The Martyr's Song [NOOK Book]

Overview

What would you die for?

That's the question suddenly thrust upon a small band of women and children in Bosnia at the close of World War II. When a group of bitter soldiers stumble upon their peaceful village, they suddenly face an insidious evil...and the ultimate test.

It is then, in the midst of chaos and pain that the Martyr's Song is first heard. It is then that the window into heaven first opens. It is ...

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The Martyr's Song

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Overview

What would you die for?

That's the question suddenly thrust upon a small band of women and children in Bosnia at the close of World War II. When a group of bitter soldiers stumble upon their peaceful village, they suddenly face an insidious evil...and the ultimate test.

It is then, in the midst of chaos and pain that the Martyr's Song is first heard. It is then that the window into heaven first opens. It is then that love and beauty are shown in breathtaking reality.

You have in your hands the story and the song that changed...everything.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Marci is waiting for a miracle. She longs to possess physical beauty that will save her from being a teenage outcast. The miracle that she receives comes in the form of an old woman's story. It leaves her skin untouched, except for tears of joy.
Publishers Weekly
Dekker-author of bestsellers Obsessed, Thr3e and others-turns from suspense to a fable of Christian martyrdom in this novella. When Eve, an Atlanta florist in the 1960s, meets the awkward outcast teenager Marci, Eve promises to "change the way you look with a power beyond your comprehension." Though skeptical, Marci visits Eve, who begins to read from a worn red book. Its story takes them back two decades to a Bosnian village seemingly untouched by WWII. Five soldiers, led by the insane Karadzic, interrupt the birthday party of a 13-year-old girl, Nadia. Karadzic's evil nature quickly becomes evident when he questions Father Michael, the village's Anglican priest, about his politics and his God. Though Father Michael and Nadia become pawns in Karadzic's game of torture and fear, amid their pain they see what awaits them beyond this world. The ending is horrific, but the lesson of hope and love fills the villagers and Marci as she hears the tale years later. Although the story is surprisingly full of joy, Dekker's writing is sometimes overwrought and draining, rarely offering readers a chance to relax and grasp the greater message. The book includes a CD single of "The Martyr's Song" performed by Todd Agnew and discussion questions written by Dekker. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418525576
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/30/2005
  • Series: Martyr's Song Series
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 100,261
  • File size: 919 KB

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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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Atlanta, Georgia, 1964

EVE ANGLED the old VW toward the curb alongside the high-school yard and slipped the shift stick into park. She stared directly ahead, lost in another world, nearly oblivious to the hundred or so students on the lawn to her right.

She recited the words so firmly etched in her mind as if she had written them herself.

"The soldiers stood unmoving on the hill's crest, leaning on battered rifles, five dark silhouettes against a white Bosnian sky, like a row of trees razed by the war. They stared down at the small village, oblivious to the sweat caked beneath their tattered army fatigues, unaware of the dirt streaking down their faces like long black claws."

Eve stopped. To think that it had all started so innocently. Just five tired soldiers staring at a peaceful village . . .

Someone yelled, and she turned her head to look at the students through the passenger window.

Wake up, old woman . You're here now, not there.

She was here to deliver a dozen of her rarest roses--crossbred Russian reds--but she couldn't focus on the task. Her mind was lost in this other world, where things like roses and cars and students meant something very different than they did here.

She was once as young as these students, fifty or sixty years ago. She'd fumbled through adolescence and come out reasonably sane, though that was before she learned the true meaning of life in that surreal moment when her world stopped for an hour or so. She found her sanity then, all of it, in a time of horror and beauty.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

She pushed open her door and stepped out.

"Forgive them, for they simply do not, cannot, will not know--"

Eve's vision froze.

Her left foot was planted on the street, her right on the Volkswagen's floorboard. Her heart was halfway through a beat; her lungs were half-full of air. For a long moment, they stayed that way.

A girl stood alone on the lawn, staring at the other students as if unsure what to do with herself. The school, with all of its activity, faded from Eve's view.

The girl was all she could see. A girl she knew.

But it wasn't possible! Not here!

Eve's heart crashed, and the familiar rhythm of life resumed. She was mistaken. No matter how the girl resembled . . .

The girl still stood on the grass, unmoving. The other students swarmed by, but this one lost child, an outcast, shut off from the busy world around her, was immobilized by her own insignificance.

A knot of empathy rose in Eve's throat.

She'd come to deliver flowers, but she decided then that she would deliver something more.

So very, very much more.

-----

MARCI STOOD on numb legs, unable to move. It wasn't that she didn't have the strength to walk across the schoolyard and up those wide, sweeping steps that led into the gaping double doors. It was that she didn't want to walk past the other students.

