The Old Testament Comes to Thrilling Life in the Latest from Lynn Austin
In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king’s palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.
When the battles come to an end, Ezra’s brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude’s widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple–but the fight to keep God’s Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges…this one for the survival of God’s covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.
MY GENERAL THOUGHTS: Biblical Fiction has very quickly become one of my favorite genres (when written by the right person) and I have to say that Lynn Austin has to be one of my favorite Biblical Fiction authors! The way she writes just brings you into the story, brings the characters alive, and refuses to let you put the book down! Keepers of the Covenant, though book two to a series that I do not own, grabbed my attention from the first paragraph and it was very easy to follow. The cover is beautiful and I loved how the plot unfolded. I also enjoyed reading this story through the point of view through two children in addition to the adults, it gave you a new perspective.
QUESTIONABLE CONTENT: Once again, I am not completely finished with this book as I was late in receiving it and the review deadline was right around the corner, so I did not have much time to read it. However, I am a good ways into it and can confidently tell you some of the content, however please do not hold it against me should I have forgotten something. Keepers of the Covenant did have some violent scenes during the fight, though not overly so. There were also some comments from the Gentiles to the Jews about their sexual intent of taking the Jewish women into their homes before killing them that may be disturbing to some, however, as far as I have read, there has been no actual scene.
RATING AND RECOMMENDATION: So, overall, I rate Keepers of the Covenant 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction in addition to Biblical Fiction!
“I received this book from the publisher/author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”
It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.
Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother (age 98), and daughter concerning the change in women’s roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve’s Daughters.
Along with reading, two of Lynn’s lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.
Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn’s novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.
Her website is http://lynnaustin.org
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