Magi Apprentice

Christian - Historical Fiction
331 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in Sheridan, Wyoming in 1962. Currently living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Earned his first degree from Casper Community College in 1985 majoring in journalism. Later, he gained another degree in Biblical Theology and has been a minister since 1989. He now owns an auto dealership, body shop and detail shop In Manheim Pennsylvania. He’s also have been involved with the martial arts with black belts in 2 styles, Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, and a high brown belt in Han Foo WA. He has been a senior instructor at martial arts schools off and on for over 20 years. In the last 6 years has self-published 8 books. Two have made it to the #1 spot on amazon bestseller in their categories. Two won medals from Readers Favorite, one won two medals from Feathered Quill, and one made Historical Fiction of the Year with Online Book Club. He has done several radio and podcast interviews concerning his books.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Parul Sood for Readers' Favorite

Dan E. Hendrickson's Magi Apprentice transports readers to a historical epoch expertly, breathing new life into a familiar tale. Unfolding in 7 BC, the narrative revolves around Rassan, a Parthian cavalry cadet and the progeny of General Surena. His mission is to thwart a rogue Magi headmaster from infiltrating Judea without authorization. What he stumbles upon is a scene of devastation – a dying Magi and a shattered caravan. This encounter upends Rassan's journey, leading him down an unforeseen path. As an angel relates a prophecy to the dying Magi, Rassan is chosen to continue the quest for the prophesied savior. Armed with sacred star charts, his expedition unfolds with Emperor Phraates IV's blessing. Skillfully intertwined is Rassan's apprenticeship with the Magi, guided by headmaster Daraya-Vous into a tapestry of intrigue and significance.

Dan E. Hendrickson's narrative prowess shines brilliantly in Magi Apprentice, immersing readers in the bustling streets of Babylon and the intricate political and religious web of the Parthian Empire. The meticulous historical groundwork creates a rich canvas for the unfolding narrative. By interweaving Zoroastrian tenets, ancient Egyptian wisdom, and biblical prophecies into the era, the story gains a multi-dimensional texture, enhancing the reading experience. Rassan's evolution from a cadet to an apprentice Magi entrusted with decoding astronomical enigmas illustrates his growth and resolve. The intricate interplay between diverse religious orders and the simmering power dynamics contribute layers of complexity, heightened by Dvandas' schemes that introduce imminent danger. Hendrickson's exploration of enduring themes, such as the struggle between temptation and righteousness, echoes both Rassan's journey and the overarching biblical narrative. An ode to transformation, destiny, and the timeless call to the extraordinary, this work captivates and resonates, etching itself into the reader's memory.

Grant Leishman

Magi Apprentice by Dan E. Hendrickson is a fascinating story about the background of the three wise men who traveled from the East to Bethlehem to observe and welcome the birth of the infant Jesus. Rassan, a young Parthian army recruit, the son of the famed Parthian General Surena, as well as being the confidante and sparring partner to the heir of the Parthian throne, Prince Phraates V, is about to graduate from the military academy and follow in his famous father’s footsteps. When he is sent along on a military mission to stop a Magi headmaster from heading to the country of Judea without the Emperor’s permission, he discovers the Magi’s caravan destroyed and the headmaster of the Astronomical Sect of the Magi dying. The dying headmaster entrusts the sacred star charts first created centuries earlier by the founder of the Magi Sects, Grandmaster Belshazzar, and instructs Rassan to take these to the new headmaster of the Sect in Babylon, where he is also to be apprenticed as a Magi in the Astronomical Sect of the Order. So begins a journey of intrigue, betrayal, politics, and danger that will capture the hearts and minds of all readers.

Dan E. Hendrickson is an author I have followed since his debut novel. It has been a fascinating journey watching this author grow, develop, and mature as a writer over each new project, and this story, Magi Apprentice, is a continuation of the excellent writing and compact plots that have been this author’s hallmark. I particularly appreciated learning much about the Parthian structure and court of the time, especially as they fought to maintain their culture, traditions, and territory. The characters are real and relatable, and Hendrickson always does a superb job of boldly and well painting his characterizations. You always know the heroes and villains in one of his stories. I enjoyed the political intrigue and backstabbing inherent in any royal court, especially between the two Magi Sects: the Astronomical and the Magicians Sect. Knowing that many of these traditions, especially the Zoroastrian traditions, are still practiced today in the region made the entire narrative come alive and seem more real. I loved this story and look forward to more works from this incredibly talented author. I can highly recommend this read.

