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.
MESU ANDREWS is the Christy Award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter whose deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Andrews lives in North Carolina with her husband Roy. She stays connected with readers through newsie emails, fun blog posts, and frequent short stories. For more information, visitMesuAndrews.com.
Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell, 2011, the story of Job) won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author. Love’s Sacred Song (Revell, 2012) relates the poetic Song of Solomon in story form, and Love in a Broken Vessel(Revell, 2013) sets the story of Hosea and Gomer in biblical Israel. In the Shadow of Jezebel (Revell, 2014) displays God's sovereignty over Jezebel's daughter, Queen Athaliah. The Pharaoh's Daughter (Waterbrook/Multnomah, 2015), unveils Moses' early years, and Miriam (2016) introduces Yahweh's prophetess during the ten plagues and the Exodus. Isaiah’s Daughter (Waterbrook/Multnomah, 2018) introduces readers to the prophet Isaiah's captivating daughter, and its sequel, Isaiah's Legacy (Waterbrook/Multnomah, 2020) , provides the redemptive end to her life and her son Manasseh's reign. To follow Yahweh's progression toward the Messiah, By the Waters of Babylon (August 2018) continues the story of the prophets and kings through the exile, and Of Fire and Lions (Waterbrook/Multnomah 2019) tells Daniel's compelling story. And The Reluctant Rival: Leah's Story tells of Leah, Jacob's neglected wife, and how God used her to change the course of history. And when Joseph's brothers sell him into a life of slavery in Egypt, Jacob's favorite son encounters one of the Bible's most infamous bad girls in, Potiphar's Wife (Waterbrook/Multnomah 2022).
I am convinced that Mesu Andrews cannot write a bad book. Every book I have read of hers have blown me away, and this book was no exception. She has a way of drawing me into the story right away and making me feel like I am in the story.
I adored Isaiah's Daughter, it was actually the first book I read by Mesu Andrews, and it made me go on a reading spree of her books. I was so excited when I learned there was sequel of that book. I was hooked from the first page and she left me wanting more! I could not put this book down. I kept sneaking pages every time I had a few spare minutes.
Andrews never fails to bring me a deeper understanding of the portion of the Bible she is representing. After reading this book, and all her other books, I went back and reread this portion of the Bible, and I found myself reading it with a different perspective than I ever had.
I couldn't recommend this book any higher. If you enjoy Biblical Fiction or haven't had the opportunity to read any yet, do yourself a favor and read this book!!
This was my first read of 2020, and it completely blew me away. Isaiah's Legacy is a story of redemption. It is a story of brokenness and evil beyond belief, and the God whose love, compassion, and power changed everything.
This story meant so much to me for a variety of different reasons. I think we all have that person in our lives that for one reason or another turns away from us. Refuses to accept love. And at times it's tempting to give up. To forget that God promised to fight for us. To do impossible things.
And this story reminded me to hope. To have faith and believe in the goodness of the Lord and trust that all His promises are true. And not ONE will ever return void.
With beautiful storytelling, a stunningly unique perspective, and characters that I absolutely adored, Mesu Andrews crafted a story that absolutely broke my heart. And encouraged my soul.
As with all of her novels, through rich details and historical nuggets (which admittedly catch me off guard sometimes), Mesu Andrews took a story that I already loved and made me THINK about it. Made me wonder...what if? But the most important thing it did was drive me back to the Source. To learn more of His great love and compassion that does not fail.
FIVE STARS for my first read of the year. A breath-taking, gorgeous look at what might have been...
NOTE: I received a copy of this book for FREE from @waterbrookmultnomah! #partner, and a positive review was not required.
--Please bear in mind as you read this story (and I hope you will!) that it is Biblical FICTION. I hope you will turn back to the Source, and find the Truth that lies with Him alone.--
This is my first read by Mesu Andrews and I can see why her books are rated so highly after reading this one. Very well written and it's obvious the author did a lot of research to bring us this book. The Old Testament comes alive on these pages . She brings the biblical times to life and with her descriptiveness you can imagine how it was back then. I enjoyed reading the scripture incorporated within the story. Biblical fiction at it's finest, couldn't read this fast enough and look forward to the author's next book.
