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Posted February 27, 2014
What on earth could an Old Testament story full of priests and rulers contain that would be pertinent to my life? Well, let me just tell you: Mesu Andrews has taken a story of laws made it come alive. As you read, you are dropped into a world of drama, intrigue and romance set in the opulent kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Imagine a reality TV show on steroids set in a palace with a message of God's love and hope.
If I had to pick one area where Andrews excels, I don't think I could. Her storyworld is real, her characters are compelling and her message hits right to the heart of your soul time after time. Loved this book.
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Posted October 8, 2014
In the Shadow of Jezebel is another well-written, well-researched book by Mesu Andrews. If you appreciate Biblical fiction you will be intrigued by this book. Each chapter begins with a scripture reference relating to that chapter. Reading scripture along with the book will keep you thinking….hmmmmm, what if? Jezebel was an evil queen and her vile influence to those around her was evident throughout the book. Prevalent over the evil is God’s love and power. Experience the Biblical story of Jezebel in a unique way and be taken back to a culture that exhibits the depravity of God’s creation. Mesu includes a character list at the beginning to introduce the reader to characters both real and fictional. Jezebel thinks she’s powerful and in control. She discovers just how powerful Yahweh is and who really is in control! You’ll want to put this book on your to-be-read list. I enjoyed it very much.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2014
There were many love/hate, good/evil, politics/family instances in the story that brought about a realism to the characters throughout the book.
There is certainly something for everyone in this book! It gave me a different way of looking at things during a time which was foreign to me. The thrill of danger, the hope of love & trust and intrigue made it all worth in the end after the 400+ pages.
My praise to Medu Andrews. You have made a Biblical back story come to life even for a reader like me. I didn’t even realize that this was #4 in a series! 4.5 stars out of 5!
** This e-book comes to me as an ARC from Revell Publishing & Net Gallery for my most honest opinion that is mine & mine alone.**
Posted April 24, 2014
In the Shadow of Jezebel is a beautifully crafted story of two little-known persons
in Kings and Chronicles. Jehoiada and Jehosheba. It is also a story of power.
The name Jezebel has become synonymous with a fallen, wanton, promiscuous
woman. But what struck me about her in Mesu’s book was the power she wielded
over three generations, across two nations. Through a depraved discipleship, she
extended her reach far and wide, down to her granddaughter Sheba, the heroine
of the book. In the Shadow of Jezebel illustrates in stark detail the influence one person
can have. But another powerful example from Jezebel is that of the hero, who through
patient service, love, and prayer gently woos Sheba from Baal to Yahweh. The power
of God will always be greater than the power of evil.
Posted March 24, 2014
I have talked before about how I love Biblical fiction. I know there are a lot of naysayers, who don't like it because we don't really know what it was like in those times, but they help me so much. I grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school for Elementary, Jr. High, and High School. I then proceeded to attend a Baptist University where I took Bible courses as part of my college education. I have read the stories of the Old Testament all my life, but because the Bible doesn't go into the detail of a fiction author, I don't think we always get an in-depth, behind the scenes, look at these times. For instance, I have read the Biblical account of Elijah and the battle against the Baal priests at Mt. Carmel. I read how the priests of Baal cut themselves trying to entice Baal to consume their offering, but until I read about the scars on Princess Jehosheba received during sacrifices did this actually become real to me.
This story drew me right in and put me back in the time of Jezebel. Mesu Andrews gave you a look behind the conniving, evil ruling of Jezebel and her daughter as well as the strength behind the Yahweh priests who struggled to maintain their country's love for Yahweh in the midst of a society that was being pushed into constant pleasure seeking by the people in power. (Sound familiar anyone?)
In the Shadow of Jezebel takes you into Solomen's temple and allows you to see the daily life of Yahweh's high priest. It also gives fascinating insight as to how they did small things like assign the daily chores and then turned around and used the same method to pick a new high priest. This book made me want to go back and re-read the Old Testament accounts of Jezebel and that time period to see if there were items that I missed in previous readings. Ms. Andrews makes everything so real it jumps off the page.
My first thought upon finishing this book was when could I read this again. I thought about the book most of the next day, wondering what little bits of information I might have missed and could pick up on the next go-round.
All-in-all, a masterful tale of how God is God through it all and how His Word does not return empty. What He says will come true. Great story!
