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Review: Vienna Prelude

Vienna Prelude

Written by Bodie & Brock Thoene

Published by Tyndale House

Interest Level: Teen-Adult

Reading Level: Lexile-790

Available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, or Audiorecording


It’s Vienna, 1936.

As the shadow of Nazism begins to threaten the safety of Jewish families in Vienna, Elisa Lindheim decides to change her name to conceal her heritage. With her blonde hair, no one will ever know, that is until she returns home to visit her family in Berlin.

When she arrives, her father, a respected businessman and war hero, tells her that they must turn around and leave. As the Gestapo question Elisa and her father, American newsman, John Murphy, tries to intervene. Despite the reporter’s efforts, Theo Lindheim is taken. Murphy offers to escort Elisa back to Austria where the rest of her family is hiding.

Elisa’s world descends into a swirl of uncertainties. Will her father be released, or will they send him off to a prison camp? What will happen to her friend, Leah, who has refused to take an Aryan name? Why has her friend, Rudy, made her take his violin into Germany? How could the man she once loved serve Hitler? Will her family stay intact, or will the iron fist of Nazism tear them apart?

Bodie and Brockie Thoene bring a unique blend of historical authenticity and deep characterization together in this powerful first novel in The Zion Covenant series. They draw us into the lives and worlds of these characters in order to show us the gradual collapse of Europe under the Nazi regime. Through their eyes, we experience an intense fear of the cruel Gestapo and witness snippets of conversations with real historical figures, such as Herman Goering and Winston Churchill.

Through their writing, we are transported to Berlin, Vienna, and Tyrol, the well-known Austrian ski town. We can envision the swastikas hanging over the streets and the soldiers of the German Wehrmacht, in their crisp, grey-green uniforms.

Vienna Prelude is a story of hope and faith, as Elisa and those she loves struggle for what is right amidst the overwhelming tide of evil. World War II enthusiasts who appreciate a touch of romance will thoroughly enjoy the entire Zion Covenant series.

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