Angels at the Gate

Written by T.K. Thorne
Review by Beth Turza

Angels at the Gate is a clever retelling of the biblical story leading up to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of the families of Abraham and Lot. The book is told through the eyes of Adira, whose father is a nomadic trader who raised her in the guise of a boy so that she could stay by his side traveling and learning the ways of his tribe. When two strangers, brothers who are rumored to be Holy Men, begin traveling with them, Adira struggles with having a young woman’s yearnings while being trapped in a young man’s persona. Fluent in many languages, Adira tutors the two “Angel” brothers in order to earn barter for the ownership of a beloved dog, Nami, who proves to be a lifesaver as the treachery of men and the desert threaten all that she loves.

From the alluring cover of this historical novel to the very last page, as the reader anticipates the biblical climax of Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, the author has us transplanted back into 1748 BCE with all of our senses attuned. I felt Adira’s inner struggle for her identity, the superstitious beliefs of those people that the “Angels” came in contact with, and the historical significance of the geology that made the famed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah important commercial ports of their day. The story is well researched and well-thought-out, giving the reader an adventure through the unforgiving desert where men and women struggle to survive, hold fast to their religious beliefs, and realize the strength within themselves as they work together.