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Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1)

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,883 Ratings  ·  648 Reviews
Though born the second son of King Ahaz, Hezekiah is not protected from his father's perverted attempts to gain the favor of the idol Molech. Terrified and powerless at the foot of Molech's altar, Hezekiah encounters for the first time the one true God of his royal ancestry, Yahweh.

But his journey to the Holy One is riddled by influence from an assortment of men: Zecharia
Paperback, 317 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 1995)
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Jun 24, 2011 Catherine rated it it was ok
I read this book because I was offered a free copy and because a friend recommended it to me.

On the plus side, I agree with my friend that the author writes with more complexity than the marketing for her books would lead one to believe (if such a thing can be determined from reading one book). And I found the plot to be compelling enough that I was eager to get back to the book when I had to put it down.

However, the dialogue was wooden and the characters were two dimensional at best. But my m
Feb 06, 2009 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Hezekiah, prince of Judah, lives in a kingdom under siege from hostile forces within and without. His father, King Ahaz, has abandoned the worship of Yahweh and led his nation into idolatry. Gods & Kings chronicles Hezekiah's coming of age, detailing his turbulent childhood when he saw his father sacrifice his older brother Eliab to the pagan god Molech. Overwhelmed by fear, Hezekiah first encounters the life-changing touch of God through the love and teaching of his grandfather, Zechariah, ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this book. It is interesting because it tells the same story that is repeated in the scriptures - good king dies, bad king takes over, he is slothful, arrogant, brutal, evil, most of the kingdom is sinful and won't repent, prophets who call them to repentance are beaten, then one of his sons will take over and be a good king and get the nation back to worshipping God (Yahweh in this book) instead of pagan idols. I really like it because of the same lessons taught as the scriptures, but th ...more
2.5 stars (maybe)

Dialog (including internal) way too modern voiced and jarring to the ancient setting. While reading, I did not envision an ancient setting such as Jerusalem at the time of the Assyrian Empire should have evoked in my mind. I also felt the portrayal of everyday life and the traditional major life events and ceremonies were poorly researched and related. Too much cardboard melodrama and predictable snapshot scenes. I'm thankful this novel was so short. I will not continue reading
This book is more of a 2.5 star book for me because there were parts I liked and parts I really didn't.

The first three books of the series Chronicles of the Kings tells the story of Hezekiah, a king of Judah, who's story is found in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Isaiah.

The only thing I could remember about Hezekiah before reading this book was that he was a decent king who was granted 15 more years to live by God after he asked not to die, and that in that time period he gave birth to an heir who
Apr 20, 2016 Sarahanne rated it it was ok
There was much about this book that I needed to just read past. I tried to imagine that this was a story pulled from an ancient text that WASN'T a text I've read and studied and that WASN'T a thread in the dominant religion in our current society. Both of those were tricky to pretend away and, at moments, I wanted to set the book aside for theological or social reasons.

If you set aside suspicions (founded or not) about the agenda behind this book, the story itself is interesting and well told. I
May 16, 2013 Mandi rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I am now on the third book of this series and am really enjoying the whole series! Though these are centered around the life of King Hezekiah, I am learning so much about the history of this time period that I have a whole new perspective on other stories from the Old Testament. I now completely understand Jonah and why he ran away when God told him to go to Nineveh. Those Assyrians were so incredibly brutal, heartless and had no mercy for anyone, not even babies! Anyways, this is a really fanta ...more
Jul 31, 2011 GenieD rated it liked it
Just finished Gods and Kings, Christian fiction based on the book of Chronicles about King Hezekiah. I liked her message, but it was written more "modern" than I liked. Her characters were missing too much of the ancient philosophies and customary attitudes of the time.
Sep 17, 2015 Staci rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Gods and Kings is the first of a Biblical Fiction series. Its focus is King Hezekiah from the time he was a young boy to when his reign begins at age 25.

While I very much enjoyed all the history, I was not fully engaged in the story. Overall,it was a good novel and one I'd recommend to readers who enjoy Biblical Fiction. I do plan to continue reading the series.
Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to begin...