Nino Lobiladze

Vinda-Farnah, the headmaster of the Magi Astronomical Sect, hurries to Jerusalem. He searches for the promised Creator's Champion and Messiah, led by the signs in the constellations of Pisces. But an assassin's hand stops the old magi. A heavenly messenger appears before the dying Vinda-Farnah and tells him to give the treasured star charts that he has with him to a man named Rassan, who will continue the search for the promised Champion at the proper time. Rassan, a cadet of the military academy of the Parthian Empire, was sent to stop the caravan of Vinda-Farnah as it tried to enter Judea without permission. The son of the legendary General Surena, Rassan vows to bring the star charts to Babylon and give them to Master Daraya-Vous of the Astronomical Sect. Rassan will become an apprentice in the Magi Astronomical Sect to observe the important constellation of Leo. The head of the Magician Sect and the counselor of Emperor Phraates IV, Dvandas, schemes against the Astronomical Sect and tries to lure Rassan into the Magical Sect. Magi Apprentice by Dan E. Hendrickson is a fascinating read for fans of historical fiction, adventure, and novels with biblical themes.

In Magi Apprentice, Dan E. Hendrickson invites us into the breathtaking world of subtle intrigues, dark schemes, and mortal rivalry between the religious orders of the Parthian Empire. Hendrickson tells the beloved biblical story from a unique point of view. Magi Apprentice reveals that not only Israel was waiting for the promised Messiah. The author draws unexpected parallels between the biblical prophecies, the Zoroastrian teachings, and even the sacred knowledge of ancient Egypt. Hendrickson confidently leads us through the busy and noisy streets of Babylon toward amazing discoveries. The imagery is vibrant and vivid. It revives the possible events that predated the most famous expedition in the history of humankind. I appreciated the very well-researched background of the Magi Apprentice. As I was reading this wonderful novel, I couldn't shake the feeling that Hendrickson lived in ancient Babylon and knew the Parthian leading figures personally. Magi Apprentice is convincing, the plotline is strong, and it offers us many surprising twists. The characters are well-developed. Hendrickson brilliantly explores the themes of temptation and the perpetual fight between good and evil. The ending of the novel also provides us with a startling twist.

K.C. Finn

Magi Apprentice is a work of historical fiction, drama, and adventure with Christian themes. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Dan E. Hendrickson. We find ourselves in a tale set in 7 BC, following the journey of Rassan, a Parthian cavalry cadet and the son of General Surena. Tasked with stopping a rogue Magi headmaster from entering Judea, Rassan discovers a dying Magi and is entrusted with ancient star charts. An angel's prophecy designates Rassan as the successor to the Magi's quest for the promised savior. Gaining leave from Emperor Phraates IV, Rassan embarks on an apprenticeship with the Magi sect. He, along with Headmaster Daraya-Vous, delves into deciphering the significance of astronomical configurations occurring between 3 and 2 BC. Facing enemies and challenges, Rassan and Daraya-Vous seek safe passage to Judea in pursuit of the prophesied savior.

Author Dan E. Hendrickson provides an engaging blend of historical and mystical elements in this engaging and creative work, intertwining the protagonist's personal growth with a grander cosmic narrative. The book offers an intriguing exploration of ancient beliefs, prophecies, and the quest for meaning, while also highlighting the complexities of personal destiny, which continues to resonate with our modern quest for meaning in a chaotic world today. I also found the journey itself to be vivid and atmospheric in the description, the scenes playing out like a biblical epic movie in my head as they sparked new flights of imagination. Hendrickson’s evocative prose and thought-provoking historical dialogue make for a compelling narrative that keeps readers captivated. Overall, I would certainly recommend Magi Apprentice for fans of Christian historical fiction everywhere.

Rabia Tanveer

Magi Apprentice by Dan E. Hendrickson is a Christian-based historical tale with enough action and adventure to give you an adrenaline rush. Rassan was a promising cadet at the military academy in the Parthian Empire. With General Surena as his father, Rassan always knew that he had big shoes to fill. Waiting for an opportunity, Rassan reported for duty when he was asked to travel to the edge of their empire and warn a Magi not to cross into their lands without permission. However, when he reached there, Rassan found the old Magi critically wounded after an attack. Before he died, the Magi tasked Rassan to take a star chart to Babylon and give it to Master Daraya-Vous. Rassan had no idea that this task would change the course of his life forever.

