Saturday, July 15, 2006

Book Review: Scimitar's Edge

Scimitar’s Edge, by Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of World magazine, answers the what-ifs of the future with the history of the past. Set primarily in Turkey, the reader gets a better grasp of the violence associated with Muslim terrorists.

Phoebe du Pont, rich widow of the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, invites three of her loved ones to visit Turkey and see the country through her eyes. Professor Malcolm Edwards, who uses power and position to negotiate sex from needy students, agrees to accompany his aunt. Archrival Armenian journalist Hall Bogikian consents to the trip only because his love for Phoebe keeps him from refusing her. Malcolm and Hal debate every topic, but agree on two things: their adoration for Phoebe and their vehement atheistic mindset. Phoebe invites her assistant, Sally Northaway, to attend to her needs on the trip, but more importantly, to bridge the distance between the two favorite men in her life. Where the men are pragmatic and skeptical, Sally is optimistic and naïve. Just as Phoebe expected, Hal and Malcolm find Sally to be irresistible, and this conflict leads to more tension as the story progresses.

Hal finds that being on Turkish soil stirs up angry emotions. Grandpa Bogikian’s family suffered at the hands of the Turks, and Hal shares this painful history with his traveling companions. Soon they learn firsthand how evil could abound in the minds and hands of the wicked. History repeats itself as terrorists devise ways to torture four innocent tourists. Olasky uses graphic descriptions of the torture, which would garner an R rating in the movie world.

In the midst of adventure and survival, Sally loses her naivety and Hal discovers redemption and hope.

This book is not filled with pages of shallow warm-fuzzies and Christianese. Instead, very realistic characters encounter evil and goodness and must choose between the two.

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