Monday, February 16, 2009 By: Suzanne

Prince of Fire

I've found that since I've been listening to more audio books that I am listening to more books that I never would have read before simply because I'm so hungry for audio books. (I just re-read that convoluted sentence but it makes sense and I am keeping it!) This means that I'll try a book that before I probably wouldn't have even read the book jacket of before. Daniel Silva's Prince of Fire is one of those. From the back:

Few recent thriller writers have elicited the kind of critical praise that Daniel Silva has received, with his "provocative and deeply satisfying" novels featuring art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon...
Now Allon is back in Venice, when a terrible explosion in Rome leads to a disturbing personal revelation: the existence of a dossier in terrorist hands that strips away his secrets, lays bare his history. Hastily recalled home to Israel, drawn once more into the heart of a service he had once forsaken, Allon find himself stalking an elusive master terrorist across a landscape drenched with generations of blood, the trail turning on itself until, finally, he can no longer be certain who is stalking whom. And when at last the showdown comes, it will not be Gabriel alone who is threatened with destruction - for it is not his history alone that has been laid bare.

Oh, sure that sounds fascinating but here's why I would not have read it before: I don't like "terrorist" thrillers. They are generally all about the evil of the terrorists and the purity of the people out to take them down. And, of course, we are supposed to hope and believe that the evil terrorists will all be killed and the pure will live happily ever after.

I do not believe anything is solved by killing another being. I don't believe in murder for any reason. And I believe that revenge killing is still murder. I believe that war is murder. Everyone who believes there are good reasons for war always points to the two world wars or our civil war and say there was no other way. What they forget is that eventually, one side runs out of people and supplies to fight with or one side is simply better at fighting than the other. That doesn't always mean that the people that won were right. In those wars I mentioned, yes the bad guys lost. But what about all the other wars when good people lost and someone was set up to rule over them? Eventually, when if the "good guys" win, there still has to be talks and a treaty hashed out. Why don't they start with the talks before so many beautiful lives are lost forever?

Ok, off my soap box and back to why I don't like terrorist thrillers. What many people in the U.S. don't realize (because we're not taught this in school) is that there was NO Israel prior to World War II. It was created out of land that was owned by Palestinians WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. It was simply taken away from them because the European countries that the Jewish people came from didn't want them back. Those countries preferred to deal with the "problem" by getting rid of it. Think anyone in the U.S. or a European nation would put up with their land being taken away and given to someone else without consent? So, I can see why the Palestinians are so mad. However, like I said before, I don't believe in murder, so the way they've handled it is the worst possible way.

Silva doesn't shy away from this in the book. He makes sure his reader knows the reasons for the problems, however, he still does it with an obvious slant toward Israel. He talks about the horrors of Israel destroying Palestinian towns in the early years of their nation but he gives excuses for it. We are still supposed to hope that Allon kills this person. The story is very gripping and I was spellbound through most of it. However, I didn't feel satisfied after I finished the way I normally do when I finish a good book. I was just depressed. I keep thinking: why do they think the only way is violence? When has it ever done good?


Anonymous said...

What a great review. And I liked your soap box :)