Sunday, June 2, 2013

Reign Review

Reign: The Chronicles Of Queen Jezebel (Lost Loves of the Bible #3)Reign: The Chronicles Of Queen Jezebel 

Beyond the Drama, Her Heart Was Real
From the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel’s exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks down walls. Torn from her homeland and wed to power in a strange country, Jezebel vows to create a legacy and power all her own. Some might call her a manipulative schemer, bent on having her way. But they don’t know the whole story, and she was much, much worse. As she moves through the halls of power, her heart struggles between devotion to the gods she worships, the prince who loves her, and her thirst for revenge. She sparks a battle between her strangely powerless gods and the God of palace administrator Obadiah—a God who confronts her with surprising might. She will fight, though victory may cost her everything.

My Review: 8/10

I read this not being previously familiar with Jezebel’s story. All I could recall was that Jezebel = bad. I mean, even her name is a derogatory word these days. So I wasn’t sure which direction this book would take.

I read a couple of reviews before starting because I hadn't realized at first that this was one in a series, and wasn't sure if I'd be able to read it without having first read the previous two. If you're in the same boat, don't worry, this book stands alone. The reviews disheartened me because I am a very empathetic and sensitive person when it comes to violence. But I trudged on. The author wastes no time diving right into the sin, cruelty and perversion. I didn’t think it was as graphic as others thought. Though painful to read, particularly because these things are not just fiction, they happened, it was bearable.

I quickly came to understand Elijah’s sorrow. After his curse, I had a horrible sense of foreboding: This was going to get a whole lot worse. I could see things unraveling. How could Ahab not? How could he not be more affected, more nervous, more driven to set things right? And not just for himself, he was bringing this upon his people as well. I guess it’s in our human nature to want to hope things work out okay even when we’re making destructive decisions. We have the completed Bible, so we know when there’s no hope for a situation. Although, they had prophets, so they knew it too. I guess it just comes down to faith. And as Ahab says, he was born without Hebrew blood, without religion. He even states early on that, “whether or not they are real, the gods are for us,” showing that he had no faith.

This was the low point for me. I knew enough that I knew Jezebel’s story would not end well, and if this was the beginning… well I braced myself for further pain and suffering. It did get better though. I wanted to root for Ahab and of course would wish that Jezebel and her people would turn from evil and know God. But though I could not know that relief, I was able to rejoice for Elijah and the nation of Israel regaining their sanity.

Bottom line, I would recommend this book. I expected to learn a little more about Jezebel and Ahab, and the people of that time, possibly even a little bit about human nature and how their failings are ones that are still relevant to us today. And yes, I did glean all of that, but what I took away from this book was a better understanding of my Father. I got a glimpse of the pain and frustration and rage over the events that took place, but also the mercy and love.

On side note, the only complaint about the writing that I had was that the dates jumped around too casually. I think the author intending it this way to give the passage of time a feel of melting away, but it had the opposite affect on me, as I had to stop every time I noticed and get my bearings and try to figure out where all the characters were and what was going on. And I appreciated the few facts at the end of the book- simply unthinkable!

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