Vienna Prelude (Zion Covenant, #1)
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Vienna Prelude (Zion Covenant #1)

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4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  4,961 ratings  ·  387 reviews
No one is safe...

In 1936 Nazi darkness descends upon Europe. Every person is only one step away from being swept into the nightmarish tide of evil. Blond Elisa Lindheim, and violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, adopts an Aryan stage name for protection. But her closest friend, Leah, a talented Jewish cellist, is in perilous position.

There are those who choose...more
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Published February 1st 2002 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published May 1st 1989)
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Amy
I am not going to write about all nine books in the Zion Covenant series (which I have read), but I enjoyed them immensely and learned a ton. They are historical fiction novels written by Christian authors. I learned an enormous amount about why Hitler managed to do what he did and got a much better feel for life during that time without being totally depressed by the raw language that some authors use.
Julianne
Here is another holocaust story, but from the viewpoint of pre-World War II. We already knew that Hitler was wicked and evil and conniving. This book shows us just exactly how wicked and how evil and how very conniving he was. It makes you want to shake the English and the Americans and say, "Pay attention!" They could have stopped him, they could have prevented all his take-overs, they could have shed light on his hatred. But they didn't. And thus, we have the sad and tragic happenings of the l...more
Glory
I stepped out of our car at the rest stop on the long drive from Sacramento to LA. The music playing in front of the MacDonald’s was so light, so happy, focused on love and feelings. But suddenly it all seemed so frivolous. People milled in and out of the glass doors, wandered to and from their hot, sticky vehicles. They all seemed to blissfully unaware. Didn’t they understand the deeper things in life? Was it just all about themselves?

You see, I’d just read a stirring chapter in Vienna Prelude....more
Calle
"Vienna Prelude", set in Austria and Germany during 1936-1938, is marketed as a Christian novel and, since I'm not a Christian, I didn't know what I'd think about it but decided to give it a chance, because of the many glowing reviews. And yes, the novel clearly is Christian and contains discussions about God and faith, as well as good and evil, and even heaven and hell, but for the most part it doesn't come off as preachy and as a reader you can choose to agree with the religious aspects of it,...more
Carol
'Vienna Prelude' by Bodie and Brock Thoene is a prequel of a six book series. The story concentrates on Jewish life in Germany and Austria during 1933 through 1936. I learned quite a bit about the reaction of the Austrian government to the takeover by Hitler. I didn’t know about the protest about the protest of the Austrians even though there was no hope of rescue from England and United States. I was very impressed by the words and actions of Churchill and Eden and some of the Austrian statesme...more
Luann
Aug 16, 2011 Luann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Luann by: Geri, Gina
It took me quite a while to get caught up with the characters and their stories, but once it happened, I was hooked! At that point, I didn't stop reading until I reached the end. There were times when I felt like I was there with the characters sharing what they experienced.

Now I see that this is just the first of NINE books! I'll be waiting until I have a large chunk of time, but I will definitely be reading more in this series.

The authors had the characters tell me what I should be learning...more
Rachel
I think I gave it a fairly decent chance to captivate me. I waited, and read up to page 111 when I decided I was done with it. And the words are small font so 111 pages is a lot of words, more so than the average book.

You know, I have read tips on writing historical fiction, and one such tip is to make sure history isn't the main character. Keep it in the background. And now I see how it looks when that tip isn't regarded.

I read a lot about that period, the laws, the landscape, the people, nee...more
Auntie J
Overall I really enjoyed this book. The historical facts are accurate, and incorporated into the story to give perspective.

