Pulling the facts straight from the Bible, Lynn Austin breathes emotion into the Old Testament story of Hezekiah. A king, bent on rebellion against Yahweh and on stopping an invading army, sacrifices his firstborn to Molech. A mother, determined to protect her surviving son, must live a pretense as wife to her child’s murderer. A retired priest buries himself in his wine, but it does nothing for his remorse of not preventing his grandson’s death. A child watches his brother burn to death, knowing that he is now the next in line – for throne or sacrifice. And Judah’s enemy still approaches.
That’s just the first two chapters. Austin continues the drama throughout the rest of the book – palace intrigue, fatal choices, arranged marriages, conquering empires. But those sparkling elements only provide the plot for her superbly-drawn characters. From the helpless grasping of a corrupt king to the high priest’s slow compromising, biblical characters come alive in vivid detail. Description enriches the story without preventing it from being a page-turner. If you don’t think you’d like biblical fiction, try Gods and Kings. Lynn Austin might just change your mind. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book Previews.com
He was born to rule the people of God...but Yahweh is only a vague, powerless memory in the minds of His people.
Though born the second son of King Ahaz, Hezekiah is not protected from his father’s perverted attempts to gain the favor of the idol Molech. Terrified and powerless at the foot of Molech’s altar, Hezekiah encounters for the first time the one true God of his royal ancestry, Yahweh.
But his journey to the Holy One is riddled by influence from an assortment of men: Zechariah, a grandfather of noble standing who has fallen into drunkenness; Uriah, the High Priest whose lust for power forces him to gamble the faith he proclaims; and Shebna, the Egyptian intellectual who guides Hezekiah’s instruction.
For the two women who love Hezekiah, the meaning of love--and its sacrificial essence--will direct the course of their lives and help shape the young prince’s future.