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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,287 ratings  ·  520 reviews
In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—a miracle-worker. The promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, Judas joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life.

But Judas’ vision of a nation free from Roman rule is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who w
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster
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Deb I take it to mean Judas is having a flashback - remembering his past, starting from when he was a boy. It sets up the rest of the book, which is essen…moreI take it to mean Judas is having a flashback - remembering his past, starting from when he was a boy. It sets up the rest of the book, which is essentially his story as he remembers it. (less)

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Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tosca Lee is one of the best novelists writing today. The short version of any review of her work is "buy it now." A warning about Iscariot: it is challenging. You will see more of yourself in Judas than is comfortable. Lee's characters are well-drawn with complex motives, and careful attention is rewarded. She writes compactly, with every word doing its work.

It's a three-dimensional story, with depth and characters you care about. The thorough research in preparation for this novel is marvelou
From the epilogue (interestingly, at the beginning of the book):
A dog chokes by the side of the road in Capernaum. He is rabid and manged. He is foul and unloved. He is more worthy to live than I.
If only I had never left Jerusalem as a child. If only Herod had never died. If only I had never laid eyes on the gaunt man by the side of the Jordan.
The Nazarene.
They will say that I betrayed him, that I reduced his price to thirty silver shekels. That I turned against my master. They do not know me.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I completed like one book last month and then finished this in less than a week. I couldn’t put it down! I don’t read a lot of Christian fiction. Perhaps I have an unfair bias against it? I’m always afraid it’s going to be saccharine with cheesy writing. Which is unfair of me. But this was neither of those things. It was excellent. The writing was SO good. It made me think about Judas Iscariot in a new way. For good or ill, I saw myself in him. I mean, ultimately, if we call Jesus our savior, in ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Riveting….explosive…..revolutionary are just a few meager words that describe Tosca Lee’s latest literary masterpiece. She has immersed herself in the life and time of the well-known disciple of Jesus Christ known as Judas Iscariot. She brilliantly succeeded in humanizing this notorious traitor of Jesus Christ. She skillfully and intricately laid before our eyes an intimate, less traveled path of the motivations and desires that Judas passionately followed to the end of his life.

We are granted
J.S. Bailey
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
[hurriedly wipes eyes] Did anybody see that? No? Good.

Iscariot is one of those rare and dangerous novels that makes you *think.* Told from Judas's point of view, Iscariot is basically a speculative look at the gospel accounts leading up to Judas's betrayal of Christ. Instead of treating the story as a historical account like the Bible, Tosca Lee delves deep into the emotions of those who have chosen to follow Jesus. Especially moving were the scenes where Jesus heals the leper and the paralytic.
Nobody puts skin on biblical figures and brings them to life as well as Tosca Lee. For some reason she also picks the toughest ones to portray in fiction. This novel, Iscariot, rang true to me. Her depiction of Judas Iscariot's belief system had a convincing historical basis. And unlike the stereotyped condemned man who personified betrayal, she made him human and someone who truly did love Jesus when he became one of the disciples. Even in the end, she showed his regrets and they made sense giv ...more
Shari Morehouse
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was given an Advanced Reader’s copy of this book due to be published in February 2013 by Simon and Schuster Canada.

I don’t normally read Biblical fiction. It just seems so contrived to me and I’m never happy with the way characters are portrayed. So it was with some hesitation that I accepted this book to review. However, I hooked by the end of the first chapter.

I’ve always considered Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus as an imposter; someone that Jesus allowed among his disciples because
My Jesus pickle..
I have gone and got myself into a GR rating pickle. I only read Iscariot: A Novel of Judas to approximately halfway and yet I feel it is okay to still give the book 3 stars out of 5. Usually I have a twinge of remorse when I rate a book I have not finished. In the case of Iscariot, however, I do not feel remorse at all. Because it was not the quality of the book itself that made me stop reading, it was the discovery that it was fantasy.

Calling it a fantasy may be a bit strong fo
Cheryl Olson
Brave, passionate and fearless are three words that I would choose to describe both the author Tosca Lee and her new novel Iscariot, A Novel of Judas. I think it takes a true master and someone who is willing to take a major risk to write a novel like this. And take risks she did. But I think unequivocally the risk paid off as Iscariot is an amazing literary work that takes us on Judas’ journey with Jesus in a way that was so heartfelt and yes, heartbreaking, I mean, how can it not be? Personall ...more
Christian Fiction Addiction
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I approached this book not knowing what to expect, thinking to myself "Is it actually possible to be entertained by a story from the Bible that I've heard over and over?" The answer is a resounding yes!