Posted March 23, 2014
Intrigue, suspense, murder, friendship, romance and love....what's not to like about a book that appeals on so many levels. Mesu Andrews has done it again. She has created a wonderful story based on Biblical figures and brought them to life. I'm a fan of Christian fiction and a huge Mesu Andrews fan. She weaves an excellent tale and this is no exception. Mesu has the ability to take a Biblical story and bring it to life. Her books are well researched and she paints a vivid picture of what life would have been like in Judah and the Temple in Jerusalem. Her characters are well developed and believable. When you're reading her books you almost feel as if you were standing there next to Jehosheba (Sheba) when Athaliah slaps her! Her pictures of the Temple and Jehoiada make me feel like I lived during that time, not as if I were just a spectator. She skillfully weaves the strands of the story together to pull you in and make you want to me part of the friendship that develops between Sheba, Zibiah and Keilah. You can feel the weight of the breastplate as Nathaniel places it on Jehoiada's shoulders. You know the tension Ahaziah (Hazi) feels as he navigates the politics of the kingdom. I won't spoil the story by telling you too much, just get the book and make sure you have the time to finish it, you won't want to put it down!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2014
I read a lot of non fiction books about religion, so I knew a lot about Jezebel. However I did not expect this book to be about a relative of hers. I was pleasantly surprised. I loved that the women in this story were strong. I was really involved with the Queen and how she ruled her people, and I did not like her at all. I was actually happy when people defied her. Back to Jehosheba, I loved her character. What a great example! She did what she had to do for her loved ones. Being an aunt myself. I am so happy by the ending. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2014
Contrary to what you may assume from a precursory glance at the title, this story is not focused on Jezebel (though she is certainly a player in the grand scheme of things). Rather, this book concentrates on her grand-daughter, Jehosheba. As you may have noticed, it’s got over 400 pages, and each page has a lot of words – definitely full. Despite this, it’s never boring! Mesu managed to absolutely pack this book with Biblically accurate information, events, and people. She brings to life characters and stories that may otherwise seem stuffy – but truly aren’t! The whole book has a realistic feel and a gripping story. I could definitely identify with what Jehosheba felt. It’s absolutely worth reading! I highly recommend it for those of you who love Biblical fiction, or anyone looking for a creative and unique story set in Bible times.
**Revell sent me a free copy of this book for review. I wasn’t required to post positively or paid in any way for this review. All opinions are my own. **
Posted March 17, 2014
The title of this novel alone intrigued me. It warned of danger, hinting of a dark, mysterious story embedded within. And there was, but fortunately the story beneath the beautiful cover also carried an abundance of reassuring hope and strength within the lives of these Biblical characters, some of which you might just be introduced to for the first time. I know I “met” a lot of them for the first time through these pages. Their journey to learn how to trust and love again instantly drew me in.
The author’s depth of research and passion for this story was evident through the book and made me truly care for the characters, even some of the “evil” ones on a page or two. ;) Each one was brought to life in such a way I felt like I was standing in the room with them. My stomach was in nervous knots as I stood with the heroine, Jehosheba, before the evil Queen Jezebel. My heart broke with Yahweh’s high priest, Jehoiada, as he took on the sins of the people during the sacrifice in the Temple. And I celebrated when the Lord gave them strength to stand for the truth against all odds. There is hope amidst the pain and the Lord’s unconditional love for His people is beautifully transparent throughout.
The only thing that really tripped me up while reading was getting familiarized with all the names in the beginning. Fortunately, there is a family tree and and character index at the front to introduce everyone. Without that, I would have been lost for the first half of the book. Many of the names are long and sound so much alike that I struggled at first to remember who was who and had to keep turning back to check. I’m still a little new to Biblical fiction, can you tell? ;)
This story is not exactly what I would call a “light read” where you just pick it up for a chapter or two in the evening to relax. There is a lot of drama amidst the families, politics, temple worship, and kingdoms from this era, so I warn you it is an emotional roller-coaster. However, despite all that, I still enjoyed it and felt like I learned from it.
If you like reading Biblical fiction and getting to know the people behind the names we can barely pronounce, you will enjoy this book. ;) Each chapter is accompanied by an introductory verse from Scripture that helps ground the fictional side with the real, which I loved as well. This was my first time reading one of Mesu Andrews’ stories and I’m definitely going to be checking out her other novels in the future.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers at Revell for my copy.