Published February 18th 2020 by Waterbrook Press I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
Thank you WaterBrook & Multnomah for an advanced copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Isaiah's Legacy A Novel Of Prophets And Kings #3 By: Mesu Andrews
Admittedly, my biblical knowledge is limited. Isaiah 's Legacy is the story of the cruelest king in the history of Judah, Manasseh. This story is much darker than I anticipated, but of course, I didn't know much about this era in the first place. Although fictional, the story is very informative, and I learned a lot from reading this. Manasseh, by all accounts, seemed to be a highly functioning autistic person. His childhood friend and, later his wife, Shulle, is placed with him at a young age because she understands how to handle his behavior. As they grow older, Shulle is persuaded to embrace darker arts, rather than the god her father worshipped. Eventually, Manasseh is drawn into the darkness as well. His was a reign of terror, blood, tragedy, darkness and fear. It seems like Manasseh and Shulle were young and easily manipulated by the devious power hungry adults around them. What if a positive influence had been present at a young age? Would Manasseh have been different? After the abhorrent deeds he committed, I was truly astonished and amazed that Manasseh, and Shulle, were redeemed. The author obviously meticulously crafted and researched this story, weaving biblical history with fictional elements, to create an account that is almost hard to believe, but I do believe it. At once contradictory, there is inspiration and despair, joy and sorrow, within these pages. It's an emotionally disturbing story that requires space and time to absorb the impactful idea that no one is ever too far gone beyond salvation. That is the message I take from this astounding book -there is always hope for redemption. I hope it speaks to you as well.
In Isaiah’s Legacy we pick up the story after Isaiah’s Daughter ended, within the last 15 years of Hezekia’s reign. We meet some old characters again, but don‘t worry, if you haven’t read the first book this can very well be read as a standalone, all the important information is included (for people who have read the first book like me it’s also very nice to have a little refreshment on who’s who again lol!). We follow Shulle, a young girl who starts as devout Jew, but is manipulated and blackmailed to follow darker roads. She is placed strategically with Manasseh by her uncle, because she has experience with the specific troubles Manasseh is having as a high functioning autist (this is not named in the book as that would be historically incorrect of course, but it is clear and it is mentioned in the Author’s Note). We follow both of them through the years, and while this is ultimately a story of redemption, the road they both take is very troubling, as you can expect when Manasseh is described as the most evil kings of them all.
I have to admit, at first I did have trouble with Manasseh being autistic. The representation in the media is already problematic, as many movie villains are portrayed as autists, which in the end might create a very negative view on autism, like we are emotionless robots. Therefore, when I found out about it, I was not happy. However, I read on and turned 180 degress around. I have to applaud Mesu Andrews for her sublime writing of this character. The autism representation is very well executed with care and subtlety, and I think it gives an extra dimension to the story. You can clearly see how much Manasseh cares and how he tries so hard to help and to make everyone happy, though he often can’t express that desire. I love seeing him through Shulle’s eyes and I think this book can make people understand more about (high functioning) autism.
But of course, that’s not what this book is about! Like all Mesu’s books, the world she build is very authentic and rich, and you can feel the massive amount of research that went into it, from food to clothing to rituals. But even though it’s set in ancient Israel, it contains a message for us here, today. It is a book about forgiveness and faith, but also about worshipping false idols, and the question of what lies beyond this life. I also saw a very clear message of how extreme tolerance can sometimes lead to indifference or even persecution of those you deem less tolerant, and how it can be a slippery slope. This book really makes you think, and the best compliment any Christian author could get: it made me open my Bible and read about Manasseh, and I looked at the Scripture with different eyes, the words struck home instead of it being a history lesson. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how there are entire lifes lived in one verse.
Also, there wasn’t a dull moment, and the characters were all very real to me. I just couldn’t stop reading. Some of it is quite disturbing as you can imagine with Manasseh, I don’t think this is an easy book to read, but it is an important one. Plotwise I have only one minor thing to mention: while I was highly invested in the first 75%, I felt the plot fell a little flat in the last quarter. The time in between grew longer, and it felt a little disjointed, I couldn’t really tell what was going on in characters heads, I didn’t feel them anymore, and as a result I cared less. I think it could’ve ended stronger. But all in all, I recommend this book to everyone who loves Biblical fiction, and it’s as strong as all Mesu’s other books.
I’m very grateful to have received a free e-copy from the publisher through Netgalley, but it didn’t influence my opinion on this book.
PS for anyone wondering: I use “autist” to describe people with autism, because I don’t think it should be treated as an illness, but as a part of yourself. This is my choice of words, and I know many don’t agree, but for me this feels like the best way to describe it.
Wow - what a story! One thing I love about biblical fiction is how it brings the scriptures to life for me. When I next read that passage, I will see it in a new light. This book was definitely one of those. This book follows Manasseh, the wickedest king in Judah's history (and whose father was one of the most righteous kings in Judah's history). Ms. Andrews came across the fact that Manasseh had a profound knowledge of the Torah and could interpret Leviticus a number of ways and this drew her to think that perhaps this wicked king was what we would consider "on the autism spectrum". Not that that contributed to his wickedness, but perhaps added to his naivete, misunderstanding of social cues and need for acceptance. Coupling that with the death of a father in his formative years and some negative advisors, this set the seed in the heart of this boy-king to reject the God of his fathers.
The story of Manasseh is the ultimate prodigal story. As many times as I'd read the Bible, I'd completely missed that Manasseh was humbled and turned to Yahweh towards the end of his reign, until I read Lynn Austins's "Gods and Kings" series. When I went back to the scriptures after those books, I found that sure enough, the most wicked king had indeed repented. I was thrilled that Ms. Andrews (one of my favorite biblical fiction authors) was also going to write about this and knew I had to read this take on Manasseh's story as well. This book was very well researched and well written. The depth of history - both Jewish and Assyrian was astounding. The research into the dark arts - the spells and incantations that Manasseh would have followed as a worshipper of the Starry Hosts was intense. There were a couple of times I had to set the book down and focus on the Light before I could pick it back up. This was not for the feint of heart! I found myself literally weeping as Manasseh slaughtered innocent men and women who would not deny Yahweh and felt the struggle of the young king to do what he believed was best for Judah, though it went against his family's wishes.
This book follows scripture impeccably, has a great deal of added history and of course a fair amount of speculation. But the characters, the speculation, the conversations and the reasons behind decisions were all quite believable. This author does a phenomenal job of bringing the scriptures to life and bringing more consideration to the missing details. The author urges readers to go back and read the passages of the scripture to glean what is fact and what is fiction and I recommend that as well. Overall, I strongly recommend this book to fans of biblical historical, those who enjoy learning more about the history and culture of Bible times in a "story" setting and those who are dealing with their own prodigal story. Manasseh's story for us is ultimately a story of hope - hope that no matter how far we (or our loved one) have fallen, there is always grace to get back Home.
Special thanks to Waterbrook Publishers and Mesu Andrews for an advance copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
Get ready to see the Old Testament come to life between these pages. Andrews has got a way to bring the Bible to life like no other Fiction author. You are going to love this story, and see the love of God. I flew through this one and I am dying to read Andrews next Biblical fiction book. I gave this book 4 stars and recommend it. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Shulle is a special eight-year old girl. She has lived with her father in a small village and has helped him navigate his life as an autistic person. Naturally her Uncle Shebna thought of her and brought her to Jerusalem to help Manasseh grow in to the young king he needs to be when his father, King Hezekiah, passes away in ten years as Yahweh has decreed. Sadly, Shebna's guidance isn't as altruistic as it appears at first and Shulle is guided into an entirely different life as she helped educate and influence Manasseh.
As expected, Manasseh becomes the twelve-year-old child-king of Israel when his father passes away. Shulle becomes the queen and Isaiah's Legacy chronicles how their life together could have been lived based on historical facts gathered by author Mesu Andrews.
As I read the first section, I struggled with Isaiah's Legacy. It is well-written but it also shows how the evil one is at work in the world. At one time, I was in an abusive situation, although it was a different than Shulle's situation. Shulle is being cared for by an evil and abusive man, so the first section of this book did trigger some things in me. Shulle was clearly groomed and manipulated into her beliefs and behavior--which also influenced Manasseh. Although, Manasseh did have other influences as well. My son is high functioning autistic and is easily influenced by others so that part just made perfect sense to me--how dark influences could continue to take Manasseh down a road away from God. I read Isaiah's Legacy slowly and prayerfully--and I am so glad that I did. Andrews put a lot of thought, prayer and research in to her books and it does show. Even though this wasn't an easy book for me to read in the beginning, it was worth my time and effort. Once I was drawn in after the first section, it was difficult to put the book down too. There is clearly redemption in the end for both Shulle and Manasseh as they are both prodigals and I love that. I also know a prodigal that I dearly love and I could so relate to how heartbroken Manasseh's family was when he turned his back on Yahweh. I think I have had a glimpse of how sad it must make God. At the same time, Isaiah's Legacy offers hope to both those who love prodigals and those who are prodigals. I like that a lot.
I received this book from the author and the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
My God...I finished this book on the 9th of December, but I couldn't write this review until close to midnight on the 10th. This was an epic follow-up to Isaiah's Daughter! Mesu has crafted such a heart-wrenching story. You will cry, get angry, shout, yell, laugh and feel warm while reading this beauty! I'm still frazzled in trying to type this review out.
Where do I even begin. The use of scripture was excellent. You could definitely feel all the research and study of the Word that was put into crafting this story. The description of locations, the detail to situations that occurred, how impeccable and real the characters felt. I was blown away by this book.
The book picks up a few years after Isaiah's Daughter in which Manasseh is a young boy who has "oddities" -- he doesn't like being touched, talked to or around loud noise. He freaks out over the littlest thing. He befriends a girl named Shulle who knows how to "deal" with his moments and life takes a major turn from there.
Let's talk about two of my favorite characters from the first book -- King Hezekiah and Queen Zibah. I love them so much! I'm so glad I got to see a different side of them in this book with their parenting skills. They both struggled being parents which was relatable to me. You could see they loved their son, but also they knew they couldn't do much for him. King Hezekiah is simply an amazing man. I loved everything about him except his end...that was unexpected, tragic and threw me for a complete and total loop. As for Queen Zibah, she continues to stay steadfast in the faith and learns to love despite the hurt.
King Manasseh aka Nasseh is such an interesting child. He becomes co-regent at around 8 years old and king at 11 or 12 years old. I couldn't stand him for his choices, but I also felt bad for him because 1) he was easily swayed by the niceness of others, 2) the adults who "advised" him were treacherous and 3) he blinded by "love" at first sight. Nasseh would have been such a great king if he hadn't had his "fall" however, I feel like his experiences made him much stronger in the end for God's glory. Nasseh was such a loving kid who just didn't know how to deal with his emotions. Sometimes I wanted to just kick him in his shin.
Shulle...what can I say about this treacherous yet warm child. She, like Nasseh, was a victim of being swayed by adults. She was dragged into dark arts and stopped believing in God thanks to her uncle. She became the catalyst that caused Nasseh to fall. Shulle is a character that I had mixed feelings for throughout the course of the novel. I hated her tremendously at first, but as she began to grow, mature and believe again my heart melted. She was faced with hard decisions that caused her heart to harden. She learned in the end and became a powerful queen.
The romance between Nasseh and Shulle was annoying and adorable. You could tell that Nasseh had an obsessive love for Shulle. You could also see that Shulle didn't really care for Nasseh the way a wife should at first, but throughout their marriage they struggled and tried to understand one another though it mostly ended in miscommunication and Nasseh being easily swayed. They were a danger to one another, but some how it all panned out well in the end for them.
Lord Shebna was the epitome of evil. He cared for nothing but riches. Believed in God, but still dabbled in other gods. He was a foolish man with a hardened heart. Belit was a pure a witch. I have no other words to express my deep and utterly boundless hatred for her as a woman. She irked me each turn of the page. King Sennacherib, king of Assyria, was despicable! That scene with the cat and dog killed me. Prince Esar was just as foolish as Nasseh and a victim like Shulle in his kingdom.
The Prophet Isaiah was EXCELLENT in this story. I got to see him as not just a prophet and father, but as a grandfather. I loved his sound wisdom. My heart ached with the tree scene. I loved getting a chance to see the Prophet Nahum as a little boy. Perfect addition.
The scenes with Gemit cracked me up because Nasseh was so ruthless and childish in his thoughts. My heart ached for Panya and the other concubines.
There's just too many characters and events to discuss that make this story worth the read. I highly recommend this story to all. I hope there is a third book to come because I just need more.
I'd give this book a 10 star if that was possible.
“Everyone dies, precious Bekira, and we all leave a legacy. The question is, Does our legacy speak Yahweh’s truth to those who follow?”
I am rarely speechless. Somehow I always know what to say and if I can't say it, my body language expresses it. But after reading this book I didn't have words for it. I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed in a good way. I was overwhelmed by the undeserved, pursuing love of God. More than any book I have read, Isaiah's Legacy paralysed my senses and brought to life one of the most profound prodigal stories and expression of God's love. It made me see myself as I am; underserving but yet loved with a fierceness greater than any chain, claim or darkness.
King Menessah's and Shulle's story will drive your heart to God, will convict your heart of sin and open you wide to a Love and LORD that pursues you like you are the only one alive.
I received a copy of the book and this is my honest opinion.
A book that quickly became a page-turner, what an excellent job the author did of transporting me to biblical times and the time of Israel’s most horrific king. This book is the sequel to Isaiah’s Daughter, but can definitely be read alone. When the book opens we meet a young Manasseh, whom today would probably be called autistic, that is my guess. We find Satan working hard here, and evil is everywhere, and corrupting a young girl who worms her way into the heart of this young man. What a tale the author weaves and the horrific slaughter of believers, and it doesn’t stop there. I loved all the history, and yes this is fiction, but it gives us a mind picture into the past. This is one book you don’t want to miss, you will cringe, shed a few tears, and even some chuckles.
I received this book through the Publisher Waterbrook, and was not required to give a positive review.
"Isaiah's Legacy" continues the remarkable story Mesu Andrews began in "Isaiah's Daughter." It takes the reader through the dark days of the reign of King Manasseh (Nasseh) of Judah, considered to be one of the most wicked kings in Jewish history. The novel seamlessly weaves Biblical history, verifiable historical fact, and extra-Biblical legends into a novel that is not to be missed.
The story of Manasseh is one few have ever tackled. What makes this novel stand out is that it lifts the curtain on the idolatrous religious practices of the era. You experience the darkness, what made these so vile, in a manner that is neither crude nor degrading to the reader. But you walk away with an understanding of why these practices were so abominable. This required a high level of artistry from the author.
Another unique aspect of this story that sets it apart from all other novels is the inclusion of high-functioning autistic characteristics into the person of Manasseh. This was not done to blame Manasseh's wickedness on autism. Autism informs the character but does not dominate. At points in the story, other characters exploit Nasseh based on his difficulties. Nasseh makes his choice to reject God not based on autism, but on the tragedies of his life and the influence of others. Nasseh conquers self-stim behaviors in order to be able to rule as king. I am aware that this may be controversial to some as someone who has been in the autism community for over twenty-five years. This portrayal was carefully and gracefully done.
Mesu Andrews describes Manasseh's story as one of the greatest prodigal stories in the Bible, and I cannot disagree. It is a beautiful tale of depravity, heart-breaking tragedy, and the hand of God moving through it all. To quote the book, "The blacker the darkness, the brighter God's spark." This novel is a masterpiece triumphing God's sovereignty in the midst of pain.
I received a Netgalley digital copy of the book to facilitate this review. The views and opinions expressed here are 100% honest and my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, part 255 Guidelines, concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in advertising.
A King must be captured by Yahweh to be truly free.
A gripping Old Testament historical fiction based on King Manasseh of Judea. The only son of King Hezekiah. Some background on King Hezekiah, his death was foretold by the prophet Isaiah. King Hezekiah had pleaded with the Lord to extend his life and thru Isaiah was told that his life would be extended for 15 years. King Hezekiah did not question the Lord in this revelation but saw it as God's glory to lead his people in his ways. Hezekiah had a son Manasseh which did not. The historical fiction puts a human spin on Manasseh. Why did he lead his people to destruction? How was he influenced in the dark arts? And the how did Manasseh return to the Lord later in his life? He was a young king at 12 years old.
Andrews focuses on Manasseh mental health as he was unable to connect to others in a healthy way. Shulle, a niece to Shebna, Manasseh's tutor has made a connection to the young boy that no one else has been able. Shebna see's an evil opportunity and manipulates Shulle to do his bidding. The plot thickens has Shulle and young Manasseh form a deep friendship and love. Shulle is brought into the dark arts to influence Manasseh away from God's care and leadership. When Manasseh's father is killed, Manasseh in his pain, puts up alters to worship other gods has he now is king at 12 years old. He is counselled to visit other kingdoms where evil influences seem to capture Manasseh's heart. His obsession with Shulle grows as he has made her his Queen. Together they witness evil and Manasseh heart changes but Shulle questions the gods she has been worshiping. Shulle and Manasseh go in different directions when it comes to their faith which leads ultimately leads to Manasseh down fall.
If you have ever read this account in the bible, it gives a different perspective of faith, prayer and God's sovereignty. It will give your bible reading a boost as you think more deeply on faith.
A Special Thank you to WaterBrook & Multnomah and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
Mesu Andrews is an incredibly creative storyteller while still honoring biblical history. Her story of this Old Testament prodigal had me turning pages while ignoring my housework. While the plot thickened, the characters had caught my attention. I found it interesting that several of her characters have autism, including her high functioning main character. As these characters struggled at times to navigate their environments, sometimes they were surrounded by people who loved them, appreciated them and wanted to help them. What a difference these true caregivers made. Personally, I was strengthened as I read about the characters remaining steadfast in their faith during horrific times. The friendships that the believers maintained certainly built them up. These characters were challenged to believe God’s promises before they saw answers. I never want to forget these characters because they taught me so much through the lessons they learned. Even though this time in history is difficult to read about, Andrews writes a beautiful story infused with hope. Anyone who has a prodigal in their life would certainly be encouraged by this book. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher @waterbrookmultnomah #partner. All opinions are my own.
Isaiah’s Legacy, the third installment in the A Novel of Prophets and Kings series by Mesu Andrews, follows in a grand tradition of inspired biblical fiction that enlightens as it carries the reader to Judah for a turbulent ride through the reign of King Manasseh. A thoroughly researched and well crafted novel, but not an easy one to read, it examines a level of spiritual darkness and depravity that is often danced about, implied, but rarely addressed directly. However, these issues are very real and are critical to a true understanding of the evil that gripped King Manasseh’s heart until Yahweh broke the chains that bound him and redeemed him in a glorious way.
This novel picks up after the conclusion of Isaiah’s Daughter, at the end of King Hezekiah’s life, as his son Manasseh prepares and eventually becomes king. We are subject to the conflict of loving certain characters while we hate the evil that works its way into their lives and shackles them apart from the loving God. Shulle had my heart from the very beginning, and my heart broke for her over and over again as she was tricked and manipulated into the sorcery that bound her while masquerading as power. Manasseh’s reign of terror against the prophets and Yahwehists is a horror that was foretold, but not any easier to bear as it unfolded. Through it all, Queen Hephzibah can only pray and hope that her precious boy will someday see Truth and turn from darkness. And her abba, the prophet Isaiah, foretells his own demise at the hands of his grandson, knowing that it must be done as Yahweh says to ultimately give Him the glory.
Dear reader, know that Isaiah’s Legacy is not a bit of fiction to be undertaken lightly. As Mesu Andrews toiled to bring it forth, so you will toil to digest it. And yet, it is certainly one of the most valuable and eye opening novels I have ever consumed. The understanding that comes from the scripture and the exploration of the spiritual, social, and political turmoil within reveals what is possibly the greatest prodigal story ever told. And if Shulle and Manasseh can be unchained by Yahweh, then nobody is beyond His redemptive love.
Thank you to the publishers and author for allowing me the opportunity to read the ARC for this novel. The opinions shared here are my own and are my completely honest assessment.
Mesu Andrews is one of my go-to authors for biblical fiction. Her stories encourage me to dig deeper into my study of the Old Testament and its prophets. While I acknowledge her books are a work of fiction, she does not deviate from the biblical account. Her works are three-pronged: inspired by the biblical account, historical research and her gift of storytelling.
Her heart for glorifying God through storytelling is apparent in this story of one of the most evil kings of Judah, Manasseh. Yet God "captured his heart and rebuilt him." I don't think I ever stopped to think about how this came about. Yet Mesu Andrews' skillful pen brings this biblical story and lessons to life, tugging at the heartstrings, bringing lessons of old to life and making them relevant regardless of time or place.
The women in Manasseh's life, his mother, Queen Hephzibah and Queen Meshullemeth, stories are fleshed out, giving me more to ponder even as I realize this is a fictional work. Ms. Andrews story of both Shulle and Nassah's rejection of Yahweh and their individual journeys of faith are beautiful. I found the historical detail of the Assyrian empire and the political strife, treaties and intrigue that surrounded the courts of Judah and the greater Assyrian Empire fascinating.
A couple of my favorite quotes: "No place on earth is beyond Yahweh's reach-including a man's heart."
"Does our legacy speak Yahweh's truth to those who follow?"
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
“We learn the Truth in daylight so we can walk in darkness.”
Every time I pick up a Mesu Andrews book, I am astounded by her melodic poetry and the way she brings the characters and settings of the Bible to vivid, touchable reality. I recently read through the Books of Kings, Chronicles, and Isaiah and gleaned much from my studies but the author’s book paints Manasseh’s life in full color and helped me better understand the political turmoil and pressure during that time period.
The book is divided into four parts and spans most of Manasseh’s life. Meshullemeth, his queen, has a first person voice while Manasseh and his mother Hephzibah have third person voices. There is a fascinating in-depth look at the kings of the nations surrounding Judah and of the key court officials of Manasseh’s court. The author builds on these extraordinary details to show who Manasseh may have been, living under the righteous and honored Hezekiah, and his story is unforgettable. There is dark sorcery and idol worship and the persecution of the righteous by Manasseh which is heart-breaking and devastating.....but we are reminded, every step of Manasseh’s journey, Who is really in control. If you enjoy Biblical fiction, this book is an absolute must-read. It will open your eyes to Judah’s most evil king’s struggles and triumphs and bolster your faith.
