Cry For Jerusalem – Book 2 66-67 CE: Against All Odds

Written by Ward Sanford
Review by J. Lynn Else

66 CE. Jewish rebels have just defeated the Roman army, but Yosef knows Rome will be back for bloody retribution. Charged with uniting Jewish forces, Yosef travels to Galilee. But sentiments against Jerusalem and its leaders divide the nation. In Jerusalem, Yosef’s sister Miriam continues to secretly train despite the recent death of her Sicarii mentor. She is the only woman Sicarii, an organized assassination unit of cloak and daggers, known to the zealot group. Her purpose is to strike back against the Romans, but when her first love returns to Jerusalem, could Miriam put her warrior ways behind to become a wife? Would it wash away her pain? Meanwhile, in the midst of rebuilding Rome after the Great Fire, Nero hungers for Jerusalem’s temple riches and seeks just the right general to defeat the growing rebellion.

The title may make one believe this is a Christian novel (strongly integrating themes of Christianity). However, this book examines both sides of the conflict, their trials, and their sins. Traditions and customs for both societies are meticulously researched and vividly penned.

There are a few editorial errors, mainly with different fonts. At times, character thoughts on what to write are included in the font delineating a letter itself, which occasionally distract.

Plot-wise, Sanford again proves his vast knowledge of period and place as events from book one escalate in book two. Tensions run high as Yosef faces not only the Roman threat but threats from his own people. The characters continue developing in impactful and emotional ways. Minute details of daily life make the reading experience immersive. Full of political intrigue and action, the novel sweeps across detailed and vast settings and weaves together a complex plot that will keep readers hooked till the end.