Posted March 17, 2014
Reading the Old Testament history books can be intimidating. The names are hard to pronounce and the chronological story weaves through several different books and can be difficult to follow. Mesu Andrews has taken those challenges in stride and brought to us a book that breathes life into those obscure characters on the page.
I really enjoy Biblical fiction when it remains accurate to the original account. In The Shadow Of Jezebel is spot on when it comes to accuracy. Each chapter of the book begins with a Scriptural reference to where that portion of the story is told. It was great to be able to follow along in my Bible as I read the fictional account.
Beyond all of the accuracy, it is a wonderful story. I know we always say we couldn't put it down . . . but truly I couldn't. I'm pretty well versed on these stories and so I knew the framework, but being able to see their day-to-day encounters was enthralling.
The story is very character driven. Jezebel has such amazing power over people, even when she isn't the one in the seat of power. She has raised up a daughter, Athaliah, that follows in her footsteps and continues her reign of deadly deception. But as widespread as their terror is, there is an even more powerful overriding theme and that is love.
There are several examples of the love of a man for a woman. There are even some very beautiful and uplifting stories of love between friends. But the love story that pervades everything is the one of Yahweh for His people. Because of this Old Testament account we are privileged to see how His plan for His people unfolds and uses every aspect of the good and the bad to bring about His will and destiny for those who call upon His name.
Jehosheba is the main character of this story and through her journey from the temple of Baal to the temple of Yahweh we get to see just how completely our God can take a life that was destined to be destructive and turn it around to one that brings life to those around her. This is definitely a book that should be on your to read list. It will leave you with a deeper understanding of that period in history where evil women tried to control everyone, but Yahweh had long ago made a promise to David's descendants . . . and He kept it!
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Posted March 16, 2014
Mesu Andrews in her new book, “In The Shadow Of Jezebel” Book Four in the Treasures of His Love series published by Revell Takes us back to Biblical times.
From the Back Cover: In a kingdom controlled by cruel and manipulative women, one princess will discover the power of truth and love.
Trained as a priestess in the temple of Baal, Princess Jehosheba strives to please the demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel. 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 far beyond the realm of earthly governments.
Forced to marry Yahweh’s high priest in order to further Athaliah and Jezebel’s power plays, Jehosheba 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?
With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings the Old Testament to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.
Political intrigue in Biblical times! Say the name Jezebel and everyone will agree she is the most evil person ever. Now we have a story where Jehosheba has to work with and for her. Ms. Andrews gives a spectacular job of showing what life what like in that time period and all the political maneuvering. She also gives us a warm, wonderful picture of life without love and then life with God’s love and protection. In “In The Shadow Of Jezebel” Ms. Andrews has done a superb account of researching many different sources to give us a cast of characters that most of us are probably not aware of.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”
Posted March 15, 2014
Another awesome release from Andrews!
When the opportunity arose to review In the Shadow of Jezebel, I eagerly accepted. I have loved every novel of hers that I have read and this one is no exception. Going into the story, I wasn't sure what to expect. I generally knew from the back cover when the story would be set, however, I was not familiar with Jehosheba or Jehoiada. In my daily Bible study I choose to read Paul's letter over the numerous evil kings of Israel and Judah.
Jehosheba, or Sheba as she is more frequently referred to, is a wonderful character. Andrews evoked my compassion for the poor girl on more than one occasion. Sheba grew up in such a horrible, tense, environment that her change is a testament of the healing God gives, if we seek it. It isn't easy to balance an internal transformation but I think Andrews did excellent. Every hard, raw, moment felt realistic.
Despite his anger issues, Jehoiada was exactly the man Sheba needed and he was certainly the right high priest at the right time. I was/am fascinated with the sheer amount research Andrews has done on this time period. The temple, the palace, all of it jumped off the page and into my imagination. If one thing is certain, it's that Andrews has a talent for writing Biblical fiction.
To wrap up this review, I'll say this: While In the Shadow of Jezebel could not overtake Love in a Broken Vessel as my favorite novel from Andrews, Biblical fiction fans will be pleased and eager for more. I definitely recommend this book to teens/adults. I look forward to her future releases!
