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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: Zecharia 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.


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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: Zecharia 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.

30 review for Gods and Kings

  1. 4 out of 5

    Catherine McNiel

    I read this book because I was offered a free copy and because a friend recommended it to me. On the plus side, I agree with my friend that the author writes with more complexity than the marketing for her books would lead one to believe (if such a thing can be determined from reading one book). And I found the plot to be compelling enough that I was eager to get back to the book when I had to put it down. However, the dialogue was wooden and the characters were two dimensional at best. But my m I read this book because I was offered a free copy and because a friend recommended it to me. On the plus side, I agree with my friend that the author writes with more complexity than the marketing for her books would lead one to believe (if such a thing can be determined from reading one book). And I found the plot to be compelling enough that I was eager to get back to the book when I had to put it down. However, the dialogue was wooden and the characters were two dimensional at best. But my main dislike went much deeper. From the first page to the last Austin writes a story about characters that lived in an actual and historical ancient culture. However, she appears to know almost nothing about how this culture viewed the world, themselves, society, and faith. The things she had her characters say, think and do were so entirely the sorts of things people in her own modern day, western, individualized culture would say, think, and do. At times this was merely distracting, but frequently it made the book read like a parody. A few examples: When reflecting on her arranged marriage, a woman reflects that she did not pursue her own desires and dreams but allowed herself to be led by her father's wishes. She reflects that this needs to change. She is asked by a man, regarding her upcoming arranged marriage, if she "ever wanted something enough to fight for it" and the implication is strongly that she has a sad, sorry, weakness she must overcome in this area. And it is stated at one point that it is royalty and a few other segments of society that have their roles cut out for them regardless of their own choosing. Where can I even begin?!? In a society such as this one (and all non-Western, non-modern, non-individualist societies) EVERYONE (not just women, not just people of a certain societal level) follows the path that their place in society by birth dictates to them. To do otherwise is nearly beyond imagining, holds no positive or healthy associations, and is very literally the very definition of sin. To do so would bring trouble and ruin to the entire society. I could go on and on but instead I'll continue. The description of religion and the role it plays in a person and in society!!!! In both big (the King says "religion belongs in the temple, not in the streets and certainly not in the government") and smaller ways (people talking about if they believe in God, or their "faith" or wondering if God really exists and how we can know when we don't see him, and talking about their faith become an "empty ritual" and dozens of other examples found on every page of dialogue) Austin again makes a parody of the book by entirely not understanding the ancient view of the sacred and inserting our own modern, western view. There was NO sacred/secular distinction during this time and in this sort of society. This was NOT how God/religion was viewed or spoken of or thought of nor was this the purpose of it. Not at all. Here are a few other ridiculous quotes: "yet he hesitated, his rational mind refusing to believe in a supernatural answer." "Can you prove any of this? I can't rest the fate of my nation of a superstition. I have to believe in things that can be proved in a tangible way." (A distinction of the modern/western worldview, not the ancient worldview) "I don't have the proof you are asking for. I believe it by faith." (NOT the ancient definition of faith!!!!) Again, I could go on and on and on. Yes, this how we think in this hemisphere at this time. I wonder if Austin was truly unaware of the cultural lenses she wrote with (and did not write with) or if she was aware but was speaking to her readers by using the thoughts and definitions that they would have. Either way, I'm dissapointed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Hezekiah, prince of Judah, lives in a kingdom under siege from hostile forces within and without. His father, King Ahaz, has abandoned the worship of Yahweh and led his nation into idolatry. Gods & Kings chronicles Hezekiah's coming of age, detailing his turbulent childhood when he saw his father sacrifice his older brother Eliab to the pagan god Molech. Overwhelmed by fear, Hezekiah first encounters the life-changing touch of God through the love and teaching of his grandfather, Zechariah, a Le Hezekiah, prince of Judah, lives in a kingdom under siege from hostile forces within and without. His father, King Ahaz, has abandoned the worship of Yahweh and led his nation into idolatry. Gods & Kings chronicles Hezekiah's coming of age, detailing his turbulent childhood when he saw his father sacrifice his older brother Eliab to the pagan god Molech. Overwhelmed by fear, Hezekiah first encounters the life-changing touch of God through the love and teaching of his grandfather, Zechariah, a Levitical priest. These seeds of faith are all that Hezekiah has to guide him in a kingdom threatened by invasion and corrupted by idolatry. But surrounded by threats to his very existance, can he hope to survive and be given the chance to change the future of his country? This is one of the best biblical fiction series out there, easily on par with Angela Hunt's Legacies of the Ancient River series. I don't feel that Austin's writing is as strong or her characters quite as well-developed as is evident in her later books (such as the Christy award-winning novels Candle in the Darkness and Fire By Night), but that's a very minor issue. Austin does an excellent job bringing the world of ancient Judah to life in all of its color, pageantry, danger, and intrigue. She breathes fresh life into the character of Hezekiah, creating a flesh-and-blood man whose struggles and weaknesses make his triumphs as one of Judah's greatest kings all the more inspiring. And the book lives up to perhaps the best measure of whether or not biblical fiction succeeds or fails - it inspires study of the actual biblical text. When reading this book (incidentally this was my second time), I was struck by how timely the story felt. Hezekiah was one small drop in an overwhelming sea of danger and false gods, but God used his life to literally change the course of an entire nation and people. So read, study, and be inspired as Austin helps to bring to life the truth of 2 Chronicles 7:14 -- "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leann

