Dekker’s work is primarily action/adventure/mystic. I have only read one other work by him. Perhaps if I had read AD 30 I would have found this book more interesting. I did not become attached to any of the main characters, perhaps because I missed the first book. I don’t know if that book included a more complete portrait of them, but this one did not.
It is always a problem of series writing to introduce the main characters in each book to new readers without boring the earlier readers. Dekker may have done a good job here, but he did not hook me.
I have the feeling he was trying to write two different books in one and I don’t think they blended very well. Part of the story is about Maviah and her struggle to understand the teachings she heard from Yeshua in book one while holding the leash on an army of desert nomads who want to slaughter their enemies.
She was conflicted, as Dekker showed, all too often. Those around her needed her constant leadership to keep their focus on Yeshua, but we spent more reading time learning about her doubts.
If you are looking for an action-packed read, you will be somewhat disappointed. If you want to see the power of Yeshua in a miraculous way, start mid-book. My main disappointment is in the heavy-handed presentation of how the Holy Spirit works in the world. I would have preferred the same story with the theology lightly sprinkled in, but with less Christianese. Really, the lion’s den?