Thursday, January 26, 2012

Guest Review ~ Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn

Periodically, my friend and fellow book enthusiast, Rebecca Maney, will be joining us to give her thoughts and opinions on books she is reading. I'm so happy that she has agreed to come on board, even if it's only occasionally. Sometimes a blog needs a little refreshment, and I think Rebecca's insights will provide that here!

About the Book:

Marc Royce has been a State Department agent involved in covert operations--that is, until personal issues lead  to his dismissal.

When Alex Baird goes missing in war-torn Baghdad, State comes calling again. Alex is a CIA agent--and a close   friend of Royce. Three others have also dropped out of sight--a nurse, an aid worker, a wealthy young Iraqi.  Are these cases linked? Rumors circulate about a kidnapping conspiracy, yet both American and local officials  refuse to pursue it.

Blocked at every turn, Royce eventually unearths a trail of secret encounters between sworn enemies. What he  discovers could transform the course of rivalry and reconciliation throughout the Mideast. As the human and  political drama escalates, can one man summon the courage to make a difference?

Selected as a Library Journal 2011 Best Book Award winner



Guest Reviewer: Rebecca Maney

Up until now, the only books that I had read and enjoyed by T. Davis Bunn were from three of his historical fiction series; “Song of Acadia” and “Acts of Faith”, both co-authored with Jeanette Oke and “Heirs of Acadia”, co-authored with his wife Isabella. In comparison, Lion of Babylon was a unique read; a “unique read” in a positive sense, because it was an incredible book.

Set in modern-day Iraq, Bunn’s past experience in the Middle East is reflected in his obvious knowledge about the Iraqi people; mysterious, complicated, and passionate. Surprisingly, rather than being overwhelmed with what I did not previously understand, I learned a tremendous amount regarding the tangled web of political, traditional, religious, cultural and social mores that comprise these loving, fiercely proud and independent people. . .  all while sitting on the edge of my seat reading a fast-paced suspenseful thriller; with just a hint of a forthcoming romance and a glimpse of the heinous nature of the Iranian government.

Marc Royce is immediately swept past his own personal pain back into the world he once walked; the land of subterfuge. His assignment . . .to locate his best friend, an intelligence agent named Alex Baird, who has disappeared, along with two American women and one young Iraqi. Royce must quickly learn who to trust and who to learn to trust; especially since his own American government is not officially supporting his mission. An established Iraqi lawyer named Sameh el-Jacobi becomes not only Marc’s closest ally, but a most trusted friend. Sameh quickly discovers that his own search for missing children and Royce’s search for missing adults coincide in a conspiracy of inter-national proportion. What begins as a single rescue mission turns out to be a pivotal turning point in Iraq’s internal quest for peace. And ultimately, Marc Royce is given the elite title, “lion” or “lugal”; meaning “a hero intended to lead his people from peril”.

Imbedded in this riveting read is a remarkable message; the answer to peace among enemies is the person of Jesus. After an emotionally charged visit to an underground church, Sameh tells Royce, “all my life, my first instinct upon meeting a person has been to identify their background . . . I name them as American, Sunni, Shia, Persian, Kurd. But that moment in the church, we were all simply people in need. Imperfect and wounded and broken. And I saw the answer was Jesus.”

Reminiscent in the title “Lion of Babylon” is another title reserved for Christ Himself, the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”, who truly was a savior; the Savior of the world. Bunn has written an unforgettable story and reinforced an unforgettable message.

Bethany House provided a review copy, which I did not get to read, so Rebecca was kind enough to read the book and write this review. And what a fantastic review it is! Thank you, Rebecca :)

No compensation has been received. Only an honest opinion of the book was required, which has been given.

Davis Bunn is an award-winning novelist whose audience spans reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write. Visit Davis' Web site at

Read an excerpt

Lion of Babylon


  1. I have not read much about modern day Iraq and this sounds good!

  2. I haven't read any of Davis Bunn's books, but have heard really good things about them. This book sounds like a great one to introduce me to this author!


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