    This book is more of a 2.5 star book for me because there were parts I liked and parts I really didn't. The first three books of the series Chronicles of the Kings tells the story of Hezekiah, a king of Judah, who's story is found in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Isaiah. The only thing I could remember about Hezekiah before reading this book was that he was a decent king who was granted 15 more years to live by God after he asked not to die, and that in that time period he gave birth to an heir who This book is more of a 2.5 star book for me because there were parts I liked and parts I really didn't. The first three books of the series Chronicles of the Kings tells the story of Hezekiah, a king of Judah, who's story is found in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Isaiah. The only thing I could remember about Hezekiah before reading this book was that he was a decent king who was granted 15 more years to live by God after he asked not to die, and that in that time period he gave birth to an heir who turned out to not be a good guy at all, so the point being, maybe it's good when God doesn't answer our prayers the way we want. So, one good part of this book for me was learning more about him (even if it was fictionalized), and learning who in the Bible were contemporaries with whom. Micah, Isaiah, and Hezekiah were all alive and kicking at the same time period, and I guess I either never knew that or forgot it. The bad part was that, even though Ms. Austin has a degree in Biblical Backgrounds and Archeology, there was really very little historical details found in this book, at least not to the level of other historical novels I've read. Also, there were many, many times when I felt like today's culture was being superimposed on characters. For example, one character who was the daughter of a high priest attends a sacrifice in the temple, which was a DAILY occurrence in those days, and her stomach is turned when the animal's throat is cut. Um, no. If you watched that every day growing up, it would not turn your stomach, I don't care how long it's been since you've attended a sacrifice. And some of their views on God and religion in general seemed much more Christian-y than Judaistic. And then there were the preachy Christian sections. Having JUST listened to a message by Robert Jefress where he taught against one of the tenets of the emergent church-- going and joining sinners in their activities as a method of winning souls -- it seemed like this entire novel was basically the same message. I kept thinking, "SOMEone doesn't like the emergent church." I doubt that's what she was thinking when she wrote the book, but that's what I kept feeling everytime something was written about justifying compromises of your beliefs by saying you're just going to join them for a while, then you'll win them over at some point. And now, back to the good part. Austin is a good writer. I may disagree with parts of the story, but she's a very good storyteller. In fact, she started a romance toward the end of this novel, and did it so well that I went and bought the next book. And I'm glad I did. I liked it, so see my review of Song of Redemption to see how much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I love this book. It is interesting because it tells the same story that is repeated in the scriptures - good king dies, bad king takes over, he is slothful, arrogant, brutal, evil, most of the kingdom is sinful and won't repent, prophets who call them to repentance are beaten, then one of his sons will take over and be a good king and get the nation back to worshipping God (Yahweh in this book) instead of pagan idols. I really like it because of the same lessons taught as the scriptures, but th I love this book. It is interesting because it tells the same story that is repeated in the scriptures - good king dies, bad king takes over, he is slothful, arrogant, brutal, evil, most of the kingdom is sinful and won't repent, prophets who call them to repentance are beaten, then one of his sons will take over and be a good king and get the nation back to worshipping God (Yahweh in this book) instead of pagan idols. I really like it because of the same lessons taught as the scriptures, but this fictional account takes you into the emotions of some of the characters and I find it interesting to feel what it must have been like to live back then. DONE - LOVED THE BOOK!! Exciting, battle between corrupt and good.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarahanne

    There was much about this book that I needed to just read past. I tried to imagine that this was a story pulled from an ancient text that WASN'T a text I've read and studied and that WASN'T a thread in the dominant religion in our current society. Both of those were tricky to pretend away and, at moments, I wanted to set the book aside for theological or social reasons. If you set aside suspicions (founded or not) about the agenda behind this book, the story itself is interesting and well told. I There was much about this book that I needed to just read past. I tried to imagine that this was a story pulled from an ancient text that WASN'T a text I've read and studied and that WASN'T a thread in the dominant religion in our current society. Both of those were tricky to pretend away and, at moments, I wanted to set the book aside for theological or social reasons. If you set aside suspicions (founded or not) about the agenda behind this book, the story itself is interesting and well told. If you are looking for a scholarly text or a historical text, this might not be the book. But if you are looking for an interesting story then it's not bad. There is still that awkward feeling, for me, that a casual reader might read this novel and use it as a historical reference - that now they know the REAL story of those ancient days - and that somehow I'm complicit in that by even reading the book. That odd feeling will probably keep me from hunting up the rest of the series. There are so many fabulous books to be read that don't leave an awkward feeling...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    2.5 stars (maybe) Dialog (including internal) way too modern voiced and jarring to the ancient setting. While reading, I did not envision an ancient setting such as Jerusalem at the time of the Assyrian Empire should have evoked in my mind. I also felt the portrayal of everyday life and the traditional major life events and ceremonies were poorly researched and related. Too much cardboard melodrama and predictable snapshot scenes. I'm thankful this novel was so short. I will not continue reading 2.5 stars (maybe) Dialog (including internal) way too modern voiced and jarring to the ancient setting. While reading, I did not envision an ancient setting such as Jerusalem at the time of the Assyrian Empire should have evoked in my mind. I also felt the portrayal of everyday life and the traditional major life events and ceremonies were poorly researched and related. Too much cardboard melodrama and predictable snapshot scenes. I'm thankful this novel was so short. I will not continue reading this series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mandi

    I am now on the third book of this series and am really enjoying the whole series! Though these are centered around the life of King Hezekiah, I am learning so much about the history of this time period that I have a whole new perspective on other stories from the Old Testament. I now completely understand Jonah and why he ran away when God told him to go to Nineveh. Those Assyrians were so incredibly brutal, heartless and had no mercy for anyone, not even babies! Anyways, this is a really fanta I am now on the third book of this series and am really enjoying the whole series! Though these are centered around the life of King Hezekiah, I am learning so much about the history of this time period that I have a whole new perspective on other stories from the Old Testament. I now completely understand Jonah and why he ran away when God told him to go to Nineveh. Those Assyrians were so incredibly brutal, heartless and had no mercy for anyone, not even babies! Anyways, this is a really fantastic look at, not only the reign of Hezekiah (mostly in the 2nd and 3rd books), but also his idol-worshipping father Ahab (in the first book).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    I love historical fiction that can place you in the setting with the sights, sounds, and culture of that day. Now when I read of Hezikiah in the Old Testament, I will have a better appreciation than I did before because of this account. You can easily see how the Jews left God and why and how terrible Kings of that day were. They really set the tone for their kingdom. Even in our world today, we can learn from the past and put our trust in God.