Although this isn't really a romance novel, it does include romance elements. As with many (of the few) romances I've read the bone-headedness, misunderstandings, incorrect assumptions, of the would be lovers is frustrating at many places, is agonizing to the point where it's almost unbearable. That they just couldn't figure out they were both crazy about each other. I just...more
Nancy Fisher
This book is a wonderful walk through the minds of people in the middle of the horrific and unbelievable events taking place in Nazi Germany and Hitler's planned take over of Austria. One truly gets a sense of why the Germans themselves could not have done anything for the Jewish amongst them in fear of their own lives. You feel the frustration that Murphy the reporter experiences during the Isolationism in the USA other and events in England all the while he is falling for the Judo-Christian bl...more
Pamela
Sorry, but I won't read any more of this series. A lot of people love this, but it wasn't for me. It was overwritten to the point of ho-hum--put it on the nightstand to ensure falling asleep. The historical background was accurate but only served to lengthen a book that was unsatisfying in plot--with a few unrealistic coincidences. The basic premise of the book was good, but the main characters were perfectly plastic. For better writing and a much more gripping story, stick to SARAH'S KEY or som...more
Dlora
Vienna Prelude is the story of Elisa Lindheim, a superb violinst in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, during the expansionist years of Nazi Germany. Elisa is part-Jew but with the blonde hair and blue eyes of her mother, she is safer than some using her forged Czech passport. The plot is richly convoluted with her love life and the tension of living in Vienna--not to mention her fears for her Jewish family living in Berlin. But more than the love story, I was more interested in the historical e...more
Ruth Hill
This was the first thing I ever read by the Thoenes. I read the entire series, and I was totally blown away by it! The historical accuracy and the delightful characters got me more interested in WWII than I ever had been before. I love the fact that the Thoenes cover the war in a way that you often don't see. This is one of those books that has stuck with me over the years. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good historical read with a Christian touch.
James Oliver Burns
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil - is for good men to do nothing. Edmond Burke

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold - is for people of Good conscience to remain silent. Edmond Burke


Set in 1936 Austria in Vienna, known for its people and their love of music and culture, and a large Jewish population as was true with most European countries during hitters rise to power. Hitlers army has just broken the Versailles treaty of 1918 by rearming and occupying the Rhineland and making...more
Bailey Bristol
This is one of the most stirring WWII stories I have ever read. The characters are immediately engaging, and the circumstances at once original, alarming, and fulfilling. It's Book One of the Zion Covenant, and I am thrilled to see that I will be staying with these rich, desperately compelling characters through four more books in the series.
Kelsey
I loved this book. I loved how the history wrote itself among the lives of the characters. It is thrilling, fast paced, and full of grief and longing. Takes place in one of the most tragic times of history, in the most beautiful of places. As a musician, I loved how music was weaved in, and the specks of romance all along the pages. 5 STARS!
Lisa
A story set in Vienna, Austria before the start of WW II, during Hitler's rise to power. It is full of great characters and wonderful history, and you get caught up in the story as the people of Austria see their world slowly dissolve into Hitler's ambition. I loved it, and can'twait to read the rest of the series.
Rachel
This is the tale of a Christian German violinist living in Vienna who finds her family torn apart by the rise of the Nazis in the years leading up to WWII. Her father is a German Jew who is a Christian and a war hero; her mother is a concert pianist from Vienna. Now Elisa is living and working in Vienna, safely (or so she thinks) sheltered from the trouble in Germany. This illusion is shattered when Hitler's Nazis increase pressure on the Austrian government and imprison her father before he can...more
Angela Ingalls
I really enjoy reading these books. They are historical fiction set at a time when Hitler has just come to power.
Jennie
Love, love, love this book. But WWII and what everyone went through is completely fascinating to me.
Sandra
I have such a love-hate relationship with war books. I like books that have great character development, but that kind of war book always break my heart because they bring out the affect war has on all of the people involved or not involved in the war. That being said, I always dread just a bit getting into a book like this one, but from the beginning I couldn't put it down. I liked the Thoenes writing style. The worst part about it is I am pretty much drawn in and there are 6 more books! Oh wel...more
Beverly Ririe
This is an amazing book -- very disturbing because of history, yet very beautiful because of the goodness of so many people. This book is able to capture a terrible portion of our world history as well as the deep moral courage and faith of those who survived Hitler's tyrannical rule and aided his overthrow. One feels a deep, profound gratitude for those whose lives have been sacrificed in inhumane ways. There are many examples of courage and human endurance as well as those of evil and fear. Al...more
Jeni Enjaian
I enjoyed this book. It's hard to write a review though because while I enjoyed it, this book did not grip me. It was something that I could easily put down. However, there's nothing glaringly wrong with the book either. I love history and I love historical fiction so unless a book has wooden characters, unrealistic dialogue, gratuitous language, sex or violence, unbelievable plots or a mixture of any or all of those, I usually enjoy the book. If the book happens to be Christian historical ficti...more
Karen
This is a historical novel that takes place during WWII. Vienna Prelude takes in the beginning stages of the war and when Germany began the take over of Austria. This novel is very well written and I appreciated the historical research that was done for this book.

