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When the battles come to an end, Ezra's brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude's widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple--but the fight to keep God's Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges...this one for the survival of God's covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
Availability: In Stock
Series: Restoration Chronicles
Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked - eBookLynn AustinBethany House / 2013 / ePub$8.77 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 11 Reviews
$14.99Save 41% ($6.22)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW40298EB
Return to Me,The Restoration Chronicles Series #1 -eBookLynn AustinBethany House / 2013 / ePub$8.47 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 41 Reviews
$14.99Save 43% ($6.52)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW40302EB
In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king's palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.
Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future--of family and love--seem impossible.
In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people.
Praise of Lynn Austin's Restoration Chronicles
"...a powerful new historical series that brings the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah to life." --Library Journal
"Austin shines a bright light on ancient Jewish life and lands. Biblical fiction fans will cheer her latest offering, which bolsters this challenging genre." --Publishers Weekly
katiespenGreer, SCAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Depiction of a True Bible HeroDecember 17, 2014katiespenGreer, SCAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book could not have come to my attention at a better time, as my Bible study group is reading Nehemiah right now, which is the companion book to Ezra. I believe Lynn Austin does an amazing job at depicting a real-life Bible hero with careful details that reflect that time period and the people who lived during the time of Ezra.
One of the best things about this book for me was that it made me want to dive back into the book of Ezra on my own to verify Austin's depictions as true to the Bible. While Austin clearly has added characters of her own, I believe that she does her best to stay true to the biblical account that led to Ezra returning to rebuild the walls.
Austin also did an excellent job at researching the time period, showing in-depth knowledge of Jewish and Gentile customs, biblical accounts, and the setting of Ezra's story.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in delving more deeply into the characters in the Bible, but I also would recommend that you keep your Bible close at hand to make sure that the author is not adding or taking away from the biblical account.
Thelma5 Stars Out Of 5Return to Me and Keepers of the Covenant - Restoration SeriesDecember 4, 2014ThelmaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I loved both books of this series. They bring the people of the Bible to life; and they sent me back to the Bible to read again the stories of the journey of God's people. It explains many of the reasons for the laws and helped me appreciate how they led to the sacrifice of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Lynn Austin is a wonderful writer and her stories are well researched. I have recommended these two books to all of my friends who want to dig deeper into the Bible and understand our Christian heritage.
Jae5 Stars Out Of 5AwesomeDecember 1, 2014JaeAwesome
BurtonBookReviewTexasAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Fabulous Biblical retellingNovember 28, 2014BurtonBookReviewTexasAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5(*received a review copy in exchange for an unbiased review):
Long before the birth of Jesus, the Jews were persecuted and punished. The Old Testament shows us in the book of Esther how Queen Esther saved the Persian Jews from complete annihilation which resulted in the celebration called Purim. While the biblical story in Keepers of the Covenant begins with this well-known story of Haman and Mordecai of Esther 3-8, the author gives us a wonderfully fictionalized retelling of the prophet Ezra's family during this period of war and hardship. In the bible, the Book of Ezra tells us how God shows his forgiveness and restores the faith of his wayward people.
As with the first book in the series which gives us Zechariah's story, book two in the Restoration Chronicles focuses on characters who pull us into their re-imagined lives with absorbing and exciting storytelling. Ezra and his brothers were hard-working members of the Levite tribe exiled to Babylon when the king of Persia sends out a decree allowing all Jewish people to be slaughtered on a specific day. Ezra forces himself to become a leader of his Jewish peers and fight back. Meanwhile, we are also introduced to characters such as Amina and Sayfah, young daughters of the pagan Babylonian Gentiles who are eager to destroy the Jews; and Reuben, the young boy whose faith is tested when he loses almost everything during the violent thirteenth day of Adar.
Some favorite lines from characters in Keepers of the Covenant:
"As the psalmist wrote, our hope is in the Almighty One's unfailing love."
"If people follow God's laws at all, it's out of habit or legalism, not love. Some of us are no better than the Gentiles, ignoring God and His laws and then creating our own image of what God is like and what He wants from us."
"If we deny god, our lives aren't worth living."
Keepers of the Covenant is a captivating story of hardship, love and faith which depicts a historically important period for those of the Jewish community. I loved the first book, and I knew I would love this next installment. I was not disappointed at all, but I was reminded to continue to pick up the rest of Lynn Austin's work. I know I can't go wrong with any of her skillfully retold biblical novels. I highly recommend Lynn Austin and the Restoration Chronicles to any reader of biblical fiction. I especially love the larger size of these novels as well - nearing 500 pages, Keepers of the Covenant is a wonderfully engrossing and satisfying epic bible story.
AlaskamomAlaskaAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Keeper of the CovenantNovember 26, 2014AlaskamomAlaskaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I really enjoy the way Lynn Austin writes Biblical History. I realize not all the info is 100% accurate, but Lynn Austin has an amazing way of making Bible stories come alive. She portrays the personalities of people with the culture of the day so well. Making you feel like you are there experiencing the events yourself. An added bonus - in church on Sunday and the pastor preached from one of the passages of Scripture about Ezra (book 1). I felt as if I already knew Ezra because of having just read Return to Me (book 1); I had to remind myself some elements were made up because it was so realistic and was right in line with what the pastor was saying.
Keepers of the Covenant (book 2), portrays a different side of the story of Esther. I hadn't ever really thought about how the Jews felt about the King's decree or the changes in the decree after Haman is found out. Also, the non-instantness of communication - in this book you painfully felt the time lag. The desperation & uncertainty of the Jews' waiting - they were living every day lives, just like us today. I find it easy to forget when I always see the beginning and the end of their story in a short time, Lynn helps us realize they had to live out their story just like each of us. One day at a time. Choosing to believe and be faithful. Also, I have a renewed appreciation for the barrier Jesus conquered with His death & resurrection for those of us who are Gentiles, and not having to be dependent on daily sacrifices.
When I received the book in the mail I was surprised to find out it was a book 2... I made the decision to order book 1 and read it first - and even thought book 1 took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to come, I am SO GLAD I waited! While neither book is dependent on the other, I like to have the history in my mind in order. I received this book (Keeper of the Covenant) for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, and my simple, honest opinion: if you like Biblical Historical Fiction - get the book, you won't be sorry! There is so much more I could say, but so you can enjoy the read for yourself I won't say it all :-).