I received a copy of the book from Waterbrook Multnomah and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
I think that authors who write Biblical fiction takes the biggest risk. They take limited information as provided in the Bible and produces a story of fictional depth to the characters an story but still has to stay true to the word. I think Mesu Andrews is one author who gets this right all the time!
Through Isaiah's legacy, she gave life to King Manessah and Shulle. For this reader she produced two characters who were so misguided, you experienced compassion and sorrow for them but also dislike quite a few times. And as a mom I even felt empathy for Queen Zibah as she watch her son falling deeper and deeper in the dark world.
This was a story of how people can influence your decisions from early on - for the good or the bad - but ultimately a story of no matter how lost you get and how bad the decisions is you make, you are never to far gone for God to fight to capture your heart and how you can still leave a Godly legacy after years of a bad one.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
I have read all of Mrs. Andrews books and am still in awe of the stories she can create by using what’s in the Bible and what she finds in other historical references. I always learn something when I read her books and this was no exception. This book continues the story of Isaiah’s family, specifically the story of his grandson, King Manasseh, who was one of the most evil rulers of Judah. Because of the things he did and how he was possibly lead to do these horrible things, the book causes a whole range of emotions. Never fear, it does include happier times as well. There are so many great phrases as well. There are few books I’ve highlighted so many phrases in. Highly recommend this book.
Mesu Andrews has yet again written another outstanding book. The amount of research that the author puts into a book shows, I was pulled into the story from page one. “Isaiah’s Legacy” continues the story that started in “Isaiah’s Daughter.” The author took me through the reign of King Manasseh who was considered one of most wicked kings. Mesu weaves biblical history and historical fact into a book that one should not miss reading. I prayed for Manasseh that he turns his life to God and learn the truth in daylight. Shulle questions God and wonders how he can be sovereign, Zibah reminds her that God is always with us. Lots of truth is displayed with each character and will leave the reader asking for more. I reread the story of Manasseh and it gave me a different perspective of his life. If you love biblical fiction run to the closest bookstore, carve time out to read “Isaiah’s Legacy.” I highly recommend this book. I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review and opinion.
DNF - I decided not to give my review a rating out of fairness since I ended up not reading this in its entirety.
The author does give fair warning that this will be a dark (but then hopeful) read, following one of Judah's evil kings. I'm not against evil being portrayed as evil, but I wasn't comfortable reading about various rituals and dark arts. Reading about these processes gives a visual reader the same sense as being there and observing, and I couldn't shake the sense of oppression that came every time I tried to read.
Combined with this is a very heavy emphasis on physical intimacy, which might have been easier to swallow if it hadn't involved children (both forced and desired). Understanding the cultural aspect of this is one thing, but in this context it made me uncomfortable.
I was sorry to not end up reading this as I'd been looking forward to it! I've read the last few releases from Andrews and enjoyed them, especially Isaiah's Daughter, which I highly recommend if you're wanting to try this author! Andrews has a great way of combining Biblical truth with fictional speculation and presenting it in a gritty way that brings the ancient world to life on the pages before your eyes.
[I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.]
With her impeccable research Mesu Andrews brings the scripture to life. So much so you can feel the emotions and see the setting as if you were sitting in Judah watching everything take place.
As with all biblical fiction I walk away learning something. I didn’t know much about Manasseh prior to reading this book. I liked that Ms. Andrews took creative license with Manasseh giving him autism. It added a unique twist.
This book is a definite must read for all biblical fiction fans!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I would not call Mesu Andrew's books an easy read. They are so much more than that and worth it. It is obvious the thorough research she has to put into each of these wonderful biblical fiction novels. Her stories make me want to go back and read the Bible account or Biblical characters. I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook and Multnomah through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Isaiah’s Legacy is the sequel to Mesu Andrew’s powerful novel, Isaiah’s Daughter, based on the life of Judah’s 13th king, King Hezekiah, found in II Kings in the Bible. In Isaiah’s Daughter, we meet King Hezekiah (Hezi) and his beautiful wife Queen Hephzibah (Zibah), the adopted daughter of the prophet Isaiah, who became friends and soulmates as young children bonding through trauma. King Hezekiah was one of Judah’s most righteous kings, restoring his kingdom to Yahweh worship after previous kings encouraged the worship of idols throughout Judah. After a close call with death, Yahweh answers Hezi’s prayer and grants him fifteen more years of life. It was during this time King Hezi and Queen Zibah welcome their son, Manasseh, into their family.
In Isaiah’s Legacy, Mesu picks up with Manasseh (Nasseh) who is but a young boy, having to prepare to become King of Judah when King Hezekiah’s promised fifteen years are up. Except there’s something a little different about Nasseh - he doesn’t talk or readily display affection and can spend hours fixated on one particular toy... Co-regent King Manasseh seems to live life locked in his head - until he meets Shulle, who grew up with a father who displayed many of the same tendencies. Shulle encourages Nasseh to start coming out of himself. Just like little Hezi and Zibah, Nasseh and Shulle become childhood friends then sweethearts. Except unbeknownst to Nasseh and his family, Shulle’s wicked uncle, Shebna, introduces young Shulle to the black arts, then intricately takes advantage of Shulle’s and Nasseh’s friendship and then marriage to mold Nasseh into one of the most evil kings in Judah’s history.
Within Isaiah’s Legacy, Andrews explores some deep subjects, such as life for persons born on the spectrum, and how subtly sin can take over someone’s mind and heart and influence not only their decisions, but the decisions and lives of everyone they come into contact with. Even so, Isaiah’s Legacy is ultimately a story of how God can transform even the darkest of hearts through His everlasting love and unrelenting mercy.
*I received a copy of this book as part of the launch team; I was not required to write a positive review.*
As I read, I realized nothing much has changed with society since biblical times. Different people dealing with the same stuff. Can we believe God’s word is true? Can we trust Him? and will He be faithful in fulfilling His promises? Below Nasseh’s mother pours her heart out to God.
“How could Nasseh believe each one was a separate god? The legends of deific squabbles changed with each generation’s retelling. How could her brilliant son believe such far-fetched tales when the simple truth had been given to his ancestors for the redemption of all nations? Oh, Yahweh, how many more must die before You capture and rebuild his heart?” (the cry of many parents today)
I love books that make me go back to scripture to get a better handle on what is being said and to whom it’s being said to. I likeed in author’s Note to reader where she discusses what part of the story is fact and which is fiction. I also liked when she asks readers, “Was Nasseh’s sin so different from ours?
“The same God who captured Nasseh’s heart has led you here to capture yours. God knit Nasseh together in his mother’s womb. God allowed Nasseh to reject Him and then guided Nasseh home. The same God who captured Nasseh captured me and can capture you – along with all the Manassehs in your life.” Amen! Amen!
Mesu is an exceptional storyteller bringing scripture to life. This is an unforgettable, emotionally complex, powerful story that encouraged my soul.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
The story of the boy kid with autism. Falling in love, with a girl who father suffered with the same fate as the king, she slowly teaches the king her abilities of the dark arts. He eventually marries her. Afraid of childbirth, the king require many women to produce Aires. Easier swayed by other leaders she changes the Hebrews religion to the gods of the dark arts. His wife, after discovering her deception of not having a child, becomes a servant to the queen mother. There she learn about the Hebrew God. She does finally have children with the king and even willing to sacrifice he son for the god. Eventually his allies turn on him. Will he ever turn back to the one true God? Will he ever be set free? Will there ever be peace in Judah? A wonderful novel from mesu Andrews!!
Let me begin this review by saying I am not the best person to review Biblical fiction. I’m not a fan at all. That said, Mesu Andrews probably researched everything so I am not questioning her historical accuracy. I’m sure it’s as accurate as possible.
As anyone raised in Sunday school—or read the Bible through—knows, Manasseh was one of the most evil kings to sit on the throne of Judah. This was a very dark time in Israel's history, and it shows. ISAIAH’S LEGACY is filled with sorcery, and other haunting, evil things, probably realistic, and thus hard to read.
The wicked darkness and constant references to lustful physical intimacy made this a book I can’t recommend. But don’t take my word for it! If you like Biblical fiction and Mesu Andrews, you might love this book. Check it out for yourself!
When I settled in to read a story about Judah’s most evil king and his once mentioned wife, I wasn’t sure how I would connect with Manessah and Shulle. I shouldn’t have worried. Mesu Andrews knows how to write characters that draw you in, even if you don’t always agree with their actions and decisions. Manipulation and its far-reaching consequences are big part of this story, but it also explores the powers of forgiveness and love. Andrews really nailed it with this story and I’m looking forward to picking up some of her other books.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. All opinions are my own.