I usually don’t enjoy stories in which characters have unpronounceable and often unrealistic names. However, Magi Apprentice was different from the outset. I was invested in Rassan’s story and his quest to find and bring the Star Chart home. I loved the way that he quickly found his calling and became a Magi apprentice. He was determined to find his place in the world and somehow achieved it. Dan E. Hendrickson created a believable story. The background building was phenomenal, and the descriptions complemented it wonderfully. I was fully immersed and felt right next to Rassan as he conquered one hurdle after another in his quest. I was so lost in the realistic imagery and credible characters that I forgot it was not a movie but a novel. Highly recommended.

Paul Zietsman

Set in ancient times, a few years before the birth of Christ, award-winning author Dan Hendrickson's Magi Apprentice is a historical fiction novel based on the biblical Magi as depicted in Matthew 2. Rassan, purported to be one of the best swordsmen in the empire, is called upon to stop a Magi from entering the country of Judea. He finds the Magi, Master Vinda-Farnah, only he has been assaulted and is dying. Master Vinda-Farnah tells Rassan that an angel appeared to him and told him of Rassan's coming. The Magi urges Rassan to take the sacred star charts that he was escorting back to Master Daraya-Vous in Babylon. Master Daray-Vous becomes the new headmaster of the Astronomical sect of the Magi, and Rassan becomes his apprentice; however, the sacred star charts are sought-after items, and Rassan's enemies will stop at nothing to acquire them.
Although it is set in ancient times, the characters in Magi Apprentice are relatable, engaging, and likable. Also, their personalities and general traits are exceedingly well-defined, lending authenticity to the story. The immersive storyline is one of suspense, intrigue, and especially mystery that is crafted in such a way as to keep the reader guessing and interested. Masterfully written, Magi Apprentice not only transported me to a foreign place and time, but owing to the interest it created in me, I also perused an innumerable amount of internet articles on ancient Persia, the Magi, and astrology whenever I had free time. An inimitable and world-class novel, Magi Apprentice is a vivid yet dreamlike adventure, and Dan Hendrickson continues to prove himself to be an exemplary author.

Kimberlee J Benart

A work of historical fiction set in faraway Parthia in the years just preceding the birth of Jesus, Magi Apprentice by Dan E. Hendrickson tells the story of a young cavalry officer named Rassan. Orphaned when young and trained as a soldier as his father was, he becomes an adept student of astronomy and is convinced of the significance of the configurations that he studies with the Magi. Despite repeated attempts to either kill or dissuade him and disappointed by the deceit of a young woman he intended to marry, Rassan remains passionately committed to following the stars. Under the Parthian emperor’s seal, Rassan travels to Babylon to return sacred star charts to the headmaster of the Astronomical Sect of the Magi and enter an apprenticeship with him. The charts were rescued after an act of murder, and Rassan himself becomes a target in a power struggle that threatens the Astronomical Sect. Will Rassan and the Magi survive to follow the star?

If you’ve ever been curious about the story of the three wise men who followed a star to Bethlehem, Magi Apprentice by Dan E. Hendrickson is for you. In Magi Apprentice, Dan E. Hendrickson gives us an entertaining story inspired by biblical scripture. Weaving historical figures and events with fictional ones, the author presents the political and religious complexities of the times as a backdrop to the adventures of a remarkable young man. Rassan is a wonderful protagonist, pure in heart and loyal. Targeted at Christian readers, this is a story that any fan of historical fiction can enjoy. End notes and a bibliography are included for readers interested in doing further research.

Asher Syed

Magi Apprentice by Dan E. Hendrickson is a Christian novel that transports readers to the ancient world of Babylon and the Parthian Empire, where celestial mysteries and divine destiny intertwine. Rassan, a young cadet of humble beginnings, is guided by faith through signs and political intrigue. Rassan is cast into a fateful, life-changing zodiac debate where he clings to his commitment to deciphering the Creator's divine plan for humanity. Surrounded by love, betrayal, and hidden agendas, Rassan's faith miraculously deepens, but the spiritual journey he undertakes in a world of magic and astrological sects, where high priestesses and magi share in a story with Augustus Caeser and Herod, and the struggles Rassan must first endure, are enough to rock even the most devoted.

Magi Apprentice by Dan E. Hendrickson takes a little bit of time to get into, but once I found my rhythm in its richly drawn characters and world-building, it was full steam ahead from there. There are fantasy elements, but they really are more celestial, and I learned a whole heck of a lot about astrology very quickly with Hendrickson's accessible weaving of it into the story itself. It is complex, so this is a testament to his skill as a writer. I loved Varza and her character arc, which runs parallel to Rassan's and requires an endurance that is special to her character, especially when virtue is questioned. This is a wonderful story of faith, courage, and the eternal search for truth, and a creative way of implementing the ultimate narrative of being steadfast in the belief of God's plan.