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Author: Joanne Williamson
Publisher: Bethlehem Books
Reading Level: 5th Grade according to the publisher’s website, 6th grade according to Amazon
Recommended Age Level: 10 and up
Summary (written by Marie):
Uriah-Tarhund is a young Hittite lord, from a family renowned as great horse breeders. His world is turned upside down when raiders kill his family and bring the great Hittite Empire to ruin. He flees on foot south to Canaan, but comes up against war on all sides. The gods seem to have failed him and all the people groups he encounters. All that is except for the rag-tag tribes of Hebrews led by a mysterious woman named Deborah and a man named Barak.
Marie’s Review (Mom):
I was hesitant to read this book, since its recommended age (written on the back!) is 10 and up. It was in My Father’s World’s suggested reading list though, and I trust them to recommend good literature. And it was excellent! I was as excited as the girls to finish this book, and every school morning started out with me reading to them while they ate breakfast. And reading, and reading and reading…
It was fast paced, kept our interest, and truly opened a window into a world I have to admit I always thought of as a bit boring – Old Testament history. The various people groups came alive, and I realize how lost they were, how important it was for the Israelites to stay focused on the One True God, and the despairing times they lived in, hemmed in by enemies on all sides.
The age limit is there for a reason though, as I will explain below. However, I highly recommend this book to adults and older children alike!
Lainey’s Review (4th grade):
I like this book a lot. I think so far Hittite Warrior is my favorite book that we’ve read this year. I think if you get this book your kid or you will like it. All of my family liked this book, and I think you will like it to.
My favorite part was when Uriah and the city of Harosheth fought against the Hebrews. And when Uriah was little and he had Labarnash the horse and he raised Labarnash when he was just a colt, to an adult.
I didn’t understand some of the story. If you have a 7 year old or down they probably wouldn’t understand some of the end parts in this story.
My favorite character is Labarnash the horse.
Grace’s Review (5th Grade):
I really like Hittite Warrior. It has a lot of reality and just a lot of facts, basics, adventure, stuff of what I like. If you compare Jenny L. Cote and Joanne Williamson, they both would make a great team writing down books. The only problem which is kind of is sad is that Uriah’s friends, the Israelites, killed Labarnash, his only belonging which he had with him ever since his country got raided and deserted. My favorite character is Ahmoses, one of Uriah’s friends. He was a hero-like man from Egypt. I think Ahmoses believes in God, but doesn’t understand a lot about Him yet. I would recommend this for any child who is interested in learning about what happened when the Hittites were over-taken.
Yes! The author does a good job telling the story from all sides, we see glimpses of good in all the people groups, but the main characters see the uselessness and evil in worshiping any god besides the One True God.
Sensitive Readers: CAUTION!
This book has some detailed battle scenes, death and descriptions of sacrifices to the god Moloch (they are explained by a character, a sacrifice is never “witnessed” by the reader). I didn’t like some of the gruesomeness of the story and would have preferred that it wasn’t so detailed. R rated “bang bang shoot ‘em up movies” bother me. I personally don’t believe in reading and watching that stuff just for fun. Life is hard and cruel enough, and I don’t believe it glorifies God in any way – we have better things to do with our time here on Earth (just my opinion!)
I do believe though that kids need to be exposed to this to a certain point, to truly understand why God says what He does and to realize the atrocities that have been going on in the world around us since Eden. Their little sheltered bubble will pop sooner or later. This book is definitely not for a sensitive and young child, but is a well written glimpse into a very real world and I am glad we read it. After all, the Bible itself can be gruesome at times!
I may have missed some events, but this list will give you an idea if this is appropriate for your child:
The battle scenes describe the stabbing deaths of some of Uriah’s friends.
Uriah himself kills people. At time anger overtakes him in a form of violence/killing.
Uriah watches as his beloved horse, Labarnash, has his throat slit in battle and bleeds to death.
Sisera, king of Harosheth, is stabbed in the head with a tent pin while he is sleeping (it’s in the Bible – see Judges chapter 4!).
Methods of torture are briefly described.
Child sacrifice is described in moderate detail. A young boy in the story is set apart to be a sacrifice (Uriah and another young man save him).