A Novel of Prophets and Kings: Isaiah's Legacy

291882: Isaiah"s Legacy: A Novel of Prophets and Kings Isaiah’s Legacy: A Novel of Prophets and Kings
By Mesu Andrews / WaterBrook

Isaiah’s Legacy by Mesu Andrews is thought provoking. I’ve read her previous three releases and found them compelling reads. Her research is complete and from this foundation she develops characters with unique points of view. Another strength of Isaiah’s Legacy is the uniquely crafted dialogue. The characters speak words that are inventive, fresh, and wise. The title is fitting as the prophet Isaiah remained a voice sharing Biblical truths despite persecution, complacency, and tolerance run amok.

The Old Testament is filled with harsh and brutal practices of the Ancient World. These practices include holding women down and viewing their importance only as members of a harem to build a legacy and political coalitions, human sacrifice, and the ever present brutal conquests by invading armies. Andrews does not sugarcoat the past so each element finds a place in her story. Some of the plot details had to be difficult to write. The weight of these evils only proves the depth and sincerity of the Lord’s forgiveness. Manasseh found forgiveness after following a serpentine and dark path away from the Lord. Mesu Andrews calls Manasseh’s story the greatest prodigal journey in scripture. In Isaiah’s Legacy, she shines a convincing light on an important truth. Forgiveness offered in centuries past is available in the same measure today; even when it’s late in life and after a long string of poor choices.

I plan to share this book with friends who name Biblical fiction as their favorite genre. I’ll be interested to hear their feedback. I’m quite sure from this point forward, I’ll be reading the Bible’s record of Kings and Prophets with a greater appreciation. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. #isaiahslegacy, #chainbreakers, @mesuandrews

Veiled in Smoke – Windy City Saga #1

102770EB: Veiled in Smoke (The Windy City Saga Book #1) - eBook Veiled in Smoke (The Windy City Saga Book #1) – eBook
By Jocelyn Green / Bethany House

Superb! The epic beginning grabs you and the way the plot is a thread drawn out from these events makes for a tremendous story. I decided some of Jocelyn Green’s previous books often end in very dramatic fashion with a battle either on land or sea. In both The Mark of the King and Between Two Shores this conclusion holds true. I like that in Veiled in Smoke, a pivotal moment in the action appears at the beginning and this sets in motion all the consequences that follow.

This book is such a fine example of historical fiction. The details add a layer of richness to the story that I surmise will propel this book onto many recommended reading lists. Her skill in writing stories with an appreciation for the military certainly is on display between these pages. Her handling of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in early times is eye opening.

We meet a big cast of characters and each one is so memorable. The characters through their words and actions clearly show their goals, inward struggles, and values. Each character was so well developed. Every character added an essential dimension to the story. I think this lineup of characters in the the historical Chicago setting is a cornucopia of stories just waiting to be told. I’m eagerly looking forward to Windy City Saga Book 2.

I received an advanced reader’s copy of Veiled in Smoke from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

#VeiledinSmoke #NetGalley

An Uncommon Woman By Laura Frantz

102700EB: An Uncommon Woman - eBookAn Uncommon Woman – eBook
By Laura Frantz / Revell

An Uncommon Woman

A satisfying read from beginning to end. There is so much to enjoy in this new book from Laura Frantz. The main character, Tessa, is not the only uncommon woman. As stated in the author notes, Keturah’s wisdom and generous nature is rare and exceptional. Hester is a character to love for her directness and ability to serve all in unflustered fashion.

Each of the book’s elements are presented with great skill. The alliterative phrases, sense of place, and historical accurateness add to the book’s appeal. I loved learning about coffin pie, dittany tea, fort life, and the Lenape of Mid-Atlantic. Her portrayal of Native Americans stayed clear of stereotypes that might offend and instead shared with readers a realistic glimpse of Lenape culture, daily customs, fears, even acts of aggression.

Throughout the story, I was impressed that there were no loose ends. Tessa was allowed sufficient time to grieve over the tragedy that befell Jasper and Ross. Despite Tessa and Clay’s budding romance, it would have been so dissatisfying for our main character to rush through this time of loss.

The conclusion was inventive and I love that the end had its beginnings in a network of relationships that began at such an earlier point in the characters’ lives. As Clay said, “You just never know where help is going to come from.”

