|Of Fire and Lions||By Mesu Andrews / WaterBrook|
Mesu Andrews masterfully shares a great story with us. Characters come to life as if you’re going through their day with them. The dialogue flows easy and the family dynamics are so realistic. The scoundrels and evil doers say and do just enough to make them loathsome. Some readers don’t care for books filled with ancient Babylonian names. There is quite a roster of them in Of Fire and Lions, but don’t let it be an obstacle to this recent release. The character list at the opening is a great resource.
The starting point for this book is the Bible’s Book of Daniel. There are some gripping events that are accurately told in this historical fiction book. Three Jewish exiles survive a fiery furnace. Lions with insatiable appetites take no action, even though Daniel is sealed inside as easy prey. As you walk through these events with the characters you are drawn into an epic story that gives you new insight into the Babylonian Empire. Andrews’ research leaves no stone unturned.
Of the author’s three most recent releases, I have to say Miriam was my favorite. I read Isaiah’s Daughter and enjoyed it. Miriam was a Christie Award finalist two years ago, and Isaiah’s Daughter won the top award in historical fiction last year. This newest release, Of Fire and Lions, covers a lot of ground. Seventy years of captivity to be exact. A consistent, impressive story thread throughout the story is Daniel’s rock solid faith in his one true God. He remains steadfast despite being surrounded by a culture that is is hostile to his beliefs. This is captivating enough, but the transformation of some of the fictional characters is just as gripping.
In her author notes, Mesu Andrews writes that she hopes her fiction will drive readers to Scripture to delve deep on Daniel and the experience of the exiles. I know I turned to Ezra to look further into the historical record of Sheshbazzar and his role in the return to Jerusalem.
My goal was to finish this book by its release date. I was on track until I found myself savoring the book and not wanting it to end. This behavior is familiar to all readers who just don’t want to have to say goodbye to a good book. I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. #OfFireandLions #NetGalley