This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Series: Prophets and Kings #1
Published by Crown Publishing Group on January 16th, 2018
Source: The Publisher
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Historical, Religious
In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah's household rises to capture the heart of the future king.
Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.
"Andrews (The Pharaoh's Daughter) offers her unique brand of in-depth Bible knowledge and storytelling flair ... [she] is gifted at bringing the past to life..." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.
Christian or Secular: Christian
Sex: Mentions of prostitutes and concubines. Nothing inappropriate.
Trigger Warnings: Ishma remembers her friend Yaira (age 12) being hurt by soldiers but no details are given. Later, it becomes apparent that Yaira is pregnant. Other triggers include a stillbirth and dialogue about the internal damage done to Yaira. Attempted rape and domestic abuse. Mentions of miscarriage and infertility. Human sacrifice—children burned as an offering to the gods is also detailed.
Disclosure: This book deals with hard topics outlined in the book of Kings. Ahaz is described as one of the wicked kings of Judah who sacrificed one of his own children to the god Moloch.
Isaiah’s Daughter is the first book in the Prophets and Kings series by Mesu Andrews. I honestly don’t know how to review this book. You know those moments when you’re stunned into silence? That’s kind of how I feel right now.
Hezekiah was a godly king, though his father was wicked. When you have a son who is vastly different from his father, one always why. This book shows Isaiah’s influence on Hezekiah as well as giving us an idea of why Hezekiah would have turned away from the gods of his father.
I knew this story from the Bible so I don’t know why the ending bothered me so. The epilogue is 2 Kings 21:1-3:
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah.
2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.
3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
I don’t think the Bible should be changed for a fictional account. I just felt that this book should have cut off with Manasseh’s birth. I was so engrossed with Hezekiah and Zibah’s struggles and the epilogue just threw me into stunned silence. I wanted a second to savor the conclusion and joy that Hezekiah and Zibah must have felt when they finally had a child after years of miscarriages and infertility.
I read this book well over a week ago and it’s taken me this long to write the book. I feel such sadness for Hezekiah and for Zibah. I’ve just not been able to express this. Yet, as I reflect, I wonder—how did Manasseh turn out to be evil? What happened to him that would cause him to turn away from God and embrace the gods of his grandfather? How does a son of a good man decide that he wishes to embrace child sacrifice and evil?
The story ended with Zibah’s hope for her new child. Manasseh was her hope and her joy. How many mothers have cradled their child to their breast, never knowing the horrors that child would grow to inflict?
This book made me think and it has made me pray for my children. That they will come to know God and serve him. I’ve decided that is why the author chose to end with 2 Kings 21:1-3 as the epilogue.
Isaiah’s Daughter was well researched and beautifully written. The story begins with Ishma as a girl of five and we get to journey and grow with her into adulthood. Since the book is written from the first person perspective of one so young—we were spared some of the more gruesome details outlined in the early part of the book. I felt this was very well done on the part of the author and it was a unique approach.
I would definitely suggest this book to those that love biblical fiction but would say that it is not suitable for younger readers.