Iscariot is one of those novels that satisfies on every level, offering the pleasure of a beautifully told story, combined with an entertaining plot and a character that is sure to shatter every preconceived notion you have ever had about Judas Iscariot. Tosca Lee writes with exquisite prose, with
Evangheline Farcas
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the reviewers had stated that this book didn't feel real and that the disciples didn't feel real and couldn't see how they went on to start a church because they didn't have enough faith. I feel the exact opposite, yes this book does show the disciples as human beings who struggled with faith as much as we do in this present age, but to me this added to the believability of this book. We have each read the gospels and we know the story and therefore we think we would have acted differentl ...more
Angela H.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How familiar are you with the infamous Judas Iscarot? In the bible, he is known to be one of 12 apostles and betrayer who sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Ultimately, he hanged on a tree.

Tosca Lee addresses the ultimate question of "why." What led Judas to betray Jesus? Was it greed that led to his decision?

Judas is a zealous Jew living in Israel who followed "Messiahs" and personally witnessed the Romans persecute them. He is afflicted under Roman rule, which resulted in losing his wife and
Kerry Nietz
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A week or so after starting this book, I realized I was reading it slowly. Then I had to analyze why I was reading it that way.

Was it boring? No. Was it poorly written? No. Did the subject not interest me? No again.

Then I figured it out. I was reading slowly for three interconnected reasons:

1) Because there was a depth and earnestness to it that I probably hadn’t run into since I read Tosca’s “Havah” a few years back. The situations are plausible, and the characters refreshingly real.

2) Becau
Christine Indorf
I am DNF the book. I hate to say this but the book was so boring. I usually go thru a audiobook in 2-3 days and I had have this book for over a week and not looking forward to finish it. I found the book rather dry and not entertaining at all. I know its is about Judus but the story is made up and we don't know if this really did happen to him. Was he a good person confused by his upbringing or was just a thoughtless man? If you are looking for a dry read then this is for you.
Adriane (Ordinary Reader)
Wow. What a beautiful imagination of Judas' life and betrayal. And how I loved the portrayal of Jesus's' love. It blew me away. It was such an appropriate read for this Easter weekend.
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was lost for words when I finished this beautifully written novel. And I'm still struggling to find the best words to describe the power of this story.

But the incredible thing about this story is it's part biographical, part fiction and I'm left wondering how much of it was fiction.

Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, the one that Luke described "Satan entered" moments before he committed his betrayal. The gospels never tell us exactly what the discussion between Judas and the Chief Priests amounted
Heather C
Being someone that isn’t very religious, I find I am still drawn to the stories from the Bible. That being said, I typically prefer my stories to be from the Old Testament. However, this story of Judas – the perpetual antagonist in any New Testament story of Jesus gets a new treatment by Tosca Lee and that drew me into this novel.

Iscariot follows Judas from his youth to his death and fills in many of the gaps in his life left by the Bible. We learn about what his life might have been like leadin
John Kachuba
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The name Judas has become synonymous with “traitor” as a result of one of the most heinous acts of betrayal ever—Judas Iscariot selling Jesus to the Jewish authorities for thirty pieces of silver. History has been quick to condemn Judas who, through his own belated sense of guilt, condemned himself and committed suicide. What horrible twistings existed in his mind to make him commit such despicable acts?
That is exactly the question author Lee attempts to answer in this engrossing study of Jesus
Angie Arndt
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biblical-fiction
This book is amazing. What a writer and what a book. It's taken me a while to read it because I can only read a few chapters of it at a time. In most books, that's a bad thing, but not this one. I can only read a bit at a time because this book breaks my heart every time I read it. 

Suppose -- just suppose mind you -- that Judas Iscariot wasn't the wolf in sheep's clothing that we always thought he was. Suppose he was someone who loved Jesus as much as any of us or perhaps even more? What if his
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Overall, very well done and I should have given an extra star just for the ambition to write such a challenging novel, but I've been reading Patrick O'Brian's books for the last several months and it's hard to give an historical novel high marks with a baseline like O'Brian for comparison. Still, Lee is a good writer, she did actually say the book was supposed to be focused on the relationship of Jesus and Judas and she does re-create a strongly imagined, tangible world in which the story of the ...more
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bravo, bravo! Tosca Lee has captured my imagination and soul with this fabulous book of biblical fiction. I've been a Christian minister for nearly 40 years, yet found myself learning from every chapter. Her command of language and metaphor makes the book sparkle. Do you think you know the story of Judas? Readers will see this despised man of the Bible in a new light, and Jesus is his startling ministry that shattered the beliefs of the times. This would be a great book to read for Lent. I will ...more
Nice story, made a bit of a sympathetic story that was wonderful insight of Judas, even if it was fictionalized. Definitely enjoyed this.
Nay Denise
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such an interesting story to say the least. I was blown away by how Tosca Lee took scripture and weaved it into a phenomenal fictional story. I enjoyed the characters, the journey and everything in between. I can’t give this a solid 5-star because I just didn’t feel that “wow” factor and connection with Judas, so this is a 4.75-star rating for me. Still close to a 5 lol.

