Gods and Kings Book reviews


Author(s): Lynn AustinDownload  


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.

Some Reviews: 896 in Goodreads.com


Joleen rated it      

This was a retelling of King Ahaz and his son Hezkiah. There are accounts in the Bible of some of the incidents in this book, but most of it is fictionalized. Very good.
There is far too much in the book to give an adequate synopsis.
Super shortened Cliff notes…
King Ahaz did not follow God but offered children as sacrifices, including his own, to idols hoping for Judah’s protection by these gods. Isaiah warned him, he didn’t listen and his kingdom suffered. He was killed and Hezekiah became king and brought the kingdom back to the one true God.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio version. Even my husband, who walked into the kitchen where I was cooking and listening to it, didn’t want to leave. He was enjoying it too.
I’ve read quite a few books by Lynn Austin, all very good. This was a switch in genre. Still, her writing is impeccable so what’s not to like?


Megan rated it     

Read for my Christian book club. I really like reading these scriptural/historical books with fictionalized details added in. Just makes the history so much more real. This is a segment of the Old Testament I hadn’t studied much about. Takes place in 931 B.C. after the death of Solomon when Israel is divided into two kingdoms–Israel in the North and in the south, Judah. Ahaz is the king we love to hate. His 2nd son, Hezekiah is next in line for the throne. Throw in some scary Assyrians and a wee bit of romance and human sacrifices to idols, and you’ve got a good story.
Good writing. Good narration.
The ending left me on a cliffhanger, so I’ve got to get reading book 2 to find out what happens with a romance which was introduced…


Cody rated it     

This book is the first of five books in the series and has set a great foundation for the rest of the series. Lynn does a great job at bringing the stories, characters and cultural dynamics of the Old Testament to life. She has a fantastic ability to develop characters, making them feel like real people. Throughout the book you are definitely fighting for some and in opposition to others.

One of the elements I found most fascinating in this book is the way that Lynn was able to expose the national sin of Israel, idolatry, and put flesh on it. From the sacrificing of children to Molech, to the slow fade from true worship to compromising ones beliefs in exchange for power.

I’m not going to give any spoilers, but I will say that the plot thickens as the book goes on, all the way down to the last sentence. Lynn leaves you wanting more.

The reason for a 4-Star rating rather than a five is because I felt as though it took a little bit of time for the plot to draw me in. Once it did, I was hooked. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand what life could have been like to live in the days of the Kings of Israel.


Wendy rated it      

This is the first historical biblical fiction book that I have read and I loved it. So much so that I had to get the next four books in the series and read all of them in just a few days.

The book begins in a time when children were sacrificed to the gods. Hezekiah’s father wanted favor from those gods and was willing to sacrifice his children in order to receive it. To see this from a child’s point of view and know that it was a part of history was heartbreaking. The story goes on to share how Hekekiah’s grandfather, Zechariah, planted seeds of faith with love and teaching that changed history when he became the King of Judah. The story of that relationship is one of my favorite things about this book.

Amanda Casper

Amanda Casper rated it      

I really liked this book. How it was written and what it was about. In terms of how long it usually takes me to finish books… I finished this one pretty quickly. I love that this book is fiction based on truth… emphasis on truth. It really brought circumstances in the bible to life. I really feel like I know the story of King Hezekiah now. (this book is based on things from 2 chronicles and 2 kings) I cant wait to read these books in the bible now. Hezekiah went through some ruff stuff as a kid and his life is super interesting so read this book if you want to learn about a good king from the house of David.


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