Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel

Written by Ginger Garrett
Review by Michael I. Shoop

Just mentioning the name “Jezebel” brings wickedness and evil to the minds of many. Without straying too far from the biblical account, author Garrett expands the story of Jezebel’s life but doesn’t whitewash the queen’s infamous reputation. Born into privilege in the wealthy Phoenician trading city of Sidon, Jezebel was sold by her father to warrior King Omri of Israel to marry his son, Ahab, in exchange for trade routes through Palestine. A worshipper of Baal and Asherah, the manipulative Jezebel brought idolatry and infant sacrifice into the already cursed land of Yahweh, converting Ahab, and causing problems with the local population, Ahab’s friend Obadiah, and with the chief prophet, Elijah. Jezebel’s love-hate relationship with Ahab and conflicts over religion and power drive the story, and the portrayal of Jezebel as a headstrong, willful, and vicious character at war with herself and those around her is creatively done. Even in defeat, her strength and determination are obvious. Although Garrett’s narrative sometimes seems choppy, the plot moves at a good pace, her characters are well drawn, and the story is compelling.