Revell, March 4, 2014
Biblical Fiction, 412 pages
Review copy provided via NetGalley, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating: 4.5 stars
Princess Jehosheba wants nothing more than to please the harsh and demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of the notorious Queen Jezebel. Her work as a priestess in the temple of Baal seems to do the trick. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach beyond the realm of earthly governments. To further Athaliah and Jezebel's strategies, she is forced to marry Yahweh's high priest and enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh's temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family--and the nation--she loves?
For lovers of biblical fiction, Mesu Andrews' book on the declining era of David's descendants is sure to enthrall. It is filled with the wicked ways of pagan worshippers and how the Almighty works in mysterious ways. This story focuses on a "Queen of Destiny", Sheba, as she is used by Jezebel and her daughter Athaliah to carry out deeds in honor of their idol Baal. The young woman grows from a young selfish girl to a true worshipper of Yahweh, and manages to save the line of David in spite of the demands of the wicked Athaliah.
Sheba was meant to become a spy in Yahweh's temple when she married the new priest - to be used as a tool to enact destruction and cause mistrust among the temple worshippers. Instead, Sheba falls in love with her husband and their love serves as a beacon of hope among a sea of bloody revenge and greedy pagans. It is a well plotted story with chapters that quote scripture to help us realize where we are in the Holy Bible's timeline of Chronicles and Kings as it puts the history into context while filling in many blanks.
In the Shadow of Jezebel offers love, friendship, adventure, drama and intrigue set against political and religious maneuverings with a very worthy heroine in Jehosheba. Her character was put forth swell with flaws and realistic fears during her journey towards learning of Yahweh's merciful power; her patient husband another admirable character who would defend the temple and his family with equal zeal; with her brother Hazi as her charming defender but sadly still under his wicked mother's thumb.
While this is a book #4 in a series, the novels stand alone. I will not hesitate to pick up all of Mesu Andrews' novels, and will recommend her to all those who thirst for more knowledge regarding the bible's key figures as well as introducing us to those we will be eager to learn more about.