The basic idea and plot of this book is really neat. The story is set in the Biblical time of the Judges before Israel had a king. We are introduced to a Hittite youth living in the Mediterranean about the time that Greeks, particularly those from Crete, were gaining ascendancy. The Hittites as a people are conquered and become fugitives. Our protagonist flees first to the Phoenicians and then into the hills of Judea, where he meets Deborah, the prophetess, and Berek, the Israelite general who is to defeat Sisera. He ends up fighting in the battle on the wrong side, but eventually marries a Israelite woman and settles down in the area.
On the way, we are introduced to all kinds of Hittite, Phoenician, Israelite, and Canaanite customs. We learn about their dress, their gods (particularly the dreadful Moloch), their methods of fighting, their habits of enslaving captive peoples, and so on. The book has obviously been carefully researched, and the plot is plausible and interesting.
I give the book three stars because the writing is terrible. The fact that the book is for children does not excuse this. Sentences are frequently awkward in construction, and the book reads like a first draft. For instance, the writer will say something like, "The warrior rushed towards me, and I hit him with a stick that I had picked up several moments ago before he attacked me." That's a paraphrase, but you see what I mean. Why on earth weren't we told about the stick BEFORE the warrior rushed towards him? It's as thought the writer just thought of the weapon, and instead of putting the event in it's proper place, she flings it in as an afterthought. This kind of sloppy editing occurs throughout the text. As imaginative fiction, it's great, but this book is NOT a good example for kids to follow in style, editing, or structure.