  9. 5 out of 5

    GenieD

    Just finished Gods and Kings, Christian fiction based on the book of Chronicles about King Hezekiah. I liked her message, but it was written more "modern" than I liked. Her characters were missing too much of the ancient philosophies and customary attitudes of the time. Just finished Gods and Kings, Christian fiction based on the book of Chronicles about King Hezekiah. I liked her message, but it was written more "modern" than I liked. Her characters were missing too much of the ancient philosophies and customary attitudes of the time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarita

    This is the second book by Austin I read. This is not my favourite genre (suspense) but I really enjoyed this book. What I love about Biblical Fiction is that it break opens the Bible in different ways and you click events better than when reading the Bible. For example, how many times did I read the part in Kings where they said that King Ahaz offered his first born son, but only after reading the first chapter of the book I actually realized what that meant! Another thing that I love about Bibl This is the second book by Austin I read. This is not my favourite genre (suspense) but I really enjoyed this book. What I love about Biblical Fiction is that it break opens the Bible in different ways and you click events better than when reading the Bible. For example, how many times did I read the part in Kings where they said that King Ahaz offered his first born son, but only after reading the first chapter of the book I actually realized what that meant! Another thing that I love about Biblical fiction is that it takes you back to the Bible - after reading the first pages I went to the parts in the Bible this book is about and read it to understand if that truly happened. I loved Hezekiah the child, and will look forward to reading more of Hezekiah as the King. I also enjoyed Zechariah's character and how he realised his faults and asked forgiveness and stood up for what is right after receiving this second chance. What stood out for me is how men craved power back then already and how they will compromise their beliefs for power and lying to themselves about their choices. It made me think how we should on a daily basis be aware of our choices and if we compromise our beliefs.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    I really enjoyed this biblical historical novel. The time period and events detailed in this book had only been names from the Old Testament to me, and I never really knew the story of their names. This book does an excellent job of bringing to life King Hezekiah, his father King Ahaz, his maternal grandfather Zechariah, and the Prophets Isaiah and Micah. These names from the Bible are now fully fleshed people to me, and I can now picture the time they lived in, the idol worshiping that occurred I really enjoyed this biblical historical novel. The time period and events detailed in this book had only been names from the Old Testament to me, and I never really knew the story of their names. This book does an excellent job of bringing to life King Hezekiah, his father King Ahaz, his maternal grandfather Zechariah, and the Prophets Isaiah and Micah. These names from the Bible are now fully fleshed people to me, and I can now picture the time they lived in, the idol worshiping that occurred, the human sacrifices, and the desecration of the Temple during the time of Kind Ahaz.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Lynn Austin is my favorite author of historical Christian fiction. Biblical fiction is not my favorite genre. I highly recommend all of Austin's books because she really does the research, her writing is top-notch, and her books are all faith-centered and Biblical. If anyone can do justice to a work of biblical fiction, she does. I love knowing that the fictionalized story lines are firmly anchored in the truths of God's Word. Reading about idol worship in a fictional setting makes it come to li Lynn Austin is my favorite author of historical Christian fiction. Biblical fiction is not my favorite genre. I highly recommend all of Austin's books because she really does the research, her writing is top-notch, and her books are all faith-centered and Biblical. If anyone can do justice to a work of biblical fiction, she does. I love knowing that the fictionalized story lines are firmly anchored in the truths of God's Word. Reading about idol worship in a fictional setting makes it come to life, more than words on a page, and gives depth of meaning to the whole Bible. In fleshing out biblical characters the Bible comes to life. Most importantly the worship of Jehovah God. This book is worth a re-read. Thank you, Lynn, and please keep writing!

