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about the book
The Hebrews are a divided nation. Israel in the north—ten tribes strong—has bowed to pagan worship. In Judah’s two tribes, an evil king mocks King David’s legacy while a remnant of Yahweh’s faithful cling desperately to their one true God.
Caught in the middle of the warring is an orphaned girl named Ishma—meaning “desolation.” Her short life already mirrors the name. Yet Yahweh’s plan for her has only just begun.
Ishma enters the prophet Isaiah’s home as a household servant, but her quick mind and lively spirit gain the friendship of Prince Hezekiah. When Isaiah sees their relationship mature, he adopts Ishma, giving her a royal pedigree and a new name. Ishma becomes Hephzibah—”delight of the Lord”—and the desolate captive becomes Judah’s queen.
But loving Hezekiah will require more of Hephzibah than she ever imagined. From Ahaz’s terrifying reigh to the Assyrian threat and Isaiah’s own perplexing prophecies—Zibah remains trapped by fear, facing an uncertian future. Will palace life lead to freedom from her past? Or can she trust everything to the only One who gives life and delivers both a captive heart and a desperate nation?
I am having a time of it with this swoof, there is just so much to love about this book and I can’t keep my thoughts in order! *deep breath* First of all, before the story begins, a straightforward division of fact and fiction is provided and I sincerely appreciate when authors provide extras like this, especially when they are at the beginning… before I get lost and confused!
The Prophets and Kings series time period is one that I tend to rush through before it leaves me feeling excessively down and discouraged. Andrews skillfully plucks an account from the pages of Isaiah and 2 Kings and carefully crafts a fictional narrative to fill in details that the Bible and historical records of the time left behind.
The characters are relatable and authentically flawed yet seem true to their time period and circumstances. I was completely drawn into this story, reader friends! The plot is rich and deep and wide, woven with biblical truths and lessons which are still applicable to our lives today. This author’s creative style and careful research secured this book’s place among my all time favorites!
I requested the opportunity to read this book through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.
about the author
Mesu Andrews is an author and speaker who has devoted herself to passionate study of Scripture. Harnessing her deep love for God’s Word, Andrews brings the biblical world alive for her audiences.
Mesu and her husband, Roy, have two grown children and (Praise God!) a growing number of grandkids. They live in Washington, where Roy serves as the academic dean at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. They have a Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke who keeps Mesu company while she writes.
Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (the story of Job), won the 2012 ECPA debut Book of the Year. She has since published biblical novels touching on the lives of King Solomon, Hosea and Gomer, Queen Athaliah, Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Miriam.
Treasures of the Nile series
Share YOUR thoughts on this time period, reader friends!
Do you have certain expectations for a book set within a biblical account?