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The Gates of Zion (Zion Chronicles #1)

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  3,466 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Ellie Warne, a young American photojournalist, finds herself in Jerusalem in 1947. She unwittingly becomes a pawn in a political chess game when she photographs some ancient scrolls discovered by Bedouins. Who would guess that a few innocent photos could entangle her in such a desperate web of intrigue and peril?

David Meyer seems to love her dearly, but Moshe Sachar has a
Paperback, 386 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 1986)
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Jan 06, 2009 Tawnya rated it it was ok
This book was like reading a "B" movie. Some books can seamlessly blend historical fiction, romance, adventure, suspense, cultural issues--this is not one of them. The closest is comes to fulfilling any of these would be historical fiction. The characters are generally stereotypical and shallow, the premis is grossly biased, and I have to balk at any theme that makes one race of people 'the bad guy'; it takes a subject that is complex, historical, and sensitive and reduces it to the cognitive le ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Derek rated it it was amazing
The reason I chose 5 stars was because this series usually I walk past, but on a friends recommendation I picked up the first book. I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book. So much that I bought the entire series in a nice collection. I loved the History and the fact that the characters and the events are actual events and real people that lived in these most trying times of faith and perseverance. I loved the fact that this book brought this History to life for me about the creation of th ...more
Dec 19, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it
This book covers an interesting and often overlooked piece of history, the establishment of Israel for the Jewish people after World War II. Unfortunately, the characters failed to draw me in or make me care about them. The women are so beautiful it is difficult for the men to decide which one they love, and the women suffer similarly because both men are handsome and courageous. The dialog is unrealistic and at times cringeworthy. As others have pointed out, the "bad guys" are all ignorant and ...more
Jan 13, 2014 Leah rated it it was amazing
My High school English teacher recommended the Thoenes to us, but I never got around to reading them then. I recently opened The Gates of Zion and could not put it down. As a history lover, I appreciate their approach to being as historically accurate as possible. I walked away with more understanding of Israel's struggle for a nation. As a reader, I loved the plot; full of suspense, action, intrigue, and some romance for good measure. For me, any historical fiction that makes me want to study o ...more
Apr 06, 2016 Amymacleods.Org.Nz rated it it was ok
So disappointing. After LOVING the other series called Zion Covenant I purchased the whole set of Zion Chronicles thinking it would be similar - but it's awful. I suspect they wrote the books in a huge rush and never ended up coming back to edit or flesh out the stories properly. Someone has described them as a B movie and I couldn't agree more. I'm kind of stunned that they were even published. It is patchy and cliched and at times just plain boring because the characters are so 1-dimensional n ...more
Aug 29, 2008 Kimbolimbo rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: read-in-2008
I wasn't so sure I was going to like this book. It was a book club selection so I was coerced into reading it. I was greatly surprised to find it very interesting and enjoyable. I don't think I will read the rest of the series, but I am glad I read this one. I liked that I learned about an event in history that I never-ever thought about before, the partition of Israel and Palestine or rather the creation of modern day Israel soon after the holocaust (definitely biased towards the Jews and Chris ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it
Historical Fiction - one of my favorite genres. This is the first book that I have read by Bodie Thoene, at the recommendation of a good friend and neighbor. I learned a great deal about the conditions in Jerusalem in the 1940s. The plot is intriguing, the character development deep and believable. Some parts are hard to read, only because they are so heartbreakingly indicative of the circumstances that the Jews lived in at the time. I find myself wanting to call warnings to the heroes as they e ...more
Patricia Rockwell
Jun 16, 2016 Patricia Rockwell rated it it was ok
I started out very hopeful for this book. I was looking for a story in the same vein as Leon Uris' Exodus, and, right away, this book brought me to the very same time period and location--right at the moment of Palestinian partition in Old Jerusalem. There is even an early scene featuring David Ben-Gurion.