  13. 4 out of 5

    MAP

    Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to begin... Ok, so I don't tend to like reading novels about the New Testament because it can easily veer into a twee land of sticky sweetness and light and ugh shake it off shake it off. The OLD Testament however, is full of politics and war and SEX and death it's like a George RR Martin novel YAY! Haha, except for when it's in the hands of a Christian fiction writer. So the book is the first of a series following the Judean king Hezekiah, and it's more ham Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to begin... Ok, so I don't tend to like reading novels about the New Testament because it can easily veer into a twee land of sticky sweetness and light and ugh shake it off shake it off. The OLD Testament however, is full of politics and war and SEX and death it's like a George RR Martin novel YAY! Haha, except for when it's in the hands of a Christian fiction writer. So the book is the first of a series following the Judean king Hezekiah, and it's more hamfisted, Christian-stuffed, and anvilicious than I ever could have imagined. (view spoiler)[ First, for a bunch of 8th century BC middle eastern Jewish folk, they sure pray, think, and speak like 21st century southern Baptists. Second, there's your typical Christian fiction stock characters -- the ones meant to teach us how we are supposed to act -- such as the sacrifice-unto-death character who stands up for her beliefs even though it kills her!!! Is this an official part of Hezekiah's story, found anywhere in Christian or Jewish documents? Nnnnnnnnnope. The worst of these was the character of Uriah, a high priest who totally sells out God to the Assyrian gods and builds a bunch of idols and THROWS SMALL CHILDREN INTO FIRES TO SACRIFICE THEM. The author LITERALLY COMPARES THIS PERSON to modern day people who have "religious tolerance." She even uses those words -- she talks about Uriah's "religious tolerance." No no, you're right, author, me wanting gay people NOT to be dragged behind trucks until they die? Totally same thing as throwing children into a fire. Me wanting Muslims not to be beaten to death by angry mobs because of their clothing choices? Child sacrifice. Same thing. No difference. I could go into a whole big thing about how the entire modern conservative Christian movement to "go back to traditional [insert whatever they don't like about modern society here]" is fundamentally flawed from a New Testament standpoint, not to mention that by "traditional" they mean "an idealized version of the 1950s that never existed," but I won't, because I'd rather spend more time ragging specifically on this book. So anyway, there was actually a moment where I was getting into the story and starting to forgive it for its flaws, and then it has a character say that RELYING ON YOUR OWN INTELLECT IS THE SAME THING AS SACRIFICING SMALL CHILDREN TO A FIRE. So remember kids: God gave you intelligence so that you WON'T use it. Remember how all those people in the Bible didn't use their intelligence, like, ever? King David never used his, and Paul the Apostle certainly never used his education and intelligence! Nope, not once! Because if they HAD, it would have been like sacrificing small children to a god of fire. (hide spoiler)] TL;DR Review: If you want to write a novel based on the FREAKING BIBLE, and you don't think it's "Christian-y" enough, so you feel the need to add in extra stuff to spruce it up, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. (I am sucking it up and giving it two stars because there were about 100 pages in the second half that actually had me interested, but then it RUINED IT ALL.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Metz

