Melchior had never seen anything like it; the star was so bright, so full of tragedy and glory. He knew at once that it was his task to find the child and warn its parents. But Melchior was old, poor and unwise in the ways of men. Providence took him to the barbarian king, Gaspar, who wanted to know if this great King in the East would be a threat to his empire. It was Balthazar, the escaped slave with a wonderful knowledge of languages, who helped them find their way across hazardous and violent country to Judea. Just as the three men began their journey, a young girl stood bravely before her betrothed husband in Nazareth trying to find the words to tell him that she was pregnant. Not only was the child not his but she had never known a man. How could she make him understand that their destiny was to raise the Christ-child together? Norah Lofts 1965 classic novel weaves together all the characters of the Nativity, from the gentle strength of Mary and the kindness and loyalty of Joseph through the tempestuous journey of the three Wise Men and the tragedy of the shepherds to the misery of the the innkeeper and his wife. As the day of the miraculous birth drew closer, all those who were to take part in in the greatest story ever told were given the choice whether to sink beneath their fear or to seek salvation
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