Unfortunately, that is about all the history there is. From there on, the story devolves into a sort of Hallmark movie of the week melodrama. There are an unbelievable number of last-minute sav
Erin Sullivan
Jun 05, 2014 Erin Sullivan rated it it was amazing
A little slow to start, but picks up and then you can't put it down.
My favorite line from the book is "Would she have ever known that God's love was bigger than heartache?"
What a powerful and precious thought!
Jan 23, 2016 Hannah rated it really liked it
The Gates of Zion is a wonderful book! When my mom first said we were reading it I was disappointed thinking it would be a boring "historical" book. Definitely not! This book was full of mystery and excitement. The only thing that I didn't always like was that there was a bit of romance and so my had to mom omit parts of the book for that reason. Other than that I really enjoyed reading this book!
Michelle Welch
Apr 24, 2015 Michelle Welch rated it it was amazing
A historical fiction novel filled with truth. I loved every second of this book. Set in 1947, we learn the story of Ellie Warne and how she came to love the Jewish people. She learns to trust her heart even in the midst of incredible pain. You won't be able to set this book down. These two authors are fantastic writers who weave the story and the truth into a blend of perfect reading.
Linda Bridges
Sep 02, 2014 Linda Bridges rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
It is 1947 and Palestine has just been partitioned by the UN, thereby creating the new nation of Israel. But it is not to be peaceful beginning as the Arab population fights to keep what they see as being theirs and as the Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps begin arriving to take what they believe is rightfully theirs. Ellie Warne, an American photo-journalist in Palestine working alongside her archaeologist uncle Howard, is caught up in the frenzy as her relationship with Moshe, a member ...more
Aug 15, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing
Ellie is a photojournalist taking pictures for her archaeologist uncle in Jerusalem. She is exploring a new relationship with her coworker, Moshe, and learning what life is like in the Middle East. Moshe is a professor and historian, who spends his nights sneaking Jewish refugees back into Jerusalem. He loves Ellie, and so he can only tell of his daytime life. David was a pilot in WWII, and after the war signed up to fly planes around Jerusalem. He loves Ellie, but they left their relationship o ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
The Gates of Zion begins in 1947 Jerusalem with Ellie Warne, a young American photo journalist who meets with a Bedouin man hoping to sell what seem to be ancient Hebrew scrolls. Unfortunately her uncle is away at an archaeological dig, and she is not able to pay the huge price that the Bedouin wants for his scrolls. She photographs the scrolls, unwittingly setting her on a journey of danger, adventure, and heart ache.
The story shares the struggle, hope, and heart ache surrounding the Jewish peo
This is the type of book that really makes you think. This time period is very popular with historical authors, but this is the first I have seen about the response of WW2 in the Middle East especially Jerusalem and Palestine.

This novel tells the story of Ellie and her Uncle Howard who is an archeologist. Ellie is an aspiring photographer and is working for the University photographing the artifacts unearthed by her Uncle. She is involved with Moshe who is archeologist by day and a Jewish fighte
This book takes you through the period in time known as the Palestine Partition 1947-1948. It is through the eyes of a few characters that the story is heard each with their own motives, dreams, fears and effects of the partition. While it does touch at times on the actual history, it more deals with the fictional lives of the main characters. Some of them are Jewish, but some are not. The plot, however, is the same for all. A series book this is the 1st.

Very well-written and researched book. I
Mar 21, 2015 Jayme rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Decently researched and of a subject matter that I love, but cliche-riddled with a bit of a disney ending (an animal sidekick saves the day). The character Rachael, in particular, could have used more character development. The extra .5 stars is for one scene where Moshe talks about the history between the Jewish people and the Christian church, which I really liked.

For a post-WWII, establishment of the state of Israel book, I would recommend Leon Uris' Exodus.
Kimber Lybbert
Jun 19, 2015 Kimber Lybbert rated it it was ok
I can't put a finger on it, but for some reason this book wasn't compelling. I stopped and started it over a six month period, and I usually read books in one or two sittings if at all possible. I kept going because I wanted to know the end... maybe? I found myself skimming.