    Lynn Austin has become one of my favorite authors of historical fiction and this title didn't let me down. One of the best things about good Biblical fiction is that the stories and people come alive for you - and become ... more personal and easy to relate to. Every character in Gods & Kings felt real to me. Whether I was weeping with Abijah over her lost child, cringing with young Hezekiah as he was drug to the sacrifices to Molech, feeling the loss and anger of Zechariah as he saw the temple Lynn Austin has become one of my favorite authors of historical fiction and this title didn't let me down. One of the best things about good Biblical fiction is that the stories and people come alive for you - and become ... more personal and easy to relate to. Every character in Gods & Kings felt real to me. Whether I was weeping with Abijah over her lost child, cringing with young Hezekiah as he was drug to the sacrifices to Molech, feeling the loss and anger of Zechariah as he saw the temple defaced and robbed the first time ... they all had more than one dimension and changed and grew as the story evolved. There is a lot of action and tension even though we know story. The only problem was that the book ended just as Hezekiah is coming into his own and you feel like the story should keep going. Lucky for us - this is just the first book in the series. :o)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Gods and Kings is the first of a Biblical Fiction series. Its focus is King Hezekiah from the time he was a young boy to when his reign begins at age 25. While I very much enjoyed all the history, I was not fully engaged in the story. Overall,it was a good novel and one I'd recommend to readers who enjoy Biblical Fiction. I do plan to continue reading the series. Gods and Kings is the first of a Biblical Fiction series. Its focus is King Hezekiah from the time he was a young boy to when his reign begins at age 25. While I very much enjoyed all the history, I was not fully engaged in the story. Overall,it was a good novel and one I'd recommend to readers who enjoy Biblical Fiction. I do plan to continue reading the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nay Denise

    Quick note: when it comes to biblical fiction I always have my Bible for reference and I always go into them understanding that it's a combination of the Bible and fiction. Everything in these books are not true. Their purpose is to edify, strengthen my faith and entertainment. This was a intriguing read for me. I enjoyed the characters and plot. I wasn't 100% sold on everything, but it still kept me intrigued enough to want to read the entire series. Lynn Austin has such a beautiful way of writi Quick note: when it comes to biblical fiction I always have my Bible for reference and I always go into them understanding that it's a combination of the Bible and fiction. Everything in these books are not true. Their purpose is to edify, strengthen my faith and entertainment. This was a intriguing read for me. I enjoyed the characters and plot. I wasn't 100% sold on everything, but it still kept me intrigued enough to want to read the entire series. Lynn Austin has such a beautiful way of writing her stories. It pulls you in and play like a movie with each turn of the page. King Ahaz was a terrible king who led his people astray. He was all about pleasing man rather than God. Uriah, the high priest, was also a terrible person. As a priest he should have denied many things, yet he compromised his faith for wealth and riches with man. They were both foolish men who choose their own ways rather than God's. Abijah was a strong woman who had to fake her way through her marriage. Losing her son and dealing with an impossible husband, I admired her courage in the story. I felt so bad for what she had to go through. Hezekiah is always interesting for me to read or study about. I enjoyed seeing his younger years and his interest in God. Seeing him go from loving God to being pulled away was insane, but he came back in the end. The prophets Zechariah, Isaiah and Micah are featured in this story and though I adored Zechariah, I wanted just a bit more from Isaiah and Micah. The only character I wasn't a fan of is Hephzibah because she seemed a bit whiny and over the top. I am interested in seeing how things turn out for her in the sequel though. Overall, this was a pretty good OT story that brings together the story of King Ahaz into King Hezekiah's reign. Definitely will be reading the sequel, Song of Redemption, soon.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan King

    This is the very first book that I have read from Lynn Austin and it did not disappoint! Anyone who enjoys reading your Bible and truly being able to understand the Bible stories from the OT this will bring alive the book of Chronicles and for anyone who has read the book of Chronicles knows that it can be a test of faith and perseverance! When you need a boost or just need to feel closer with the Lord this is a great story which happens to have a great deal of truth attached!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Very good read! I purchased the audio book version and the narrator did a really good job with the voices. The story line was good as well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim Savage

    Giving faces and life to Kings Ahaz and Hezekiah (King David’s royal line) during the biblical times of 2 Chronicles. Good biblical fiction.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gale Wilkinson

    Slow start but picked up and the end was riveting. I enjoyed it and would like to read more in this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Loretta Marchize

    I read this book a month ago and forgot to review it? I only remembered because I got the second book in the series and saw I didn't review this one. I know I enjoyed it, although parts of it had me wondering if that was actually how they thought in that time period- it's a bit modernized. I didn't mind that though. I read this book a month ago and forgot to review it? I only remembered because I got the second book in the series and saw I didn't review this one. I know I enjoyed it, although parts of it had me wondering if that was actually how they thought in that time period- it's a bit modernized. I didn't mind that though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janet L Crossman