I recommend this book with enthusiasm. I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Smart Choice

032661: Life Is _____ Forty-Day Experience: A Devotional Journey Through God"s Illogical Love Life Is _____ Forty-Day Experience: A Devotional Journey Through God’s Illogical Love
By Judah Smith / Thomas Nelson

A remarkable book. Judah Smith’s style is accessible and filled with humor. Each day’s reading is concise and memorable. It’s a smart choice for Christians looking for a devotional that speaks to important issues. I recommend this book with enthusiasm. Quite often I finished the daily reading and then turned to my Study Bible for additional research and perspectives on the passage. This author was unknown to me before purchasing this book. I would certainly choose other titles he has written now that I’m familiar with his style and message.

Daughter of Rome

 

428714: Daughter of Rome, softcover Daughter of Rome, softcover

By Tessa Afshar / Tyndale House

Daughter of Rome is Biblical fiction with Priscilla and Aquila as main characters. From the basic facts recorded in the Book of Acts and Romans, Tessa Afshar draws out a tale that spans the couple’s exodus from Rome to Corinth and their subsequent work as evangelists. Priscilla is a Bible personality held in high regard due to her intellect, compassion, and mercy. This theme is a constant thread throughout the novel. Together, Priscilla and Aquila, are a formidable duo proclaiming the gospel to searching souls. The apostle Paul also figures prominently in this novel. Hats off to Afshar who captures Paul’s fervor with success. I’m sure it’s a daunting task to pen dialogue for this zealous missionary. Paul’s passion for spreading the gospel through teaching and advising while surviving persecution is true to the historical record.

Some of the most tender and fun moments occur when Priscilla and Aquila open their hearts and home to a runaway boy. The young runaway, Marcus, eventually wins a lasting place in their family group. A little revelry enters the story through the antics of Ferox, the family dog.

As you make your way through the book, details about Ancient Rome will pique your interest. Whether it’s political life or social customs, you’ll find yourself looking up additional references. Only in two or three instances did I feel the story’s pace was interrupted by some word choices that I will admit sent me to the dictionary. Dint and calumnious being two examples.

Overall, Afshar shares a story that shines a light on the importance of mercy and forgiveness. Two qualities as important to the ancient world as they are to communities today. In addition, readers will be impressed by the team of early Christians who persevered despite harsh treatment and threats on their life.

I jumped at the chance to read an advanced reader’s copy of Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar. I thought her previous book Bread of Angels was stellar. Naturally I had high expectations for this upcoming release due out February 4, 2020. I received this ARC from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. #DaughterofRome #NetGalley

The King’s Mercy

98942EB: The King"s Mercy: A Novel - eBook The King’s Mercy: A Novel – eBook

By Lori Benton / WaterBrook

Lori Benton chooses words with great attention to details. Her prose is rich. Her dialogue spot on. The characters speak with authentic voices drawing you into the narrative. I just finished reading Benton’s latest novel , The King’s Mercy, and found it entirely enjoyable. The setting spans the North Carolina landscape from the coast to the mountains. It’s a complete story with mystery, romance, history, and rock solid Christian theology. Her leading characters eventually arrive at a happy ending. The plot twists and turns make you wonder if better days for them will truly arrive. A repulsive character keeps you guessing throughout the story and his backstory and abhorrent behavior is revealed in its entirety.

I’m not sure which I liked best – the description of the North Carolina landscape, the rugged Scotsman, the faithful itinerant pastor, the Native American community, or the heroine, Joanna. Fans of historical fiction will be pleased to spend time with the characters in this book.

The King’s Mercy was a 2019 summer release and in my TBR queue. I’m so glad I picked it up to read. I was drawn to it because previously I read, A Flight of Arrows and found it to be equally satisfying. The e-book I read was an ARC that I accepted from the publisher. The review is my honest opinion of this historical fiction book. #TheKingsMercy#NetGalley

 

Music to Move You

CD87212: The Work, Volume 1 The Work, Volume 1

By Elias Dummer / Integrity Music

Former frontman for The City Harmonic, songwriter Elias Dummer makes his solo debut with The Work, Volume 1. This theologically rich collection blends folk-pop and intimate worship styles on “Enough,” “The Work (It Ain’t Easy),” “This Is Holy Ground,” and more.

Elias Dummer’s recent hit “Enough” will move you. My Pastor’s Wife introduced us to this song at a recent Bible study. The study is an examination of Paul’s letter to Colossians. The central message of this study is the supremacy of Christ and how he is enough. At each session we either open or close by listening to this song. Now at worship team practice with the lyrics in hand we are giving it a try. If you purchase the CD you can be treated to other creations by Elias Dummer.

I have not had Christian radio on for awhile since the reception both at home and in the car has been poor. Since I switched recently to streaming Air1 over the Internet I’ve had no trouble. There are many tremendous new songs to enjoy. Have you heard Matt Maher’s recent song titled Because He Lives. Also great! Happy listening.