Title: Isaiah’s Legacy (Prophets and Kings #3)
Author: Mesu Andrews
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Publishing Date: Feb 18, 2020
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Length: 400 Pages
About the Book:
The drama of the Old Testament comes to life as Judah’s most notorious king ascends to the throne in this gripping novel from the award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter .
At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle’s help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah’s five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she’s eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father’s strict adherence to Yahweh’s Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.
Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh’s chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah’s throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria’s crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle’s long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she’d never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh’s mother: Isaiah’s daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah’s dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord’s promise, “Though we’re helpless now, we’re never hopeless–because we serve El Shaddai.” Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah’s legacy.
Oh goodness, I’ve found another one that I’m not sure I have the words to do it justice. After devouring the prequel to this story Isaiah’s Daughter, I simply couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. It took my emotions on a rollercoaster ride I couldn’t have prepared for. Unlike his father Hezekiah, Manasseh worshiped many false gods instead of the one and only Yahweh.
God allowed a lot of evil during Nasseh’s reign. It’s easy to look at the circumstances and wish that God would have smote him and put an end to it all. It would have prevented a whole lot of bloodshed. Yet you also see (just as He does with us), that God doesn’t force a relationship. He allows a lot of evil and he allows Nasseh to fall flat on his face. He allowed the circumstances that would draw him to Himself. No one’s heart is beyond God’s ability to capture.
It was a unique viewpoint to see Nasseh as someone with what we would label today as “High Functioning Autism. As the Andrews states in her author’s note, she took some creative license with this since she had to develop a character that we could put up with for 400 pages. It was an interesting twist and certainly complicated the reader’s emotions towards him. As much as you hate him, you see how clueless and broken he is. I found myself wishing the influences around him would change so that he could be led to the truth instead of further manipulated by lies.
I liked that Shulle’s character was complicated as well. Like Nasseh, she’d been led astray by powerful influences in her life and had been used and manipulated by people with their own agendas. No matter how hard she tried to find ways to protect herself, she always seemed to end up hurt. She was searching for love but was often fueled by anger. It took the right people in her life to love her and lead her to the only one who could heal her heart.
As with the author’s other biblical fiction pieces, her respect and devotion to God’s Word is unmistakable. Relevant passages were added before chapters and interwoven into the narrative. In the end, Andrews shares some of her fact & fiction with the readers, along with encouraging them to reread the passages of scripture that related to the story. I appreciate when the authors add this because it truly enriches the story for me.
This was another absolute must-read in biblical fiction. I honestly don’t think I can recommend it enough. I would suggest reading Isaiah’s Daughter first since it gives a lot of the backstory to Nasseh’s family (and is another amazing read). I can’t wait to see what Mesu Andrews comes up with next!
* I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Press. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.