Ok, so I don't tend to like reading novels about the New Testament because it can easily veer into a twee land of sticky sweetness and light and ugh shake it off shake it off. The OLD Testament however, is full of politics and war and SEX and death it's like a George RR Martin novel YAY!

Haha, except for when it's in the hands of a Christian fiction writer.

So the book is the first of a series following the Judean king Hezekiah, and it's more ham
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret Metz
Jul 15, 2011 Margaret Metz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Lynn Austin has become one of my favorite authors of historical fiction and this title didn't let me down. One of the best things about good Biblical fiction is that the stories and people come alive for you - and become ... more personal and easy to relate to.

Every character in Gods & Kings felt real to me. Whether I was weeping with Abijah over her lost child, cringing with young Hezekiah as he was drug to the sacrifices to Molech, feeling the loss and anger of Zechariah as he saw the tem
Sep 13, 2015 Jerry rated it really liked it
A Quickie Review

Lynn Austin brings the old story from the books of Kings to life. With lots of emotion and plenty of historical detail, you've likely never seen Hezekiah and Ahaz portrayed like this before. Fans of Biblical historical fiction will definitely like this.

Score: 4/5
I really enjoyed this biblical historical novel. The time period and events detailed in this book had only been names from the Old Testament to me, and I never really knew the story of their names. This book does an excellent job of bringing to life King Hezekiah, his father King Ahaz, his maternal grandfather Zechariah, and the Prophets Isaiah and Micah. These names from the Bible are now fully fleshed people to me, and I can now picture the time they lived in, the idol worshiping that occurred ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Kathryn rated it really liked it
This was the Biblical story of Hezekiah, fleshed out into fiction. I haven’t read the story of Hezekiah through very often, but it was interesting to read a fictionalised account of it - and to tie in various Biblical characters that I hadn’t realised were around at the same time (Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah).

This is the first in a series, and I am looking forward to reading Song of Redemption.
I love historical fiction that can place you in the setting with the sights, sounds, and culture of that day. Now when I read of Hezikiah in the Old Testament, I will have a better appreciation than I did before because of this account. You can easily see how the Jews left God and why and how terrible Kings of that day were. They really set the tone for their kingdom. Even in our world today, we can learn from the past and put our trust in God.
This is the second book by Austin I read. This is not my favourite genre (suspense) but I really enjoyed this book.

What I love about Biblical Fiction is that it break opens the Bible in different ways and you click events better than when reading the Bible. For example, how many times did I read the part in Kings where they said that King Ahaz offered his first born son, but only after reading the first chapter of the book I actually realized what that meant! Another thing that I love about Bibl
Jul 01, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anne by: Mia
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this historical fiction look at Hezekiah, King Ahaz, Zechariah, & Isaiah.
Gods and Kings This book was picked as part of a book group read that I'm in, and I doubt I would have read it if it hadn't been. This is one of the first books I picked up for my Kindle, and it has languished in my TBR pile for over 4 years now. It is a fictional retelling of the events of the book of Chronicles from the Bible, and while I normally enjoy Biblical Retellings, this one didn't impress me much. I found the book slow to go through, and difficult to follow, as if it was written for a ...more
Apr 07, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Summary from Amazon: Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country.

My Thoughts: I first
Jan 17, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it
Gods and Kings is the first book in the biblical fiction series Chronicles of the King written by Lynn Austin. The novel begins in the early years of Judah's King Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:1 "Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king… unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”) and ends with the coronation of King Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:1-3 "Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Regina rated it it was amazing
"Gods and Kings" WOW, What an Awesome, awesome read! I was held captive from the beginning and this book did NOT disappoint! The story of King Ahaz, Zechariah, and King Hezekiah told in a way that is believable, heart wrenching, captivating, and all consuming! I did not want to put this book down. I guess it helps that the story is a fictionalized adaptation of a period in the bible. I can very much see the story going the way this book was written.
When the bible said, "Hezekiah was twenty-five
JoAnn   W.
Apr 06, 2013 JoAnn W. rated it liked it
The story held my attention and was not boring. I didn't find the writing to have much literary merit, and it reminded me of a PG version of some of my old Sunday School magazine stories. I found some of the characters wooden and pretty much two-dimensional. Some of the scenes seemed contrived.

The author did educate about the reign of the horrible King Ahaz. All the events she described accurately follow the Old Testament accounts of his reign, including the child sacrifice, his subjugation to A
Jul 04, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing
This is the first historical biblical fiction book that I have read and I loved it. So much so that I had to get the next four books in the series and read all of them in just a few days.

The book begins in a time when children were sacrificed to the gods. Hezekiah's father wanted favor from those gods and was willing to sacrifice his children in order to receive it. To see this from a child's point of view and know that it was a part of history was heartbreaking. The story goes on to share how H
Amanda Casper
Nov 19, 2012 Amanda Casper rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. How it was written and what it was about. In terms of how long it usually takes me to finish books... I finished this one pretty quickly. I love that this book is fiction based on truth... emphasis on truth. It really brought circumstances in the bible to life. I really feel like I know the story of King Hezekiah now. (this book is based on things from 2 chronicles and 2 kings) I cant wait to read these books in the bible now. Hezekiah went through some ruff stuff as a ...more
Cathy Sumler
Jan 24, 2015 Cathy Sumler rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Lynn Austin is a great storyteller. I love how she weaves biblical truth into the fictional story where it leaves you wanting more and leads the reader back to the Bible. I was convicted throughout the book about keeping idols, not just material items, but with our thoughts, actions and words. My favorite lines of the book hit home for me. "Belief in Yahweh doesn't come with your mind. It comes from the heart. When you believe in things you can see with your eyes and touch with y ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Dana rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dana by: Christian Fiction Devourers September Book of the Month
I really really like the retelling of the biblical story about King Ahaz and Hezekiah. It made it come to life and put you there in the moment. I kept wanting to refer to scripture which in some instances I did. It really really put things in perspective for me and helped me to understand those stories more thoroughly. This book made me get teary-eyed in some points and all out sobbed in another. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that would like to read biblical fiction or to be r ...more
Apr 05, 2011 Cherlyn rated it it was ok
I did like this book, although I'm not overly compelled to continue with the series, probably because I have several other bookclub reads on my Spring list. I don't know how many more books are in the series. It is an easy read and a good fictional way to bring the stories from the Old Testament to life. Our bookclub found some discrepencies between the Old Testament story and the one Lynn Austin writes. But after some research discovered it reflect more the NIV Bible, not the King James version ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it
While I don't usually go for this type of book due to the danger of confusing what the Bible says with the ideas of an author of what might have been...I did enjoy the first few books in this series. It gave an interesting idea of what daily life may have been like in King Hezekiah's time. I STRONGLY recommend reading the scripture passages often when reading these so as to have a proper view of what the Bible teaches. Otherwise, I found these books to be quite interesting and very readable.
Aug 19, 2010 Mesu rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I've read this book, and I enjoyed it just as much on the second reading. Lynn Austin's characters come to life and lift God's Word off the page and into my heart. Her detailed descriptions and extensive research make the various components of her story hum with tension. She explains Israel's penchant toward idolatry in a plausible way and expresses the invisible God's jealousy with awe and reverence. Masterfully written with a tender heart of worship.
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For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later ...more
More about Lynn Austin...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of the Kings (5 books)
  • Song of Redemption (Chronicles of the Kings, #2)
  • The Strength of His Hand (Chronicles of the Kings, #3)
  • Faith of My Fathers (Chronicles of the Kings, #4)
  • Among the Gods (Chronicles of the Kings, #5)

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“Don't be fooled by strength you can see," he said at last. "Yahweh often hides His power in the simple things, the weak things, and so His strength seems foolish in man's eyes.” 15 likes
“Shebna scraped the tablet clean and began drawing circles in the soft clay. "Suppose you had six figs and you ate two. How many would--"
"Four." Hezekiah answered before Shebna finished, and the tutor's thick black eyebrows rose in surprise.
"And suppose I had five figs. How many would we--"
"Have you done this before?"
Hezekiah thought the question was ridiculous. "I've eaten figs lots of times.”
More quotes…