I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
Posted March 15, 2014
Raised to fulfill her future roles as high priestess to Baal Melkart and a queen of destiny, Princess Jehosheba learned early to use manipulation, cruelty and fear to gain power and impress Queen Athalia, her father's wife. An invitation from Jezebel, the Queen Mother of Israel, and a letter from the dead prophet, Elijah, begin a whirlwind of events as Jehosheba learns deep family secrets and reluctantly marries Yahweh's high priest. As Jehosheba learns more of Yahweh, she loses faith in Baal Melkart. Under a death sentence should she fail to carry out the plans of the queens of destiny, will Jehosheba overcome her fear and fully trust Yahweh for life, love and a safe future?
I was very impressed by In the Shadow of Jezebel, the first book I've read by Mesu Andrews. From the beginning, the story had my attention and, in spite of one scene that I think had a lapse in tone, my interest in the characters and their stories, never waned. One thing I particularly enjoyed was the story's setting. I haven't read a lot of fictional stories set in this period and the use of unfamiliar words such as “Ima” and “Gevirah” intrigued me. Andrews expertly weaved Biblical events with fictional elements. This book actually made me want to go back and read the correlating Biblical accounts. I can not say enough good things about this book and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
Posted March 14, 2014
IN THE SHADOW OF JEZEBEL by Mesu Andrews is an wonderful Inspirational Historical Romance (Biblical Fiction). #4 in the "Treasures of His Love" series, but can be read as a stand alone. See, "Love Amid the Ashes", "Love's Sacred Song", and " Love in a Broken Vessel".
This is the tale of Princess Jehosheba, who was forced to marry a Yahweh's high priest by her Queen, Queen Athaliah,daughter of Jezebel.
If you enjoy seeing Biblical characters come to life, though the pages of a book, then you are in for a real treat. With her usual aplomb for telling the Bible though story,the use of scripture, and historical facts, Ms. Andrews has once again written a tale of unconditional love, sacrifice, and faith.
You will feel the characters struggles, their faith, see their customs, history and the culture of an era gone by long ago. She has captured the spirit of those from ancient times. A must read for anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction and romance. Received an advance copy.
*Available March 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Posted March 12, 2014
Highly acclaimed Biblical fiction author Mesu Andrews brings readers her latest book, In the Shadow of Jezebel. A combination of history, fiction and Biblical accounts combine to create this story about a princess who defied the odds and finds true unconditional love. Andrews is able to project feelings and emotion into little known Biblical characters and bring them to life. With astounding research this novel broaches, political, cultural and historical aspects of Biblical times and gives the reader and authentic and real experience as they read. An amazing new book from a well respected author.
What I liked:
Mesu Andrews is an author that I have watched for a long time. I have had the opportunity to review some of her books and I think it is safe to say that she is one of my favorites in Biblical fiction. In case some of you are wondering what Biblical fiction means, it is basically where an author takes the Biblical account of a story or person and uses fiction to enhance the story. It brings the characters to life or continues the story as it may have happened. It is important to remember that this is fiction. The author isn't trying to add to, or take away from the Biblical account, it is just the author's interpretation of what if. Andrews is a master at it.
Princess Jehosheba's story is one that is often overlooked in the Bible, even though she had a great contribution to the history of the people of Judah. When Jezebel's daughter, Athaliah was on the throne she was determined to kill all of the sons of the royal household in order to establish her place on the throne and keep herself in power. Jehosheba is the woman who hid Joash and his nurse from the queen for several years before he assumed the throne.
Very little is really known about this remarkable woman, but Mesu Andrews has taken her and made her into an amazing character. She is serving in Baal's temple when she is married off to one of the high priests in order to appease Athaliah. Then from her husband she learns of Yahweh and his love. It is just a remarkable 'what if' tale about a young woman who was a priestess to idols who learned the love of the one true God. I thought Andrews did such a fantastic job with this one.
Andrews has a gift for bringing characters to life. Readers learn a lot about the history through the real life historical characters of the book and they learn a lot about life in Bible times and the culture of the people and their every day life from the fictional secondary characters. I don't know about you, but I have often read the Biblical accounts of people from the Bible and wondered about them. How did they get from point A to point B, what made them they way they were and I think Andrews really satisfies that part of me as a reader who wanted to know more about these amazing people.
What I didn't like:
I liked everything about this one. Jehosheba is a woman who lives in under a tyrannical queen, yet she finds a way to save her nephew the future king of Judah.
