Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn
Released: July 1, 2011
Bethany House Publishing
Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq—kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. Two others also drop out of sight—a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation.
After finishing this book, all I can say is, "Wow". I was truly moved, and to be honest it's pretty difficult to explain that, but here I'm going to try.
Do you believe that one Person can change others? That one Person can influence people to make a change? That one Person could change politics? What about the situation in the Middle East, and as this book looks at, the political instability of Iraq? Can one Person bring enemies together in peace to now call each other "brother"?
That's exactly what Lion of Babylon is about. I'm going to be honest and say that some people (in fact, most people) won't be able to buy into this premise. But I can, and if you are one of those people who are able to, then this book will absolutely impact you.
It's an adventurous thriller, and while Christian, it isn't forced on you. The faith in it is subtle in its own way, which is what makes it so beautiful. Marc and Sameh don't walk around talking about being a Christian; they LIVE and BREATHE it. Their actions are so much louder than any words they could ever speak. And it works- people are drawn to them like bees to honey. But they don't keep the glory for themselves and instead they point it right back where it belongs: to that one Person, Jesus.
My favourite part of the story was reading how these unlikely friendships grew. An Iraqi Christian, a Muslim religious leader, an American Christian, and a Muslim Iraqi police officer all learn to work together regardless of their differences. Bunn tells the story of Iraq in such a way that we really see how skewed our perception of these Middle Eastern countries and their people can be. These are not our enemies; and we can't stereotype them as such. Reading the friends these men became and seeing how they worked together in perfect harmony moved me to tears, at the simplicity of this beautiful change. What wouldn't we give to see something like this really happen in real life? And all of this is woven between the lines of a secret, dangerous mission and personal growth for each of these characters! Bunn masterfully balances multiple facets of his book to tell this story that can really change how you think and feel about others.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". I am SO thankful that Baker Publishing provided me with a copy of this book, and while I am pleased to write this glowing review of Lion of Babylon I was compensated in no other way besides a copy of the book.
Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy—from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard?