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Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  9,371 Ratings  ·  739 Reviews
A riveting retelling of the life of King Hezekiah from one of the most talented CBA historical novelists writing today.
Nook, 259 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 1995)
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Catherine McNiel
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Jul 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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
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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)
“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.” 18 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…