Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews

In a kingdom controlled by cruel and manipulative women, one princess will discover the power of truth and love.
Trained as a priestess in the temple of Baal, Princess Jehosheba strives to please the demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach far beyond the realm of earthly governments.

Forced to marry Yahweh's high priest in order to further Athaliah and Jezebel's power plays, Jehosheba enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh's Temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family--and the nation--she loves?

With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings the Old Testament to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.

My review:
  I have never been a big fan of Biblical fiction, though some authors do it better than others. Mesu Andrews is one of those who do. It is obvious by reading her books, that she puts a tremendous amount of study and research into her writing.

  When I do read Biblical fiction, it is refreshing to read some that is centered around a different story than most is. Such as this one. Jezebel plays a small role in this book, though she is mentioned often. The main part of the story centers on King Jehorham and King Ahaziah, and the the daughter of Jehoram, and the priest Jehoiada. I have read these stories in the Bible many times, and not to trivialize the Biblical account, but  the author did such a great job of retelling the Biblical account via Biblical fiction, that it opened the story up for me in a whole new way, and helped me see a lot of things in a different light: the characters, the way God moved and put kings in power and took them down, and the whole Baal worship versus worship of God.

  This is by far one of the most interesting and one of the best Biblical fiction stories I have ever read. I am sure the author took a few liberties with the story, but I felt she stuck pretty close to the Biblical account in the book.

  The author included a cast of characters list in the front of the book, with a note showing which are fictional, and which are real characters.

  This was not a suspense novel, yet the book had me turning the pages as fast as I could, and I loved the climatic ending of the book, when the eight year old Joash, who had been hidden away from his wicked grandmother's killing of all of her son's heirs, was brought out and made king as she watched in horrified amazement. Awesome.

About the author:

Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love's Sacred Song, and Love in a Broken Vessel. Winner of the 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award for New Author, she has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture, bringing the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington. Learn more at www.mesuandrews.com.

Praise for Mesu Andrews's Biblical Fiction
"Mesu Andrews has pieced together Scripture's truths with historical supposition through her masterful, research-based writing and captured the spiritual climate of those ancient days."--CBA Retailers+Resources on Love in a Broken Vessel

"Andrews weaves a beautiful tale and takes readers to an ancient Jerusalem rich with history and customs and a culture that struggles to follow the one true God."--RT Book Reviews, 4½ stars, on Love's Sacred Song

In The Shadow of Jezebel is available from Revell Publishing, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.


Mesu Andrews said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review ITSOJ! I'm so encouraged by your words and thrilled the story sent you back to God's Word. Blessings, Brother!

Carole Jarvis said...

Mark, you expressed my thoughts to a "T"! While I grew up loving biblical fiction (authors like Taylor Caldwell, Lloyd C. Douglas, etc.), most of what I currently read doesn't even come close to their quality. But of those I've read so far, Mesu Andrews is exceptional, as is Jill Eileen Smith's Rachel that I'm reading now. Enjoyed your review, as always!