From Bondage to Freedom: A Tale of the Times of Mohammed

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HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: From Bondage to Freedom: A Tale of the Times of Mohammed

Author: Emma Leslie

Illustrator: Sheeres Symmons

Publisher: Salem Ridge Press, republished 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0977678686

ISBN-10: 0977678687

Related website: http://www.salemridgepress.com/ (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 12 and up

Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENt)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com .

Leslie, Emma.  From Bondage to Freedom: A Tale of the Times of Mohammed (originally published in 1877 by The Religious Tract Society; republished in 2007 by Salem Ridge Press LLC, 4263 Salem Dr., Emmaus, PA  18049).  It is A.D. 594, and the Christian church has become divided into many competing sects, such as Arians, Nestorians, Jacobites, Ebionites, and Marianites. At a Syrian market in Bostra near Damascus, two Christian women are sold as slaves to a young merchant named Mohammed, the son of Abdullah of the Koreish tribe. One of them, Lollia, is then sold to the Lady Paulina and taken back to Rome, where the two are later captured and enslaved by the hostile Lombards. The other, Amina, travels with Mohammed’s caravan back to Mecca where she attempts to share Christ with those around her, including a blind girl named Aseeyah, who embraces the gospel and seeks to influence her desert tribe in the true worship of God.

As the years pass, Mohammed declares himself to be the prophet of God and begins to convert people by force. In Rome and Arabia, how do Lollia, Paulina, Amina, and countless others deal with the bondage of man-made religions?  Can they learn at last to find true freedom in the Lord Jesus Christ alone?   While the main characters in From Bondage to Freedom are fictional, a number of historical personages, such as Mohammed, Bishop (Pope) Gregory of Rome, Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards, Emperor Heraclius of Constantinople, and King Chosroes of Persia, are woven into the narrative so as to give an accurate portrayal of the times, though it may be a bit hard for some youngsters to follow at times because of bouncing back and forth between places.

However, the book is very relevant in today’s world because it faithfully describes the violent beginnings of Mohammed’s religion, thus giving the lie to the oft-repeated mantra “Islam is a religion of peace.”  Also, the story shows how the divided condition among those who called themselves Christians actually helped to create the climate in which Islam arose and grew.  Author Emma Leslie (1837-1909), whose actual name was Emma Dixon, was a prolific Victorian children’s writer. She brought a strong Biblical emphasis into her writing, and many of her over 100 books were originally published by the Religious Tract Society.  Perhaps her best-known work is Glaucia the Greek Slave: A Tale of Athens in the First Century.

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