Judas was an interesting character from the beginning to the end. He is well-known for being the betrayer of Jesus and
Original post from One More Page

Ever since Tosca announced that she was writing this book in 2010, I have been eagerly waiting for this to come out. I loved her first two books, Demon and Havah: The Story of Eve , and a novel about Judas Iscariot is something that I know only Tosca can write with the same heart-wrenching clarity and sensitivity that she did in her first two books. When it came up available in Netgalley, I immediately got it and saved it in my Kindle. Of course, it took me
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
I love it when great writers take the time to completely research a project if they are going to write a historical fiction novel. It's even better for me as a reader when I can get my hands on a greatly researched and well-thought out biblical historical fiction. When they can take me by the hand and transport me back into history and allow me to walk side by side with a character, it truly helps me understand them better and what may have motivated them to make the decisions they did. Such is ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it
The one word to describe this book: strange.

Biblical fiction is one of my favourite genres, so I was looking forward to reading this book. I thought it would be refreshing to see Judas from a different angle, and perhaps figure out why someone so close to Jesus would actually betray him. In a way, it was. The author told a very different story of Judas that is believable, and makes sense. Judas 'betrayed' Jesus in the hope of protecting him. Then, when he saw that in actual fact he had given up
Iscariot is a provocative, intimate portrayal of the life of Judas Iscariot & his relationship with Jesus.

Judas is labeled as a thief and betrayer, and he is both of those things. But every person is more than what their actions make them, and before Judas made the decision to betray Jesus, he was called His friend. This friendship between the two of them and between Judas and the rest of the disciples was compelling. I applaud Tosca Lee for making a mysterious, hated figure into a real person t
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tosca Lee tackles the daunting, and perhaps controversial, task of creating a backstory for the most infamous disciple, Judas Iscariot. The reader can expect a great deal of history and backstory, presumably fictitious, which paints an interesting story, in the early chapters. As the story unfolds, Judas matures and suffers much at the hands of the Roman occupiers. Lee does an excellent job in showing the pre-Jesus years of Judas’ life and examines many of the nuances of Jesus’ ministry; includi ...more
Ginny B
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Judas has always been an enigma to me. A man who walked with Jesus, witnessed miracles, was privy to his inner circle, private teachings and thoughts who for some reason set into motion the death of the man he called master. I have read many theories but this one seems to ring truest to me. Judas was a man looking for a warrior king, a messiah who would rescue them now. Jesus confused him.

Tosca Lee manages to bring Judas to life, to give us a peek into what his thoughts might have been, why he
Kat Heckenbach
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm starting this review with a quote from the book:

"I don't like it," Simon murmured the second evening. "What teacher teaches with stories like these? How does one truth with fiction? It's a dangerous thing to toy with scriptures, to chance changing even one jot or tittle of the law!"

(end quote)

I have a feeling Tosca really understands that. Writing a book that takes so much conjecture even with the massive amount of research she did had to have her wondering how many readers would say exactly
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Christian Fiction...: July Additional Group Read Discussion 27 63 Aug 14, 2013 08:08PM  

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"Superior storytelling."
-Publishers Weekly

"One of the most gifted novelists writing today."
-Steven James, bestselling author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times, IndieBound, and Amazon bestselling author of eleven novels including THE LINE BETWEEN, A SINGLE LIGHT, THE PROGENY, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, ISCARIOT, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. Her w

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“Diranno che l’ho tradito, che ho ridotto il suo prezzo a trenta sicli d’argento. Diranno che sono avaro, che ho tradito il mio maestro. Non sanno che sono morto di crepacuore. Per il rammarico…

Per amore.

Se non conoscono me, non conoscevano neanche lui. Quanto ci ha sconvolti con la sua compassione, con la sua riluttanza a salvare un’intera nazione, ma con il desiderio di salvare le singole persone.

Lo definivano un folle, un bugiardo. Ma ora so che era il volto di Dio, che non ci salva dai romani…

Ma da noi stessi

Sono il lebbroso, l’indemoniato. Io, paralizzato dalla paura, ero cieco.

La prostituta, il cadavere nella tomba.

Io, sono tutto questo.

Io, che l’ho rinnegato e l’ho consegnato ai nemici. Io, che muoio per lui. Il mio nome sarà per sempre sinonimo di “traditore”. Ma egli amava i suoi nemici.

Egli mi amava.”
“Più di tutto, avrei voluto dirgli che volevo restare, perché non avevo altro luogo in cui andare, né persona o cosa a cui rivolgermi in questo mondo, né altre risposte se non quelle che lui poteva darmi; che avevo pregato perché mi offrisse le risposte che cercavo, perché se non lo avesse fatto lui, non avrei saputo dove altro cercarle” 4 likes
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