The Old Testament book of Daniel comes to life in this novel for readers of Lynn Austin's Chronicles of the Kings series or Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series.
Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she'd perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar's court. Now, as Daniel's wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she's safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear--until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar's palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili's tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?
Ultimately, Yahweh's sovereign hand guides Jerusalem's captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mesu Andrews is the Christy Award winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter and has received numerous accolades for her other novels including Love Amid the Ashes, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Miriam. Her deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Many of her faithful readers are members of her launch team—Mesu’s Biblical Fiction Fans (BFFs)—and offer their time and service to promote God’s word through story. Andrews lives in North Carolina with her husband Roy and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren. For more information, visit www.mesuandrews.com.
Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mesu Andrews states that her biblical fiction is a mixture of true biblical accounts and historical facts added to her own fictional details and this is very evident in Of Fire and Lions. Daniel and Abigail/Belili are her two main characters and he is Daniel of the Old Testament, the man who survived the fiery furnace and also escaped from the lion's den. Andrews chooses to give him a wife and Abigail/Belili is fictional but oh, what a life she is given! She is a young Hebrew girl who becomes a servant to Daniel and his three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and Abigail soon develops a special connection with Daniel. Through a series of events, they are separated, her name is changed to Belili, and she eventually becomes a high priestess of Mithra. This fictional storyline has both of them marrying other people but Belili always considers Daniel as her true love and it is in later years that they are reunited after the deaths of their spouses. Belili's life certainly isn't easy and she is harshly judged by her own children but she eventually does find her own faith and she completely understands the importance of Daniel's remaining steadfast in his!
This book is rich in Old Testament history and it is apparent that Mesu Andrews has devoted much time to the study of the book of Daniel. I have grown up hearing the stories of the fiery furnace and the lion's den but the latter event actually occured when Daniel was a very old man and I never realized this. Andrews is an author who teaches as she entertains and reading this book set in Babylon during sixth-century BC prompted me to go back and study the twelve chapters of Daniel to fully understand the importance of his life. Of Fire and Lions also has Author's Notes and a Reader's Guide in the back and I found them very helpful in reading this story.
Of Fire and Lions is a story of faith, trust and true commitment to God and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys biblical history and inspirational fiction.
I was given the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy from the WaterBrook/Multnomah book review program and I am sharing my thoughts in this review.
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