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Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1)

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4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  5,382 ratings  ·  526 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...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 1995)
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Catherine
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...more
Ruth
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
Karen
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
Jon
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...more
Sarahanne
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...more
Mandi
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
Leann
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...more
MAP
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...more
Retha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret Metz
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...more
Sheila
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
georgianne
Jul 01, 2012 georgianne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to georgianne by: Mia
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this historical fiction look at Hezekiah, King Ahaz, Zechariah, & Isaiah.
Laura
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...more
Kathy
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
Cari
I had just finished reading Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament, so when I came across this book in my Kindle, I decided it would be the perfect time to read it - while King Hezekiah's story was fresh in my mind.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this retelling! I couldn't put it down. It is perhaps my favourite retelling of a bible 'story'. I didn't know quite what to expect, but I am happy to say that the book remained true to Scripture. Of course Austin added in a lot of story around the main one...more
Regina
"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...more
JoAnn   W.
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...more
Wendy
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...more
Amanda Casper
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
Cherlyn
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
Angela
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.
Sandy Snavely
God's and Kings is Biblical fiction that is not really fiction at all, but a walk through the worst of what God's people are capable of when their hearts are consumed by fear and lust and power. Lynn Austin visits the places where children were sacrificed to gods created by men with and inspired by evil. She takes you to the heart of foolish kings, wayward priests, and women who are desperate to save their children. In this journey you find the long arm of God's patience and the short path to fo...more
Brenda
Wow! This book brought the boring Old Testament books to life! At first, that was not such a good thing...I will never again casually skim over a passage in the Bible that says, "they sacrificed their children to idols." I almost didn't want to continue after the first chapter, but I'm glad I did! Not only did this book bring the story to life, it also encouraged me to read my Bible! Any book that does that deserves 5 stars! Can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Carinne Gee
I would probably add another 1/2 star. I didn't think the writting was very good. I wanted to know more about the characters thoughts, emotions, etc. I wanted to know more about what drove their actions. She wasn't very descriptive. The dialogue really bothered me. It was choppy and it was written in more modern language. She even used modern day slang in some parts. It was distracting. I wish she'd used more old style language...or at least attempted it. I also felt at times that the book was w...more
Jeanie
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.
Tracey Madeley
I have never read a biblical fiction before and it was different and did appear well researched, but unfortunately I didn’t find it very interesting. I think it was a little too factual and not enough emotional detail to make a firm connection with the characters. Why did the priest turn away from God so easily, was it just power? How was he corrupted? Was there something in his past that made him susceptible to the corrupting influence of the court?

Hezekiah is more understandable as a character...more
Sarah
Wow, I never thought that a little electronic device would have me reading Christian historical fiction, but the lure of the free Kindle book was too great. Actually pretty good and a quick read. My biggest complaint is that the inner dialogue of the characters seemed much too Western.
GenieD
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.
Carrie Dezutter
I got hooked on the series while on vacation.
Elizabeth
Jan 31, 2011 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Amber
Shelves: fiction, adult
Hmmm. High marks for getting me interested in the story of Hezekiah (and for consolidating/synthesizing the accounts from various books! I definitely feel like I have a better understanding of Isaiah now). But kind of soap-opera-y overall.
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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...
Candle in the Darkness (Refiner's Fire, #1) Fire by Night (Refiner's Fire, #2) While We're Far Apart Song of Redemption (Chronicles of the Kings, #2) A Proper Pursuit

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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.” 9 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--"
"Nine."
"Have you done this before?"
Hezekiah thought the question was ridiculous. "I've eaten figs lots of times.”
7 likes
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