If you enjoy Biblical fiction or think you might, this is the author to try. Mesu Andrews has a real handle on this kind of writing. She is very descriptive and readers will almost feel like they are a part of the story, everything is so vivid and realistic. I loved it!
Posted March 11, 2014
I LOVE it when I read a book and find myself thinking of the characters even when I’m not reading the book. And that is just one of the aspects that makes this book phenomenal. You will fall for the characters within pages! Mesu sure has a way of winning your heart for the heroine and making you loathe the villain. I also love the way this book relays precious truths from the Bible, convicting my heart, calling me out of shadows. This is not a Bible story that most people know, and you will find yourself going to the Bible to see what really happened and who the characters really are. This novel will spark a great interest in a part of the Bible you may not have previously been familiar with. I love how Mesu brings so much color to the Old Testament without stretching it into the unbelievable range. She is an artist! This book, along with all of Mesu Andrews other books are Must reads if you like Biblical fiction of even if you’ve never read Biblical fiction, but want to give it a try. If you like a book you can’t put down you MUST read Mesu’s In The Shadow of Jezebel, it will have you up all night!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2014
The story of a wicked queen and her wicked daughter, Athaliah. Athaliah adopts a daughter from one of her husbands other wives , who she may have killed . Ruthless like her mother jezebel, athaliah wants to kill the line of David. Jehosheba can stop her, but will she ? Another five star biblical modernizated tale straight out of the Bible.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2014
What's most interesting about this book is that it's not just another story chronicling the life of Jezebel. Rather, it's a story of those whom Jezebel influences and affects during her life. We meet Athaliah and her daughter (not blood-related) Jehosheba. As power struggles shift and slide for who is king and who is queen, political intrigues intensifies. Then factor in the conflict of which God will emerge the strongest in an epic Israeli-pagan duel of spiritual proportions. Athaliah and Jehosheba and Jezebel worship Baal. In an effort to show diplomacy between the pagans and the Jews, Jezebel proposes that Sheba marries the Jewish Temple high priest. As the marriages progresses, Sheba learns to love and wrestles between which divinity she will devote herself to. Other characters enter the story, and their personal lives emerge as well. I will not divulge those details but will say they add an extra dimension of interest to the story. Helpful in this book is a list of character names and descriptions, a family tree diagram of important characters, and a historical note in the back for where the basis of the story came from. All I can say is this: prepare for drama.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2014
This is my first book that I have read by Mesu and wow! She totally blew me away in the power of the message, character development, and just really everything!
The characters are definitely flawed and very emotional (well not all of them since some seem the opposite)! They were so real to me in the pain and joy they experienced that many times I felt my heart was breaking for them! I was so glad that Mesu did have some comic relief at times because there were some really deep situations/discussions! One moment I was rejoicing in the birth of true love and the power of discovering the truth of Yahweh! Then I would be on the verge of crying buckets of tears due to the emotional battle and pain!
My favorite thing about In the Shadow of Jezebel is the amazing history weaved into the story! I'll admit that I'm not a Biblical fiction fan, but Mesu did a beautiful job in bringing the Old Testament to life! I learned so much about the way of life in the palace and Temple! It was a double bonus to not only learn such interesting information, but also be inspired in seeing how great God's love is for us! In the end THAT is truly all that matters as Jehosehba's sees "Love realized."
I recommend this powerful novel to anyone who loves Biblical fiction that will not only leave your heart filled with joy in knowing that God loves us so much, but inspired to love Him back to the fullest! I give In the Shadow of Jezebel 4 out of 5 stars!
*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review by the author! I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts expressed are my own! *
Posted March 10, 2014
In The Shadow of Jezebel brings life to an Old Testament story I'd breezed over. Mesu Andrews has a gift for story telling that accentuates what is already there by engaging the imagination. She paints beautiful, detailed pictures of Biblical lives and times that make me want to dig into the Old Testament Scriptures and remind me of the beauty and wonder that is within.
I am always impressed by the extensive research Mesu obviously does for each book. I've read all of her books voraciously cover to cover. In the Shadow of Jezebel is no different. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and once I did I could not put it down.
We all need to be reminded how much God loves us and how He gently pursues us. We need to remember the strength we have in and through Him to be people of destiny, to change the landscape of the world we live in. We need to remember that our past doesn't define us, God's grace does.