Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Keepers of the Covenant - Fiction, Biblical

Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles Book #2)
By Lynn Austin

The nation of Israel has been in captivity for many years, first to the Babylonians then to the Persians.  They are scattered throughout the Persian empire.  Though Nehemiah had been allowed by Cyrus to return with a remnant to rebuild the temple, that window of opportunity has closed for the Jews.  They are slowly becoming assimilated into the Gentile culture and many are starting to fear that God has forgotten them.  An edict of the king then goes out stating that all Gentiles are to arm themselves to annihilate and plunder the Jewish people throughout the Persian empire.  The Jews are overwhelmed by the implications of the king’s order and many sink into despair and hopelessness, while others respond with bitterness and hatred.  Where is the God who swore a covenant to Abraham making these people His own?  Is there now any hope of restoration to Him and the land that He has promised? 

Let me say that I’m a HUGE fan of Lynn Austin – beginning with the Chronicles of the Kings series (amazing!) – and this book was wonderful as well.  Thinking that it was going to be about Ezra, I started to wonder a bit when the story began with Xerxes edict by the hand of Haman.  My immediate thought was that it was going to be a book about Esther instead, but Mrs. Austin focused the story instead on the exiles who knew nothing of the Jewish queen.  I loved hearing the story from their perspective, and it gave me a new outlook on what it must have been like during this “waiting to die” period of the people’s lives.  Ezra’s life and work quickly came into the picture, and I loved “getting to know” him as a real person, not just someone who wrote a book of the Bible.  There’s so much more to this story than I’ve written here, but I don’t want to spoil a thing for those who are going to love this book as much as I did.  I’m giving it an A+: now on my favorites list for Biblical fiction – clean and safe for all audiences too!

I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for my honest review.  It comes out as an ebook on Sept. 30, paperback on Oct. 7 - get it!

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