About the book:
In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king’s palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.
When the battles come to an end, Ezra’s brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude’s widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple—but the fight to keep God’s Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges . . . this one for the survival of God’s covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.
You may purchase a copy at Lynn Austin’s website.
About the author:
Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago.
I’ve read other of Lynn Austin’s books and all capture my attention right away, you can read my review of Return to Me, the first Restoration Chronicles book to see what I thought of the beginning of this series. This book starts as the ruling from the King says that all Jews can be murdered on the 13th day of Adar, men, women, children, infants – all can be killed and their belongings plundered because of evil Haman. I think most of us know what comes next Esther enters the King’s harem, becomes Queen and saves all her people from extinction – the Jews will be allowed to defend themselves against those intent on killing them. I was not at all familiar with the book of Ezra in the Bible but this follows his story and had me looking up details in my Bible because I couldn’t help thinking, “really, that happened”.
I guess the part that was the hardest to wrap my mind around was Ezra’s ruling that all Jewish men had to divorce their pagan wives and cast out the children from those unions. It was seen as sullying the Jewish heritage since the women were still worshiping their pagan gods and goddesses and were not keeping a good Jewish home. Part of me thought that two wrongs don’t make a right but I know that the times and culture were different and that God was tired of the Jews not listening to His Laws and that was the reason for their long exile as it was. I’m so glad that Lynn kept to the Bible for the facts of the story, only adding some dialogue where it was needed or throwing in an extra character like Reuben and his Edomite wife, Amina – I didn’t see them mentioned in Scripture but who knows there are many unnamed persons in the Bible so it could have happened.
There were some slow moments in the book, but if you keep at it the whole book really picks up especially once another Jewish remnant returns to Jerusalem to re-establish the Jewish culture there. Overall, this book was enjoyable and what I appreciated is that it made me want to delve into Scripture that I wasn’t aware of and see what really happened and how it all leads to Christ’s legacy being fulfilled and leading up to His birth to be the Messiah. I must say if you’d like a book based on Biblical truth, historical fact with a little fiction thrown in to fill in the pieces that aren’t covered in Scripture but that could have happened.
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Lynn Austin is back with the next book in The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant. Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.
Lynn is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.
One winner will receive:
- A Kindle HDX
- Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 21st. Winner will be announced at the Keepers of the Covenant LIVE webcast event on October 21st. Connect with Lynn for a fascinating evening centered around God’s unwavering love for His people. She’ll be hosting a Biblical fiction book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in The Restoration Chronicles, and much more!