Book Review: Gods and Kings
Written by Author and Writer, William Ballard
For the past few months, my wife and I have been reading a novel series written by Lynn Austin entitled “Chronicles of the Kings”. The first book review that I am going to be sharing with you from this novel series is entitled: “Gods and Kings” (AFF).
The reviews for this novel series is going to turn into a series of “review post” and so I encourage you to follow along with me as I share these reviews.
Lynn Austin is an incredible writer and the way she shares the stories of some of the greatest kings of the Bible is remarkable. Very seldom have I ever found a biblical novel to actually stay relatively on track with the actual biblical accounts or events.
“He was born to rule the people of God…but Yahweh is only a vague, powerless memory in the minds of His people.” (Quoted from the back cover of the book)
Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David and soon to be prince of Judah. His father, King Ahaz, has abandoned the worship of Yahweh and led his nation into idolatry. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him to Molech, an idol god, his mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. However, there are only two men that could help, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place enraged by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and turn their nation back to Yahweh.
Hezekiah was the second son of King Ahaz and despite is royal linage he was not protected from his father’s perverse attempts to gain the favor of Molech. While Hezekiah was laying at the foot of Molech’s altar, terrified and powerless, he encounters for the first time the one true God of his royal ancestors – Yahweh.
Overwhelmed by fear, Hezekiah first encounters the life-changing touch of God through the love and teaching of his grandfather, Zechariah, a Levitical priest who has fallen into drunkenness. However, the seeds of faith are all that Hezekiah has to guide him in a kingdom threatened by invasion and corrupted by idolatry. However, surrounded by threats to his very existence, can he hope to survive and be given the chance to change the future of his country?
His journey to understanding and growing in relationship with the Holy One is encompassed by the influence of some unbelievable men. Zechariah, grandfather of noble standing, but a drunkard; Uriah, the High Priest whose selfish desires for power force him to gamble the faith he believes in; and Shebna, the Egyptian intellectual who teaches Hezekiah’s educational upbringing.
For the two women who love Hezekiah, the meaning of love – and its sacrificial essence – will ultimately direct the course of their lives and help condition the young prince’s future.
Here is what few critiques are saying about this amazing book:
"... bring(s) the Old Testament to life in a way that is not only entertaining, but educational as well." -- Inspirational Romance Writers
"If you don’t think you’d like biblical fiction, try Gods and Kings. Lynn Austin might just change your mind." -- Christian Book Previews.com
"This is a terrific work of Old Testament historical fiction that provides an insightful look at two intriguing Hebrew descendants." -- Review Centre
"brings this biblical account to life in her well-researched fictionalization of the life of one of Judah's most fascinating kings." -- RT Bookclub
I must admit, my wife and I do sometimes get engulfed in these series of books. They are truly page tuners that you will not be able to set down and step away from. The way Lynn describes and/or articulates some of the greatest stories of Old Testament Kings is unbelievable.
I personally have never had a problem with reading the actual Bible and being intrigued and engulfed in its content, but for those of you who think the Bible is a “boring” history book or something to that nature, I encourage you to dive into the Chronicles of the Kings series.
Moreover, if you’re a non-fiction writer and do not put on your reading plate a well-balanced diet of fiction and non-fiction into your imagination I encourage you to start by picking up this book and begin to develop your imaginative faculties.