Faith of My Fathers
Austin’s latest entry in the Chronicles of the Kings series continues the saga of Israel’s King Hezekiah and his palace administrator, Eliakim, through their sons, Manasseh and Joshua. Raised almost as brothers, Joshua is bright and courageous, while Manasseh is lazy and easily led astray. Upon the deaths of his father and mother, young King Manasseh, believing a seer who foretold that those around him will destroy him, begins to eliminate all who were faithful to King Hezekiah. While faithful servants help the disbelieving Joshua lead his family members to safety, Joshua’s youngest sister, Dinah, is held captive and victimized by Manasseh. Influenced by the idolatrous priest Zerah that a conspiracy exists, Manasseh renounces Yahweh and commences a reign of terror in Jerusalem. As all Judah reels in shock and pain at the bloody episodes, plots and counterplots abound: the tragic Dinah plans her revenge; Joshua, aided by Prince Amariah and the servant girl, Miriam, creates a bold plan of rescue; Lord Shebna’s wastrel grandson Hadad carries out his own agenda; and Lady Jerusha waits by hearth and home for her star-crossed family to reunite. Austin capably weaves her intertwined threads and creates believable characters in conflict with themselves and with each other.