Sunday, March 31, 2019
Fascinating! 'Of Fire and Lions' - by Mesu Andrews
About the book:
Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she'd perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar's court. Now, as Daniel's wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she's safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear--until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar's palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili's tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?
Ultimately, Yahweh's sovereign hand guides Jerusalem's captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.
This novel was fascinating as we see what life would have been like for the Jews taken as captives to Babylon and for a young girl trying to survive in a strange land. I can't imagine how frustrating it would have been to not have any say in your future and to be at the whim of capricious kings. I liked imagining Daniel's wife, if he had one, and what she might have been like. I also liked the different times we see, from Belili as a young captive to her time years later in Babylon and Media. It made the story even more interesting to jump around and see parts of her past. Belili was a wonderful character, very strong and stubborn, sometimes speaking before she thinks. She was very relatable. I couldn't imagine going through all that she did and I could understand the choices she made and how hard it would have been to choose Yahweh instead of the easier way. I liked Daniel a lot, too, and Mesu Andrews succeeded in making him more real I tend to look at Bible heroes as almost perfect. She made him a bit of a workaholic and I was also disappointed in something he failed to do; she also showed his fear when he knew he was going to the lions. The scenes with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lion's den were amazing! The faith element was wonderful as we really see Belili's faith get weaker and stronger depending on her circumstances until her trust in God grows and her faith isn't influenced by circumstances anymore. There's also some suspense and some romance. I would highly recommend this book if you like Biblical fiction.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.