It's about a young woman who is a violinist with the symphony in Austria. She goes home to her family in Germany during Christmas. Her mother is German but her father is a Jew, however, he had converted to Christianity. He is also a Ge...more
Hope
I love this book so much. Too much, maybe. It's everything you could ever want in a historical fiction novel.
It's accurate. It has a tight, intense plot-line. It has characters that you can invest yourself in. Plus..

Music, romance, newspapers, international intrigue, smuggled passports, invading Nazis, and 8 other books in the series!

I mean, what more could you ask for?

What really always strikes me with the Thoene's work is this, though: The humanity of their characters. They have a real quali...more
bookczuk
This is the first book I've read in what is apparently a series of books, this, I'm told, being a prequel to The Zion Chronicles Series. The writing style did't really thrill me, but I wanted to see what happens with the story enough so that I kept reading. I did find myself getting irritated when the author has Elisa talk about Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Thoener uses theEnglish translation, which is pretty weird and not nearly as beautiful or meaningful (or even the same meaning as) the Germa...more
Vicki
This is the first book in this series of 6 books. It is historical fiction based on the years 1936-39 starting in Germany and Austria and continuing on to other countries that Hitler tired to take over. It mostly focuses on the plight of the Jews. If this book is accurate in its history, it is amazing to me how all the countries that fell to Hitler, like Austria, Czech, Poland, how the people all thought that Britian and France would come in and fight for them, that Britian and France would save...more
Susan
I was very interested in this book from the start because it seemed to revolve around a violin that was of some importance in the 1930’s. It concentrates on Jewish life in Germany and Austria from 1933 – 1935. Brock’s history degree is put to good use in the accuracy of the Historical content. From their website: “Due to such careful research, The Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles series are recognized by the American Library Association, as well as Zionist libraries around the world, as cla...more
Vicki
I love this series of books and others by these authors. Now that I have recently re-read the series I can see that the author definitely progressed in her ability as she wrote more. I thoroughly enjoyed this book the first time I read it but the second time I realized I enjoyed the rest of the series much more. The romance in this first one seems a little hurried and contrived but in the rest of the series that is not a problem.

The author's husband is a history professor so the books are histor...more
Sally
OH MY GOODNESS! I just loved this book SO much! I can't wait to read the rest of the series now - I love the way it ends, thankfully not on an insane cliff-hanger but with obvious intention for more of the story, especially with our present-day knowledge that in 1938 Germany/Austria/Czechoslovakia, things aren't exactly going to be getting any better any time soon. There's such a shadow over the whole thing because they're so hopeful and you just KNOW Vienna is not going to be safe for much long...more
Nola
I had previously read fiction and non-fiction books about the Holocaust, but I hadn’t fully appreciated the events that led up to those atrocities. The catchcry of the Thoenes is “to discover the truth through fiction” and I felt Vienna Prelude helped me to do just that.

Set in Germany and Austria in 1936-7, this book follows the story of the beautiful violinist Elisa Lindheim who looks Aryan but is half Jewish. As the Nazis increase their stranglehold in Berlin, she and her Jewish father escape...more
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1085845
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
More about Bodie Thoene...
Munich Signature (Zion Covenant, #3) Prague Counterpoint (Zion Covenant, #2) Jerusalem Interlude (Zion Covenant, #4) Danzig Passage (Zion Covenant, #5) The Gates of Zion (Zion Chronicles #1)

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“The seasons sang to him - like ageless hymns with whisperings he could feel, but not fully understand.” 8 likes
“This is me, God! Elisa. I once saw you in all the world. But the world is dark now, Lord. Full. Full of darkness. Close your eyes for a moment, God, and let me sing to you. Let me remember that you are here. Here in the notes. Smiling down as I play for you. Just this moment, God, let me sing to you. And maybe in the song, I will forget whether I am singing to you, or you are singing to me . . . ” 8 likes
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