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Thief of Glory

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  746 ratings  ·  164 reviews
In the tradition of Brock and Bodie Thoene's Zion Chronicles and history-meets-contemporary mysteries like those of bestseller Kate Morton, this WWII drama is both exciting in its revelations and heart-rending in its truth about human nature and forgiveness.

In the early 1940s, Jeremiah Prins was a 12-year-old living a content life as the son of a school headmaster in the D
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by WaterBrook Press
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Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
SUMMARY: A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.

For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp rev
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
It's rare to find a WWII novel set in the eastern theater. Thief of Glory is set in the Dutch East Indies and told through the eyes of a "Jappencamp" survivor. Much of the story is told through ten year old Jeremiah's eyes. He is an easy character to love. He is kind, strong, stubborn and endures many struggles during his three year internment. Laura, Sophie and Adi were also great characters.

While I respected the way the story was told from present day with a look back in time, I found myself c
Alisha L.
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
**Note: I do not recommend this book for anyone who is not an adult due to some gruesome and graphic scenes/descriptions and mature themes.**

First off I would like say that I chose this book because I love reading books about World War II (both fiction and non-fiction) and I was excited to see a new realistic Christian historical novel based on that time in history being published. When I chose this book to read I was expecting a realistic look at what happened in the Dutch East Indies during Wo
Christina DeVane
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a tragic story! Loosely based on the author’s father and his time in a Japanese concentration camp, this plot gets complex and continues the twists and turns through the last page. Although not entirely believable, this story grabbed me and had me guessing till the end which makes it easy 5 ⭐️ for me. I’ve never read much about the Dutch East Indies during WWII, and being Dutch myself made this story so enjoyable reading about these strong Dutch men and women.
Joanne Bischof
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a book! An incredibly written story and I was thankful for the opportunity to sit down and chat with Sigmund Brouwer after finishing:
Susan Meissner
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before reading Thief of Glory, I had no idea what the war was like for the Dutch residents living in what had been Dutch-occupied Indonesia. The novel was eye-opening to say the least. As with other books I’ve read with young protagonists dealing with the harsh realities of adults at war (see The Book Thief, Sarah s Key, Diary of A Young Girl, Stones from the River} this one yanked fiercely on my mother-heart and left me astonished at what war expects of the children swept up into its maelstrom. ...more
Joanna Jennings
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Haunting. Horrific. Such a great page-turner. The twists at the end really blindsided me! Great for Susan Meissner fans. 👍🏼😳
Of the books I've read from Sigmund Brouwer's pen, Thief of Glory is my favorite. In his signature storytelling style, this work of historical fiction is reminiscent of a memoir, shared like a series of journal entries written in the first person from the perspective of a 10-year-old boy; it is a completely fictional account of one family's nightmarish experience of interment in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. Yet the details are hauntingly real.

Jeremiah lived with his par
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer is historical fiction centered around WWII. The blurb talks about love amidst the internment camp, and it sounds like this really good story. But trust me, it's not... Buyer beware this shouldn't be considered a Christian book in any sense of the word. It's different but not in a good way.

When Jeremiah Prins is ten, the Japanese take over the Dutch East Indies. They force Jeremiah, his mother, and his three younger siblings into a camp where they have to learn h
Reet Champion
One boy to protect a frail family in the middle of a Japanese concentration camp. It seems to be impossible but Jeremiah Prins has determined he will stand in his father's stead to care for his mentally frail mother and host of siblings. It's a task a grown man would find taxing; for Jeremiah the life of oppression eats away at his childhood setting into motion a series of events that will change the lives of so many people.

Sigmund Brouwer. An author I've heard so much about but whose works I ne
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have to say, this isn’t like any World War II novel I’ve read. Not only because it deals with a different theater of war (I normally read those of the home front or European theater), it shows such a different side of war, through the eyes of a 10 year old boy and is based on the author’s own family history. It’s a beautiful and poignant tale.

This isn’t an easy read. It’s honest, it paints a picture of what life was like (in some ways reminded me of Unbroken), from the evil humanity is capabl
Jeremy's life as a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp during WW2 comes as a result of his being in a police station holding cell. He looks back on his life from his position as a retired architect in his 80s. We see the terrible struggles he had to endure in order to fulfill his father's last wish, to protect the family. We see how the things he experienced during those years in the camp have haunted him for his entire life.

I picked this book up because I am a fan of historical fiction. Also
Heather Manning
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I have to admit that I was not completely in love with this book, while the general idea of it was interesting. I didn't like that I was made to believe that this was a romance, when it really was not. I hate to write a negative review, and I don't think the problem was with the book, but more so with the marketing involved with it.
I felt that the main character, Jeremiah, was able to do way more things than a ten year old should have been able to do. Since he was 10 for 2/3 of the novel, I had
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
There comes some novels that are so rare and deep that when you finish them, you are left as though you have no breath left in your body. As if you are reliving something so horrible, you wish it were all simply a bad dream. But this is not the case with a different type of christian historical novel from Sigmund Brouwer, Thief of Glory and it is definitely a story of unspeakable horrors that occurred for one boy and his family that lived during the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Dutch Eas ...more
Unusual view of war as Japan takes over the Dutch East Indies. Told through the eyes of a young boy coming of age in the throes of WW2. Descriptive, emotionally gripping and raw storytelling.
Worth recommending.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The things that made Thief of Glory stand out amongst other WWII novels are the characters and the story. These characters are incredibly well made; to the point that many readers feel as if they made friends rather than just read a book. And the storyline is flawless. There is not a single thing that was overdone nor was it lacking in anything; the subplots were extremely
Nadine Keels
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was unprepared for how good this book is. It put me in acute remembrance of humanity's, and even my own, need for mercy.