But school was out, and she had to get to her locker, simple as that. Which meant she had to pass by them.

She'd long ago stopped thinking of them by name. It wasn't Kevin, the quarterback who led his fans around campus, or Cheryl, his girlfriend, who had an annoying habit of popping her gum, or Tom, who had that loud motorcycle they called an Indian. It was just them.

There were twenty-nine kids in the eleventh grade. Twenty-eight of them were going to Kevin's fall party tonight. One was not. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know which one.

The one with the long, stringy brown hair. The one who had fat fingers and stubby nails. The one who tried to cover her zits with makeup but failed miserably. The one who wore Salvation Army rejects because she couldn't afford real clothes from Rich's department stores.

Marci stood still, knowing that even now, standing alone on the front lawn, she stuck out like a wart. It was Friday. School was out. She couldn't just stand here forever.

Marci lowered her eyes to the grass and forced herself forward. Her red plaid kick-pleat skirt hung around her knees. She'd saved up for three months and bought it a week ago, but she hadn't worked up the courage to wear it until today. A stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do. What was she thinking? She hated herself for feeling like she had to wear it to fit in.

Three girls were walking by, looking at her.

"Nice skirt," one of them said.

Marci's face flushed. She should have gone home.

"Stunning," the second said.

"You wearing that dress tonight?"

Marci's vision clouded with embarrassment. All of them knew she hadn't been invited.

"Never too late to impress the boys," the third said, winking.

"Please, she isn't even going. And if she showed up in that, we'd have to lock her in the bathroom to keep the boys from throwing up." The girl skipped ahead. "Come on! Bobby's waiting."

Marci's world spun. Funny how it never got easier. She walked forward. The steps had emptied. She climbed them a step at a time, hating every swish of her skirt.

The building had emptied too. She turned down the long hall and walked quickly, scuffed shoes clicking on the concrete floor. She reached her locker. Pulled it open and stared in.

Her diary sat on her upper shelf. She stared at it dumbly. The words she'd written just a week ago ran through her mind. I'm pretty sure I have enough money for at least a new skirt, the one in the window at Lerners. Maybe a new blouse too! I'm going to do it! I'm going down to pick out a skirt that all the others would wish they had bought. Then I'm going to wear it to school.

Marci reached for the diary, pulled it out. Maybe she should take the book home and burn it.

Someone was in the hall to her left. A shadow in the corner of Marci's eye. She turned her head.

A woman with gray hair, wearing a yellow-flowered dress, stood alone in the hall twenty yards away, looking directly at her. A vase of roses sat on a cabinet next to the woman.

Normally Marci would have looked away, but for some reason she couldn't. She just looked back into the woman's long, haunting stare.

They seemed to be trapped in each other's eyes. The air suddenly felt too thick to breathe. Still the woman wouldn't break off the stare. Marci didn't know what to do.

The woman was suddenly walking down the hall. Straight for her. Eyes locked.

A small wave of dread swept through Marci's chest. The woman stopped five feet away. There was something about the woman's eyes. Pity. Maybe horror. But that wasn't it. There was more.

Something surreal. Something impossible.

"What's your name, child?"

The woman's voice was soft and low with a foreign accent.

"I'm not here to hurt you," the woman said. "You may call me Eve. What is your name?"

"Marci."

"Hello, Marci." The woman blinked. "You hate yourself because you don't think you're beautiful, is that it?"

At first the question sounded distant. How did the old woman know that? Was it so obvious? Then again, people always assumed that ugly people hated themselves. Though for Marci, it was true.

"Do you believe everything can change in the space of one breath, Marci?" the woman asked.

Marci stood frozen.

The woman slipped a card from her purse. "You think physical beauty is important? Fine. I'll work in your world, for your sake. Come to my flower shop tomorrow, and I will make you beautiful."

Marci's thoughts collided. Now that she thought about it, the woman was saying that she really was ugly. Of course she was ugly; everyone knew that, but not so ugly a stranger would walk up to her and make a point of it.

The woman stepped forward and slid the card under the diary's cover with a touch as soft as her voice. "More beautiful than you can possibly imagine," she said. Eve lifted her hand, touched Marci's chin. "And I'm not speaking of inner beauty, child. I can change the way you look with a power beyond your comprehension."

Then the woman turned and walked down the hall. She stepped through the doors to the street and was gone.

Marci stood by her open locker, diary in arm, staring after the woman. The first hints of real anger prompted a faint tremor in her fingers. The anger swelled to rage. How could a total stranger dare make such a cruel insult?

