charged ride that I could not tear myself away from until the end; not that I had any desire to leave until my journey was complete.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    Just waiting!!! I am sure it will be a 5 star!!!

    I am just waiting...I have a nook and I am disappointed that it is not out today in ebooks...I thought that all the new releases would be on the nook...it is out on the kindle...are you going to soon have it out on the nook? I don't want to purchase it if it is coming out this week on the nook...please answer because I don't live close to a Barnes & Noble and I will have to buy from somewhere else...
    Thanks,
    Monica

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Awful

    I have never given up on a book, no matter how bad....until now. I whole heartedly regret wasting money, time, and nook space on this novel. On average, it takes me about 1-3 days to complete a book; I have struggled for nearly 3 months and am only half way through this one. The book is written in first person and the reader is left often alone in puzzling out who is speaking. The characters are each unique and have great potential, but the writer's style is extremely drab and flat. This book felt more like a first draft with great ideas and char potential, just no momentum. Sorry....

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Save your money!

    Got this one from a friend and the only good thing I can say about it is at least I din't waste my money on it. Boring predictable and a waste of good paper. Walk on by.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Platitude

    Ugh! I love Dekker's orignal writing style but this book was not it. It reeked of cliched themes. It is yet another overdone romantic vampire novel. It even uses the name Dracula spelled backwards. And how many gazillion books/movies/TV shows have done that? The audience this type of book appeals to is junior high girls.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

    WHAT HAPPENED TO TED DEKKER??

    I loved Ted Dekker. I read Blink of an Eye, House, Kiss, and Burn before this one and I really enjoyed them. But the style he chose for this book was awful. It's like he took a hundred steps backward. I hate to admit that I'll be reluctant the next time I consider getting one of his books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Truly a Work of Art

    I love Ted Dekker's books. I have read quite a few of them, but this one is by far the absolute best. It quickly draws you in and refuses to be let out of your hands. I read this book in two days, often times reading during my professor's lectures.

    It is a wonderful story of love really conquering all, redemption over damnation. It is stunningly vivid in detail, captivating, riviting, magical, full of mystery and at the end a great deal of knowledge. It's hauntingly beautiful and eye opening to good and evil.

    I highly recommend it. If you are fan of Ted Dekker, buy this immediately. If you have not read Ted Dekker, start with this one. It truly is amazing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Are you ready to be changed by Love?

    Immanuel's Veins screams of Love, the kind of Love every single person on the face of the earth longs for and looks for. Read this book and you will find within yourself a yearning for that Love, the Love that is able to overcome all the obstacles and even death, just to be expressed.
    I have read quite a few of Dekker's books, but so far only Red could come close to the intensity of Love. It speaks of courage, of passion, of dangers - all that entwined so intricately that the reader is bound by the desire to find out what happens next and can only read on and on turning pages faster and faster as the story progresses. It makes you feel every emotion and pain the characters go through as if you were in their shoes.
    This book puts a deeper layer of meaning into the familiar children's tune "Jesus loves me, this I know." Even if I said word "Love" a hundred times in this review, it still would fall short of describing God's love towards His bride, the Church - the people He so lovingly crafted and created.
    As for recommendation: read it. if you aren't scared to allow this book change you. because it will.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    Disappointing

    I'm an avid Dekker fan. I've read everything he is written. I love his creativity. So... This book is a big disappointment. it is predictable and full of cliches. Ted, did you really write this? I am a romantic but this melodramatic is just plain silly. Just had to share this

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I'm a big fan of Ted Dekker. He's one of my favorite authors, so

    I'm a big fan of Ted Dekker. He's one of my favorite authors, so this is going to be a such hard review to write, because I didn't enjoy this book. I felt like the book could have been a lot shorter as there seemed to be a lot of repetition of thoughts and actions. I didn't find the romances to be believable. 

    The Vampire aspect was unique. While I didn't like the comparison between Jesus and Toma(I don't think the character of Toma was enough of a fitting example), I understand the symbolism the author was trying to portray. To me, this was all the more reason to give us a romance we could really root for. I think that would have brought it all home.

    The actions and events surrounding the ending really grabbed my attention. I was able to see some of the characters for who they really were. I can't help but wonder if we'll see some of these characters again. It was definitely left open for that possibility.

    As always, Ted Dekker's writing is beautiful. He really paints an amazing picture within his stories. Immanuel's Veins was no different. He takes chances when he writes, and I love that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    To all those saying Ted jumped on the vampire bandwagon...he did

    To all those saying Ted jumped on the vampire bandwagon...he did not. If you read earlier books from the Books of Histories Chronicles you will see that he had set up the vampire spin through all the books. In The circle series and the lost books series there were the Shataiki bats (a representation of demons). A leader of those bats (Alucard) crossed to our world and time in the lost books series. Ted uses vampires as the spawn of that particular Shataiki demon bat when it escaped here. Ted does not write typical "Christian" books. He writes books of fantasy portraying good and evil while using the bible for inspiration. Some will say his books are too dark. Maybe but GOD does not sugarcoat it. Why should Ted? His good vs. evil books always have good prevailing and are stories of redemption, forgiveness and love! The Nephilim in Genesis were the offspring of "the sons of god (angels) and the daughters of men (human women). Here Ted uses this for his Nephilim vampires who are the offspring of Alucard (demon/fallen angel) and humans. I personally was glad to see this in the book. Ted's books are not for everyone but I love them and am glad that someone does what most people do not. I love reading the books and trying to find all the parallels to biblical reality. Thanks for another great read Ted!

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  • Posted March 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Worth Reading! Even if it keeps you wondering till the last moment.

    This is a story of love, lust, and what lies in between. It is a story of sacrifice. It is a battle between powerful beings. And it most definitely is an emotionally-stirring book. Star Rating: 4.75 stars Content Rating: PG-13 (For mature audiences.) Opinions: I understand why some people found this book controversial. It is definitely different from books I typically read, and did have some sensual pulls and moments that left me begging the characters not to give in. I think this is what happens when you deal with a topic about the world's view of love, human desires and cravings, and what true love is. Most of the book kept me wondering what on earth was going on! I knew what was happening, I could feel that something evil was lurking, but you couldn't place your finger on exactly what it was! Until finally we are given some answers as the main character, Toma, learns them. Overall, I would recommend this book, but note that the topics and content may not be for everyone. I would not recommend it for younger teens, since most of Ted Dekker's books are for a more mature audience. So I would say make your own judgement on it, because it really comes down to you and your choices. In the end, I say it is worth reading- even if it does make you squirm a little. Iffy Content: Some. It really is up to the reader because I would definitely recommend this book. I am a sucker for romances, but even more so for stories that deal with the true meanings of love and sacrifice. I do also enjoy stories that have a good "happy" ending, but are still realistic. . . Books that allow for a lot of emotional tension and have feeling to them, like any girl I guess. Yet I am drawn to books that deal with topics that run deep, through all of us, and thus allow for a stronger connection between them. I do not find this book "ban-worthy", if you are worried about that. It is sort of a taboo thing to talk about (love, lust, evil, human desires). The worse part about it is that you really have to read the whole thing in order to see where Dekker is going with all this stuff. The "evil" may be controversial, but it's not something I can explain without giving the story away. I would recommend that if you are going to give the book a shot, read it all the way through. If you do not, you won't be left with a very good picture of what the book is about nor its quality. For more information on content and a better review, I mention a bit more about what went on in this book in my review on my blog. Check out my blog "My Life as a Book Character" over at blogspot for the full review.

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