The Tehran Initiative by Joel Rosenberg is book two in a series covering the rise of the Mahdi, also called the Twelfth Imam, the messiah figure of Islamic eschatology. Required reading, in my opinion, before any reader jumps into this book or its prequel, The Twelfth Imam (2010), is Rosenberg’s most recent non-fiction piece, Inside the Revolution (2008). For anyone too young to know the details of what took place in Iran during the Carter administration, or too non-Muslim to know a thing about Islamic eschatology, a solid grasp of both these historical events and the religious bents of current Middle Eastern leaders, specifically those in Iran, is essential.
I have praised Rosenberg’s writing elsewhere, and I must here again. While it had been a while since I read The Twelfth Imam, the storyline came back to me quickly as I got into Tehran. While I did find the central chapters sluggish and a slight chore to get through—it focused much on relationships with very little suspense or action—I finished the final quarter of the book as if it were a matter of pages. Rosenberg has fitted his newest novel with action, intrigue, a little innocent love, and even the Gospel message in a plot-substantive way. Once again, I cannot wait for the next installment to this fantastic series.
Joel Rosenberg is a Christian author who does so much more than write fiction: he is a respected speaker and authority on Middle Eastern relations, is a die-hard advocate for Israel’s peaceful existence, and has also recently been the Number One watchdog against Iranian aggression. Check out his blog and keep yourself informed. I highly recommend it.