Book Recommendation: Vienna Prelude (Zion Chronicles) by Bodie Theone


Vienna Prelude by Bodie Theone

General Age I would Recommend it to: 14+

Genre: Historical, Drama, Suspense

Is there ever a book that for some reason you just decide you aren’t interested? For years I convinced myself I had no interest in The Zion Chronicles by Bodie Theone, despite hearing it was a great series. When I finally picked it up, I’m so glad I did because I haven’t read a book so fast in a long time. When I started the first book Vienna Prelude literally all I wanted to do was read it.

Summary: It’s 1935 and Hitler is already beginning to take over Germany. Elisa Lindhiem a German Jew and violinist for the Vienna Philharmonic is meeting her father, Theo, in Berlin where they will join their family in the relative safety of Tyrol. Elisa’s family  While at the train station they get detained and only the help of John Murphy an American reporter gets Elisa safely into Austria, Theo is not so lucky and gets detained by the Gestapo. Elisa visits with her family, while they worry about their father. Elisa goes back to her home in Vienna and refuses to see the danger that is threatening her beloved home, despite the warnings from John Murphy, who keeps popping up in her life. As life begins to get more and more dangerous for Jews in Austria, Elisa begins to help smuggle foreign passports and help Jewish children into the safety. Struggling as her beloved country and homeland descends into darkness.

This is me, God! Elisa. I once saw you in all the world. But the world is dark now, Lord. Full. Full of darkness. Close your eyes for a moment, God, and let me sing to you. Let me remember that you are here. Here in the notes. Smiling down as I play for you. Just this moment, God, let me sing to you. And maybe in the song, I will forget whether I am singing to you, or you are singing to me . . . ”
Bodie Thoene, Vienna Prelude

Review: Okay, I’m being honest here, I am recommending this entire series when I have only read the first two books, but I promise you these books do not disappoint. The book is pretty thick with some lots of history packed in, but it was in no way hard to get through. I tore through this book in just under a week and all I wanted to do was read. The history was so brilliantly woven with the characters and story. It really gave me a new insight on the time period that I wasn’t familiar with, the Nazi invasion of Austria and the anti- semitism pre- WWII. I was completely immersed and was on the edge of my seat. The book is a historical novel, but it also has an edge of suspense and a dash of romance, and it all comes together into a fantastic series I just can’t stop thinking about.

“Tonight the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come marched in goose-step and raised a hand to salute “Heil Hitler!” Tonight the ghost wore a swastika on his armband instead of the simple red and white colors of Austria. And yet, on this silent night, the horrible specter seemed all but invisible in Vienna. Murphy could only wonder if he was the sole person at Sacher’s who could hear the anthem of Hitler’s hordes echoing distantly from beyond the mountains.”
Bodie Thoene, Vienna Prelude

You probably will like this book if:

  • You like history, especially WWII
  • You like intense, suspenseful books.
  • You want a book that makes you feel a lot emotions

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You want a light, happy book.
  • You don’t want a historical novel


What is a time period you like to read about?






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