    I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put the book down. I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I will probably read the rest of the series. I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put the book down. I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I will probably read the rest of the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Retha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Great to meet the Bible figures in person. At least that is how it seems to the reader of Gods and Kings: Chronicles and Kings. The king sacrifices his firstborn to the idol Molech in the land of Israel. God had chosen Israel as His nation, but throughout the history Israel did not always choose God. During the reign of king Abijah, idolatry was rife in Israel. Hezekiah witnesses his brother being sacrificed to Molech. Will he survive or is his father going to sacrifice him too? How many sacrifi Great to meet the Bible figures in person. At least that is how it seems to the reader of Gods and Kings: Chronicles and Kings. The king sacrifices his firstborn to the idol Molech in the land of Israel. God had chosen Israel as His nation, but throughout the history Israel did not always choose God. During the reign of king Abijah, idolatry was rife in Israel. Hezekiah witnesses his brother being sacrificed to Molech. Will he survive or is his father going to sacrifice him too? How many sacrifices will there be? Will Judah repent and listen to the prophets? Are the Levites strong enough to stand for their faith in God? Do they still believe in God? When the high priest is promoted, will he be able to withstand the temptations? “Grandpa?” he asked at last, “ couldn't Yahweh kill all our enemies and save us? Then my father wouldn't have to spoil His Temple. Couldn't Yahweh do that?” “Certainly He could! Don’t you remember the story I told you about how Yahweh helped David defeat Goliath?” Hezekiah nodded? “And remember Joshua and the battle of Jericho? And how Yahweh caused the sun to stand still so Joshua could defeat the five Amorite kings? Yes, of course Yahweh could defeat all of Judah’s enemies.” “Then why didn't He, Grandpa?” Zechariah’s face looked sad as he shook his head. “Because our nation no longer believes in Him… and so no one bothered to ask Him to.” Lynn Austin thoroughly researched the history of Judah during the reign of king Abijah. She turned history into a beautiful story allowing the reading to experience different emotions while tension builds with the turning of each page. The story reminds us that God is the only God to serve. When we replace Him with idols, our hearts are hardened and it becomes difficult to hear the voice of Truth. “Belief in Yahweh doesn't come with your mind, Hezekiah. It comes with your heart. When you only believe in things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands, it is idolatry.” What I enjoyed the most, is how the characters came alive in the pages, pulling the reader into their emotions, fears, victories and love. I highly recommend Gods and Kings: Chronicles of the Kings.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Madi Diane

    Could not put the book down!! Amazing read and really gave insight to what happened in the times when Kings rules and stepped away from following Gods lead. I loved how the author tied the characters together and when the main character Hezakiah took the statue of molech down he stated how people would still probably be sacrificing their children to molech although the statue was no longer there. Just comes to show no matter how much change and restrictions come in to play humans are by default Could not put the book down!! Amazing read and really gave insight to what happened in the times when Kings rules and stepped away from following Gods lead. I loved how the author tied the characters together and when the main character Hezakiah took the statue of molech down he stated how people would still probably be sacrificing their children to molech although the statue was no longer there. Just comes to show no matter how much change and restrictions come in to play humans are by default easily manipulated and twisted humans. I could not have survived in these times.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Summary from Amazon: Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country. My Thoughts: I first Summary from Amazon: Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country. My Thoughts: I first picked up this book because it was free on kindle. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Austin brought the characters from the Old Testament alive. I have read the Old Testament stories but rarely thought about the feelings or the humanity behind the words. These people went through the same struggles and temptations as I do. Reading this book made me want to reread the chapters about Ahaz and Hezekiah, seeing them in a new light. The action is steady and exciting. Even though I knew what was going to happen since I have read the books of Kings, it was still a fast-paced adventure. The events line up with scripture and are evidence of Austin's research. Fans of Christian fiction with Biblical truth will love this book. After reading this one, I eagerly downloaded book two!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ebookwormy1