How could anyone walk up to her and tell her that she really was ugly and needed to be changed? And how could the witch taunt her with such an absurd promise? Let's dress you up and pretend you're beautiful and parade you around the block for all the boys to laugh at.

The tremble ran to Marci's heels. She clenched her hand, and for the first time that day, a tear slipped from her eye.

I hate you . I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! I will cut my wrists before I come to your pathetic little flower shop!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Whole series of these books is highly recommended.

    Short and sweet, sets you up with information for author’s Heaven Trilogy. A must read for Ted Dekker readers.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Best book I have read in a long, long time

    I enjoy reading Christian fiction but often time get frustrated with the 'trite' endings. You know the stories, fictional character encounters some life altering/changing situation, and then by the end of the book after a few more sub plots everything works out honky-dory, kind of like the Brady Bunch! The Martyr's Song is a story within a story. A young girl who is teased because she is not the most attractive girl meets an elderly woman who tells her she can help her discover her real beauty. She visits the elderly lady who shares a horrific and tragic story of an occurance at a village in Europe. The story is heart-wrenching and tragic, and it begs all us Christians to wonder if we would do the same thing if we were in the same horrific situation as those villagers? The book is thought provoking, tragic, but ultimately beautiful!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

    Brandan Arthur Gereau Center

    The Martyr's Song was a book of wonder. It taught me lessons in beauty and peace. The elements that touched me the most in this book was the use of Imagery. This was also my favorite part of the book I loved it for the same reason I wrote it. It shows us what the characters are seeing letting everything jump off the page and into our world. My least favorite part of this book on the other hand was how the Minister was hung on the cross, How could you imitate that the pain and torture actually led to a few nightmares.. But I would recommend this book to all I give it a stamp of approval beyond all. God bless Ted Dekker

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    BEAUTIFUL

    I was amazed at the beauty of this story! The innocence of a child being so willing to give her life for the Lord... It takes my breath away. I was deeply impacted by The Martyers Song.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2011

    I Was Extremely Disappointed

    Note: Possible Spoiler Alert
    I am a HUGE Ted Dekker fan, and have read dozens of books from him. This was, very easily, the worst. To begin with, it's only 100 pages, 80 of which are actually the story. I read through it in about 30 minutes. The story itself is just bizarre. It begins with an old woman named Eve, and a young, insecure girl names Marci. When Eve walks up to Marci and tells her that she is ugly, and that Eve can take her to her store and make her beautiful, Marci is angry and doubtful, but she shows up anyway. Then, Eve takes out a book, and begins reading to her about a small Serbian village. One day, 5 soldiers showed up to this village, and one of them brutalized the people-namely the priest, a young girl, Nadia, and the women. Because the villagers would not renounce Christ, the soldier killed Nadia and the priest, but at the end, the people stood up against him, and one of the soldiers escaped to tell the story of the other soldier's evil to the rest of the world. It turns out that Eve was Nadia's mother, and that Marci has a "connection" with Nadia through the story, and becomes beautiful through Christ. The characters were extremely underdeveloped, and even the Christian message was really fuzzy. I love Christian fiction, but this just didn't live up. To me, it was definitly not worth the $10, or the 30min. I will continue to read Ted Dekker, but I ddon't reccomend this particular book to you. Instead try White, Black, Red, Green, Obsessed, Three, Blink of an Eye, or one of Dekker's many other, much better choices.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Deep insight into important issues

    To me, Martyr's Song felt like a replay of a true story from the pages of Jesus Freaks or Fox's book of Martyrs, only with much more detail. Dekker does an excellent job of sucking you into the story, though I think he could have just used the Bosnia story by itself and accomplished even more (drop the outer story and go for the meat.) At any rate, this story made me address some questions about how far I would go if needed, and I felt inspired to reach for a new level in my faith. In that respect this story held real value, and for that, I'm thankful. It's definitely not the same old...same old...But, in my opinion, it was a bit too short. I would have liked to have read more about the torturers' responses to the priest's death and how it had changed them, especially the writer of the novel Eve had read, rather than just hearing it from her. But that's just me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 5, 2009

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    Posted December 16, 2011

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    Posted December 1, 2010

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    Posted March 19, 2010

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    Posted December 15, 2011

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    Posted November 21, 2010

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    Posted June 20, 2009

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    Posted June 11, 2013

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    Posted February 19, 2011

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    Posted February 5, 2009

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    Posted February 9, 2012

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    Posted February 27, 2011

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    Posted December 15, 2008

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    Posted September 30, 2011

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