Title: Of Fire and Lions
Author: Mesu Andrews
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Format I read: ARC Paperback, 400 pgs
About the Book:
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.
Mesu Andrews has penned the next MUST-READ in Biblical fiction! Throughout the pages she has managed to make the stories of Daniel, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego come to life through impeccable prose. I was quickly enraptured in the story and held captive until the very last page.
The story is told through the eyes of Belili, Daniel’s wife. Her life, along with the four men, is a long and often heartbreaking journey full of uncontrollable events and impossible decisions. Considering the characters are young children violently taken from their homeland in the beginning of the story, you see how their faith grows despite the heavy opposition that they are met with from others in power around them. There was a unique quality of vulnerability and raw honesty in this story that forever ties your heart to their plight.
One thing that is clearly visible throughout this piece is the amount of research that went into understanding not only the setting itself, but the customs of the time for multiple heritages. It’s easy to see that a lot of time and development went into this so that the author was able to maintain Biblical accuracy while creating a setting that the reader would feel as if they are standing in themselves.
This is a story I would clearly label as a must-read and I’m adding to my favorites pile. I love a story that can make the pages of the Bible come to life in respectful prose. This was a story that will stay with me and I’m sure you’ll feel the same!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.