I think it reminded me too much of the Nancy Drew type fiction of my youth: I don't care what sweater set the main character is wearing, thank you.
Payton Goltiao
Apr 08, 2011 Payton Goltiao rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-reviews
I think this book was an excellent book to read if your looking for a book that is in a time span of the holocaust and world war 2. This book has a lot of amazing sequences, but it is sort of confusing when it is an adult book. So, if you are a above-grade-level or an adult I highly persuade you to try this book chronicles. The thing about this book is that some of the book is a bit boring at times, but those parts are the parts where you get all bored, then something violent or suspensful happ ...more
Jan 04, 2016 Alissa rated it really liked it
I first read this series in 7th grade. I love historical fiction, I felt compelled to re read the series and was surprised at how much I remember. Love Ellie and her character. The "romance" felt a bit more contrived this time but I like the aspects of history and faith.
Ryan Gustason
Aug 09, 2016 Ryan Gustason rated it really liked it
A good historical fiction novel detailing the restoration of the nation of Israel with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls woven into it. The story is told by following an American female photographer who captures and eventually become entangled in the drama.
Carol Erhardt
Jun 03, 2015 Carol Erhardt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad I Found this Series

After reading The Left Behind Series, I decided this would be the next series I read. I'm not disappointed. I've always wondered about the bitter hatred in Jerusalem and Palestine and what divided the areas. This book reveals all through characters I came t o love. Can't wait for the next ttc book.
Nov 10, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
Why does this book deserve four stars?

The dialogue between the characters and the many uber cheese ball scenes made me chuckle in disbelief and at some points shake my head in disdain, but I couldn't help but really really like it.

It must be because of the history that she is writing about - the events surrounding the Partition of Palestine. Interesting stuff.

I read this book right after high school and read it mostly for the characters and not the history. This time I enjoyed learning about a l
Jul 15, 2016 Allegra rated it liked it
Loved the historical perspective of this period of time. It was also very descriptive of key historical sites and their significance in the struggle. Some of the plot was a bit of a stretch, but didn't detract from overall story.
Jan 05, 2016 Claudia rated it it was amazing
One of the best pieces of fiction on life during WW2. The facts are historically accurate. Some of the characters real. This book gripped me and I have read the series 2x.
May 07, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
Have had this book for years and finally got around to reading it. Loved it far more that I thought it would. Didn't realise it was also an historical novel.
Oct 01, 2010 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed reading this book, but had the same problem with it that I do with most Christian literature - I get distracted from the story by the author's attempts to preach the Christian message. That, and the fact that all of the main characters convert to Christianity, and the paths they take seem like contrived devices for them to reach that end. The writing wasn't strong enough for me to feel like these were natural parts of the story. And most of the characters were very stereotypical.

Even s
Mar 18, 2010 Cinda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in the birth of the nation of Israel.
Recommended to Cinda by: Sid Clark
This book reminds me of Leon Uris' "Exodus": a gentile woman falls in love with a Jewish man heavily involved in the establishment of a Jewish nation; they face danger and injustice together. The British are portrayed in a very bad light--which is totally justified as far as I know--and the leaders of the Arab masses as no more than thugs and murderers. The view is very one-sided: the Jews are all saints and the British and Arabs are all devils. (The Americans are clueless.) The characterization ...more
Oct 04, 2014 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Keri (JD)
Sep 19, 2014 Keri (JD) rated it liked it
I read this during High School... I don't remember much about it other than it being basic Christian historical novel propaganda.
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BODIE AND BROCK THOENE (pronounced Tay-nee) have written over 45 works of historical fiction. These best sellers have sold more than 10 million copies and won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards.

Bodie began her writing career as a teen journalist for her local newspaper. Eventually her byline appeared in prestigious periodicals such as U.S. News and World Report, The American West, and The Saturday E
More about Bodie Thoene...

Other Books in the Series

Zion Chronicles (5 books)
  • A Daughter of Zion (Zion Chronicles #2)
  • The Return to Zion (Zion Chronicles #3)
  • A Light in Zion (Zion Chronicles #4)
  • The Key to Zion (Zion Chronicles #5)

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