I think it's fair to point out early that this World War II novel's description/blurb/back cover copy misrepresents what's actually in the book to a significant degree. Yes, the love between Jeremiah and Laura is important, but their relationship is not what's at the forefront of much (maybe even most) of what happens in the book. Also, while the blurb paints a picture of how
Kelly Klepfer
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have a confession. There are books I won't read. My list includes books I think will be sappy or cheesy, or one dimensional. I kind of avoid sci-fi/fantasy because I have enough trouble remembering the important details in the real world. Lastly, I avoid books set in times of war. Now. I also have this bizarre deep vein of melancholy that loves a book that indelibly etches itself on my soul through the characters and writing. That may be one of the reasons I avoid wartime novels. Sometimes tho ...more
Hallie Szott
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-review
This review is also posted on Book by Book.

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer is a bit of a change from the feel-good romances I’ve been reading recently, but I have been eagerly waiting to read this novel ever since I first read the synopsis. Thankfully, it did not let me down. Brouwer offers his readers a unique, enticing tale of World War II, inspired by the actual childhood experience of his father. Before this novel, I had never learned of the devastation the Dutch people experienced at the
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really liked this book. This is the story of a family that is trapped in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) when the Japanese invaded during World War II. The men and older male children are sent to work camps. The women and children are sent to internment camps. This story is told from the point of view of a ten year old boy that is sent to an internment camp with his mother and younger siblings. It is a story of survival and it tells a story that isn't often told. I've been reading several bo ...more
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
{ ****/ 4.5 stars }

I am so glad this was on the Alberta Reader's Choice shortlist, otherwise I don't think I would ever have read it – and I really was taken in by this book. Mostly by chance, I've been reading a lot of of novels set during WWII this year, and while I am able to glean a little new information of what it was like in different areas from all of the books, I had no idea at all about the Dutch East Indies, Jappenkamps or anything of that sort. This book was both eye-opening and well
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christian Historical lovers
Not my favorite WWII area, the far east is not my choice when it comes to this type of story. But this was a well done book about a boy, Jeremiah Prins who finds himself in a Japanese prisoner of was camp during WWII. He is a Dutch boy who is living in the East Indies. Later, in the US after the war, long after marriage and children, he comes across his first love from those days.
Brianna Lewis
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What an amazing, heart wrenching book. I didn't know much about the Dutch East Indies during the Japanese occupation during the war. Very eye opening. The book was well-written, and I was almost immediately pulled into the story. Definitely one of the best books I've read this year. ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really good story of how a young man survives a Japanese internment camp during WWII
Georgia Herod
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh, the power and significance of memory! Jeremiah Prins, now an octogenarian, is trying hard to remember rightly his life story. He is the 10-year-old narrator of this sad and difficult work of historical fiction. A coming-of-age narrative--in the midst of a Japanese prison camp. Bright, clever, resilient, determined, bold and so much more, Jeremiah and his life are changed completely when Japanese soldiers enter his home and take his father and two older stepbrothers away. Having prepared for ...more
Kathleen E.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Monday, October 13, 2014
Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer, © 2014
This is a work of fiction. Apart from well-known people, events, and locales that figure into the narrative, all names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author's imagination and are used fictitiously. --The publisher.

In March of 1957, much in love, with all that they owned in suitcases, a young couple from the Netherlands boarded a ship to cross the Atlantic for an unknown future in Canada, both leaving beh
Jul 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
I'm so torn on my opinion of this book! Reading other reviews didn't help me make up my mind... So, not going to give it stars.

This book was really well written, the story was engaging, and the characters all seemed real. The historical aspect was very interesting, and accurate. I couldn't put it down, and it was very thought provoking. There was even a Princess Bride reference! I'm tempted to give it 4 stars.

The downside - Jeremiah is simultaneously likeable and a jerk. He is much better tha
Katherine Wacker
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing

In his book, Thief of Glory, Sigmund Brouwer tells the story of Jeremiah Prins whose advantaged life in the Dutch East Indies is swept up into World War II. Forced into a Japanese internment camp, and separated from his father and older brothers, Jeremiah takes it upon himself to ensure the survival of his mother and younger siblings. Spurred on by love and the will to live, he must make unimaginable choices that will haunt him the rest of his life. Will they be all that he remembers?

Thief of
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The synopsis of the book on Goodreads doesn't tell the accurate storyline for most of the book.. It is the historical account of a the WWII imprisonment of the Dutch ruling class in the Dutch West Indies (Indonesia) in prison camp, told by a 10 year-old boy. This child is very wise in understanding human nature. He does an incredible job of coping with the hardships and caring for others. The culture of the Dutch families is an important part, and is inspirational. The story line grabs you from ...more
Mr. Ethan Mingerink
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-owned
1. 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very interesting. I learned about a part of the war I hadn't really known anything about previously, and found the book to be educational as well as entertaining. The book really kept me interested and wanting to read more. WARNINGS: This book doesn't have any bad language that I can remember and the only other thing would be how people react to Jeremiah's mother when they figure out she is not pregnant with her husband's baby. The only violence w ...more
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Sigmund loves going to schools to get kids excited about reading, reaching roughly 80,000 students a year through his Rock&Roll Literacy Show.

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