    This series starts of with a bang as initial scenes deal with Hezekiah's horror of experiencing the ritual child sacrifice of his brother. The adventure from there is non-stop as we witness the struggles of King Ahaz's reign and the events that shaped the development of his son, Hezekiah who will become King after Ahaz. The plot points are stronger than the characters, and a reading of each book in this series is not complete without reading the Scripture Austin provides at the end. I can agree This series starts of with a bang as initial scenes deal with Hezekiah's horror of experiencing the ritual child sacrifice of his brother. The adventure from there is non-stop as we witness the struggles of King Ahaz's reign and the events that shaped the development of his son, Hezekiah who will become King after Ahaz. The plot points are stronger than the characters, and a reading of each book in this series is not complete without reading the Scripture Austin provides at the end. I can agree this is not well written enough to be classic literature, or even a complete study on the ancient world. However, it helped me to think about the people behind the Scriptural account and to connect certain events in a timeline. I found this a valuable read, but my friend HATED it. I think she makes some good points. Read her excellent review here... https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... There's more! Song of Redemption (Chronicles of the Kings #2), Austin, 2005 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Review of the series... Chronicles of the Kings Series, Austin, 2016 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This was the Biblical story of Hezekiah, fleshed out into fiction. I haven’t read the story of Hezekiah through very often, but it was interesting to read a fictionalised account of it - and to tie in various Biblical characters that I hadn’t realised were around at the same time (Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah). This is the first in a series, and I am looking forward to reading Song of Redemption. This was the Biblical story of Hezekiah, fleshed out into fiction. I haven’t read the story of Hezekiah through very often, but it was interesting to read a fictionalised account of it - and to tie in various Biblical characters that I hadn’t realised were around at the same time (Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah). This is the first in a series, and I am looking forward to reading Song of Redemption.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I really really like the retelling of the biblical story about King Ahaz and Hezekiah. It made it come to life and put you there in the moment. I kept wanting to refer to scripture which in some instances I did. It really really put things in perspective for me and helped me to understand those stories more thoroughly. This book made me get teary-eyed in some points and all out sobbed in another. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that would like to read biblical fiction or to be r I really really like the retelling of the biblical story about King Ahaz and Hezekiah. It made it come to life and put you there in the moment. I kept wanting to refer to scripture which in some instances I did. It really really put things in perspective for me and helped me to understand those stories more thoroughly. This book made me get teary-eyed in some points and all out sobbed in another. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that would like to read biblical fiction or to be really put there in the moment.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mesu

    This is the second time I've read this book, and I enjoyed it just as much on the second reading. Lynn Austin's characters come to life and lift God's Word off the page and into my heart. Her detailed descriptions and extensive research make the various components of her story hum with tension. She explains Israel's penchant toward idolatry in a plausible way and expresses the invisible God's jealousy with awe and reverence. Masterfully written with a tender heart of worship. This is the second time I've read this book, and I enjoyed it just as much on the second reading. Lynn Austin's characters come to life and lift God's Word off the page and into my heart. Her detailed descriptions and extensive research make the various components of her story hum with tension. She explains Israel's penchant toward idolatry in a plausible way and expresses the invisible God's jealousy with awe and reverence. Masterfully written with a tender heart of worship.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    A Quickie Review Lynn Austin brings the old story from the books of Kings to life. With lots of emotion and plenty of historical detail, you've likely never seen Hezekiah and Ahaz portrayed like this before. Fans of Biblical historical fiction will definitely like this. Score: 4/5 A Quickie Review Lynn Austin brings the old story from the books of Kings to life. With lots of emotion and plenty of historical detail, you've likely never seen Hezekiah and Ahaz portrayed like this before. Fans of Biblical historical fiction will definitely like this. Score: 4/5

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