- Series: Lemmons, Thom
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1578567785
- ASIN: B003E7EZ8E
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,063,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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King's Ransom (Lemmons, Thom) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 21, 2004
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“Meticulously researched, King’s Ransom is a carefully constructed tale of love and brutality, heroism and cruelty, faith and despair, triumph and defeat. Jan Beazely and Thom Lemmons have vividly woven fictional characters with accurate, but little known, historical figures and events to give us an incredible story that needs to be told.”
--Kay Arthur, author of Israel, My Beloved
“For those who love stories of faith and courage, King’s Ransom is a must read. In a time when our world suffers under the blight of unreasoning hatred, this little known chapter in history yields unforgettable lessons.”
–Oliver L. North, LtCol USMC (Ret.), best-selling author of Mission Compromised and Jericho Sanction
“Like a rich tapestry done in vivid colors, King’s Ransom weaves twentieth-century history and heart-stopping intrigue into an intricate pattern that delights the eye and engages the imagination. The authors guide us through the Bulgarian culture and countryside with deft hands, never allowing historical detail to overshadow the powerful story or the carefully drawn characters, who truly come alive on the page. A masterful work!”
–Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Thorn in My Heart
“Steeped in historical accuracy, King’s Ransom rivets our hearts with true stories of previously unsung heroes. Their song has found our own time and place, thanks to the keen research of Jan Beazely and Thom Lemmons. A mesmeric read about a period in history when the lines between evil and good blurred, this story shows how honor and love triumphed in this forgotten kingdom of hidden heroes.”
–Anne de Graaf, Christy Award-winning author of Into the Nevernight
“King’s Ransom is, in a word, wonderful. It’s well written, rich with historical detail, populated with vibrant characters, and deft in illustrating the struggles of both the Bulgarian Jews during World War II and the gentiles who helped them. Highly recommended!”
–Sylvia Bambola, author of Refiner’s Fire, Tears in a Bottle, and Waters of Marah
“Beazely and Lemmons have crafted a carefully researched and excellently written work of historical fiction.”
–Robert Whitlow, best-selling author of Life Support
“King’s Ransom took me on a breathtaking journey into a time and place of which I knew little, and made me feel as if I now have friends in the past. Thom Lemmons and Jan Beazely have stunningly portrayed the very personal struggles of a royal family, Jews in an increasingly anti-Semitic environment, and Christians in every walk of life. This story will live on in my imagination for years to come.”
–Janelle Burnham Schneider, author of “From Carriage to Marriage” in the Brides for a Bit anthology and “A Distant Love” in the Christmas Duty anthology
From the Inside Flap
The Faith to Face Tyranny
Faith to Face the Third Reich
Two Stories of Undaunted Courage
Set during the darkest days of World War II, King's Ransom tells the heroic story of Tsar Boris III, King of Bulgaria, and his extraordinary efforts to save his country's Jewish population from Hitler's concentration camps. Aware of the price he might pay for his risks, Boris faced the Third Reich with courage and resolve, firm in his Christian convictions that would not permit him to abandon nearly 50,000 Jews. Boris, along with members of the Orthodox Church, Jewish religious leaders, and others, ultimately ensured that no Bulgarian Jews lost their lives to Hitler's regime.
Based on a True Story
Historically accurate, Boris's quest to save Bulgaria's Jews is interwoven with the love story of Daria, the Jewish attendant to the Bulgarian royal family, and Dobri, a sergeant in the king's guard. With courageous characters and passionate storytelling, King's Ransom reveals how individuals acting on faith can change the course of history.
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I'd never really given much thought to Tsar Boris during WWII. I knew some rough information about Bulgaria's position in WWII and on its Jews, but the struggle to balance allegiances to both Germany and Russia came to vivid life in this book. He's a man caught in a very hard situation. Cultural ties link Bulgaria to Russia, but the power of Nazi Germany all around them make Boris pay court to them as well. The authors are able to make that struggle come to life in their characterization of Boris, a gentle but determined man whose main focus is on Bulgaria's safety and security. I really felt for him and his struggle.
Dobri, a palace guard, and Daria, the royal family's Jewish servant and companion, had this sweet romance going that I enjoyed. Despite all the darkness of the information coming out of Poland on the fate of the Jews, they were still able to experience the light of romance. They also shined as individuals, from Dobri's devotion to the royal family and love to Daria's finding her identity as a Jew among all the turmoil around her.
I only wish their authors had maybe stuck with these points of view and told the story from them. Yet, there are many more in this book that made for some hard reading. I can think of at least five or six more points of view explored within, from the main churchman in Bulgaria to a Jew in a small Bulgarian town with relatives in Macedonia to a virulent anti-Semitic government man. And while all these points of view provide varying ways in which to see the situation of the Jews of Bulgaria, at times the story was bogged down from switching between them.
Overall, this book was an enjoyable and moving read on Bulgaria during WWII. I felt connected with our main characters, their trials, and their triumphs. And while switching points of view made for, at times, a hard read, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys WWII and Holocaust fiction.
I finished it because I was interested in the history. If I had been rating it as fiction, it would have received only one star.
The book opens and closes with thoughts of an old man, a former guard for WWII's King Boris of Bulgaria. The story itself unfolds through the years of Hitler's occupation. We get to see the internal struggles of the king as he tried to placate Hitler, while keeping his own people alive. Bulgaria, caught on all sides by extreme pressure, faced violence and death. Somehow, with political acumen, King Boris managed to walk a tightrope that, ultimately, protected thousands of Jews from extermination.
The authors do a wonderful job of portraying the king's struggles, as well as the travails of the common people. You'll find suspense, romance, intrigue, and spiritual strength here. Although it starts off with a lot of information to assimilate, it quickly settles into a nicely paced tale of this oft-neglected country.
I read the story while on a trip to Romania, and had the privilege of passing on the book to an actual Bulgarian woman. She was so impressed that her history was covered in this fashion. The joy on her face even surpassed the enjoyment I found between the pages.