Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

I never want to get used to the absolute thrill of being approved to review a book written by an author I love.

And I especially love this author for two reasons.

1)  One of the very first series I read on my brand-new Kindle was by Lynn Austin, a series called Chronicles of the Kings.

I still remember holding my Kindle in awe (all of those books fit on this?) and being blown away by this author I had never read before.

2)  She brings Old Testament stories to life.

Those stories–a few I wasn’t even familiar with, I am ashamed to say–sent me digging through Scripture to find out how on earth I had missed them all these years.

This book is no different.

Book Two of the Restoration Chronicles, Keepers of the Covenant, wove together the events of Queen Esther’s time with that of the biblical scholar Ezra.

The far-reaching effects of Haman’s infamous decree, that every Jew shall be killed and their belongings taken as plunder, touched every Jew and Gentile in the Persian kingdom.

And this is the first time I realized that.

Of course, I knew that, but to have a book from the perspective of those Jews the decree affected–not just of Esther, Haman, and Mordecai–was incredible!  I had no idea.

I can’t wait to read the first book of this series, Return to Me.  I’m not sure how I missed there was a book one, but at least now I know Keepers of the Covenant can be read as a stand-alone!  :)

I did have one small problem with the book, however.  In the book of Esther, it is very clear when Mordecai issued the counter-decree, allowing the Jewish people to defend themselves, that the Jews went on the offensive and utterly destroyed those who had plotted to kill them.

Lynn Austin deviates from this.

Now, I am all for literary license, but I absolutely believe the Bible is the truth, the Word of God, and not one word is false.

So I have a HUGE problem when authors deviate from what Scripture clearly says.

I realize people interpret the Bible differently (and no two people have the same interpretation on every subject matter) but I believe the Bible is pretty darn clear on this.

Something that I am not so sure about is whether Jews died or not.  I have always believed there was not one life lost and was baffled with the casualties in this work.

After carefully reviewing Esther, again, I cannot find a Scripture that said no one died, but I can see where I got the idea.  (If not from a sermon I heard once!)  :)

Casualties are listed for the Gentiles, but not one for the Jewish people.  Only their overwhelming victory and celebration are spoken of.

For this I will not fault Lynn Austin.  Not at all.

Since it is not specifically stated, I feel she has free reign to write as she pleases.

But I also know of times–many times–the Lord protected His people and saw to it not one person lost their life, even during intense battles.

And, because of that, I would have personally enjoyed the book more if the Jewish people would have acted in overwhelming faith and annihilated their enemies, untouched.

But I guess you’ll have to read the story to see Lynn Austin’s point of view.  :)

What do you think?

Would this affect whether you liked or disliked a book?

I still think this book is worth reading–absolutely, yes, I do!–but I would love to know your thoughts.

Jewish everyday life, customs, and belief in Yahweh make so much more sense after this author wrestles them onto paper for all the world to see.

I hope there is a book three!

May your day be filled with God’s love and blessings!

And thank you for taking the time to read my very honest review.

In Him,

Michele

Keepers of the Covenant

Keepers of the Covenant

Author:
Series: Restoration Chronicles, Book 2
Genre: Biblical Fiction
ASIN: B00KDN89MK
I love how Lynn Austin weaves Queen Esther's timeline with that of Ezra's. She takes lesser-known Old Testament stories of the Bible and brings them into the glaring spotlight. I learn so much every time I read one of her books!
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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.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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