The Martyr's Song by Ted Dekker
When I read Heaven's Wager, I understood that I had broken a cardinal Dekker rule by not reading The Martyr's Song first. I understand the reader cannot understand anything in Heaven's Wager without reading The Martyr's Song, the book that started it all.
The cover of Heaven's Wager was wrong. I didn't miss anything by not reading The Martyr's Song first.
Marci is a teenage girl with the same struggles all teenage girls have-she wants to be beautiful. She wants her outward appearance to please those around her. But when she is picked out at random by an old flower shop owner to come and talk, she knows not what to think.
Eve is the owner of a flower shop, but she doesn't live for her profession. She lives to tell the story of the Martyr's Song to those she believes need to hear it. She invites Marci to her flower shop in order to tell her the story.
The story is about a group of soldiers who, at the end of World War II, come across a Bosnian village untouched by the tentacles of war. All the buildings are still standing, including the church. That church becomes an object of jealously for the leader of the group. That's why he sets out to make life miserable for the villagers.
The biggest problem with the book is its length. It's less than two-hundred pages, for crying out loud. The whole plot is a half effort. It doesn't even seem like Dekker tried to make the story interesting or long. He just slapped something together and called in an emotional story.
The characters are shallow because they didn't even have enough time to develop. Not that it would have mattered, because they were already just typical plot devices anyway.
I just don't understand why people think this book is so interesting. Dekker didn't even try his best. It doesn't even seem like Ted Dekker fiction at all. It seems like one of those short stories you would find in Chicken Soup for the Soul.
But the worst part of it all is that the reader can read the entire book and more by reading When Heaven Weeps. It is completely unnecessary to read The Martyr's Song because of this. This book is a complete waste of your time.