Of Fire and Lions

Mesu Andrews. WaterBrook, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-7352-9186-7
Andrews (Isaiah’s Daughter) fleshes out the lives of well-known Old Testament characters in this enchanting work. The stories of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lion’s den, and the writing on the wall associated with Belshazzar and King Nebuchadnezzar are referenced, but the real story lies in Andrews’s depiction of the families, friends, and foes during the 70-year exile of the Jews to Babylon in the fifth century BCE. Abigail, who is Andrews’s characterization of Daniel’s wife, gives readers a first-person perspective into the social norms and political climate of the day. After the Babylonians invade Jerusalem, Abigail is captured and must practice her faith in secret. But when Daniel is summoned by Belshazzar to decipher mysterious writings, Abigail’s faith and life might be in jeopardy when he reveals the writing foretells the end of the kingdom. Andrew’s depiction of Daniel is true to his biblical characterization as Daniel remains steadfast in his faith even in the face of death and destruction. But readers will find it easiest to relate to Abigail, whose spiritual crisis of staying true to God in a culture of nonbelievers feels modern. Andrews also provides lively discussions between characters as they question God when there is no explanation for devastating tragedies. Unexpected plot twists, empathetic characters, and well-researched biblical history make this an exceptional work of scripture-based fiction. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/10/2019
Release date: 03/05/2019
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-155-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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