Title: Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles #2)
Author: Lynn Austin
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
About the book:
In their darkest hour, where would hope be found?
In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king’s palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.
Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future – of family and love – seem impossible.
In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn 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.
This is an absolutely fabulous biblical novel!
It is very obvious that Lynn Austin spent a LOT of time studying scripture. She also had to have studied historical records and customs of the time in preparation for writing this wonderful book.
This is the second book in what I consider to be a “true” series. By that I mean that you should read the first book before picking this one up. There is really only one character from the first book that I remember. But reading book one will help to set the stage historically for this novel.
I was quickly captivated by the main characters in each location at the start of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how each of their individual lives intersected with the others.
I have read the story of Esther a number of times and heard some sermons from it. I have never “seen” such a vivid account of what life was like for the Jews in the months after the decree was written calling for their annihilation. That is truly what it seemed like to me. I could see their despair and feel their fear and heartache.
Then after the Thirteenth of Adar each of the survivors had to figure out how to deal with the outcome. Were they going to accept what God had allowed to happen? Or were they going to spend the rest of their lives blaming Him and hating their enemies from that day?
The stories of redemption and forgiveness are beautifully interwoven and presented. At the same time Ezra is searching the Torah doing all that he can to interpret the law of God so that the Jewish nation can be built up and follow God faithfully. The biggest question that he had to deal with was, “How can man find God’s balance between judgment and mercy?”
I absolutely loved this book! I’m highly recommending it and giving it 10 stars here on my own blog!
This is the link for my review of Return to Me, book one in this series: http://godslittlebookworm.blogspot.com/2013/11/return-to-me-by-lynn-austin.html