Song of Redemption

Written by Lynn Austin
Review by Michael I. Shoop

In book two of the Chronicles of the Kings, Austin continues the Biblical story of King Hezekiah of Judah. Determined to bring his people back to Yahweh, the young king follows advice from his grandfather, Zechariah, and the prophet, Isaiah, and ends all tribute to the powerful Assyrians. He does so with opposition from his palace administrator, Shebna, and most of his council.

As refugees from war-ravaged Israel pour into Judah, Hezekiah begins preparations to withstand the invading Assyrian army. He hires Eliakim, son of the merchant Hilkiah, as his chief engineer of fortifications. Eliakim seeks help from his father’s houseguest, the beautiful Israeli girl Jerusha, who has only recently quite miraculously escaped a brutal captivity with the Assyrians. Meanwhile, Hephzibah, Hezekiah’s queen, grieving over her recent miscarriage, turns away from God to an ancient fertility goddess for help; Prince Gedaliah, the king’s brother, plots a revolt from within the palace; and Jerusha and Eliakim each find love. When Samaria falls, and an Assyrian siege of Jerusalem seems imminent, Hezekiah’s faith in God is put to its most extreme test.

An action-filled, vivid, well-paced picture of love and war in ancient Palestine.