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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.
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Restoration Chronicles
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
DonnaGeorgiaAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5biblical historical historyMay 5, 2016DonnaGeorgiaAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is the second book in the Restoration Chronicles series but I found it to be a stand alone read. I am however planning to reading the first book. I love to read Biblical fiction and Lynn Austin does an amazing job in bringing to life the people in this time period of the captivity of the Jews by the Babylonians and then the Persians and brings information I did not know about the Old Testament and the Book of Ezra. The author gives us new insight to into what the Jews in the Bible experienced. Austin is such a brilliant writer that I felt like I was there in the story and experiencing the fears and pain of the Jews with them.
Haman's decree to kill every Jew has brought terror into their lives .Ezra is called upon to be the leader of his people. But he is a scholar and his only desire is to study the Torah, however he sets out to follow the will of God. There are real and fictional characters and their stories but this does not take away anything from the words of the Bible.
The story tells us that God keeps his promises and is a God of Mercy, Grace and Love.
A great read.
I received a copy of this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion and review.
Debbie WilderSalinas, CAAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5This is an absolutely fabulous biblical novel!October 28, 2015Debbie WilderSalinas, CAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5It is very obvious that Lynn Austin spent a LOT of time studying scripture. She also had to have studied historical records and customs of the time in preparation for writing this wonderful book.
This is the second book in what I consider to be a true series. By that I mean that you should read the first book before picking this one up. There is really only one character from the first book that I remember. But reading book one will help to set the stage historically for this novel.
I was quickly captivated by the main characters in each location at the start of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how each of their individual lives intersected with the others.
I have read the story of Esther a number of times and heard some sermons from it. I have never seen such a vivid account of what life was like for the Jews in the months after the decree was written calling for their annihilation. That is truly what it seemed like to me. I could see their despair and feel their fear and heartache.
Then after the Thirteenth of Adar each of the survivors had to figure out how to deal with the outcome. Were they going to accept what God had allowed to happen? Or were they going to spend the rest of their lives blaming Him and hating their enemies from that day?
The stories of redemption and forgiveness are beautifully interwoven and presented. At the same time Ezra is searching the Torah doing all that he can to interpret the law of God so that the Jewish nation can be built up and follow God faithfully. The biggest question that he had to deal with was, How can man find Gods balance between judgment and mercy?
ksnapierLima, OHAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Book two of The Restoration ChroniclesAugust 22, 2015ksnapierLima, OHAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Lynn Austin is such a wordsmith. This historical fiction is set in t he times after Israel was sent into exile to Babylon. It begins with the influence Haman had over Xerxes to convince him to have all of the Jews kills. Then it continues with the events after Haman was killed and Xerxes allowed the Jews to defend themselves.
This time period was brought to life with the people that Austin placed in her writing and the way she showed characters that were involved from both sides of this. The development of the characters made me, generally, care for them.
I cannot list all of the ways that Lynn Austin was successful with this book. I am now going to go back to read the first book in the Restoration Chronicles. I would recommend this book for everyone.
I was given this book by the publisher and bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.
ThereadmasterDavenport,IowaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5wonderfulAugust 12, 2015ThereadmasterDavenport,IowaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was a wonderful historical fiction book. It really brings the Old Testament to life. It shows the trials and tribulations that the Jews and Gentiles went through. I look forward to reading the other books in this series. This was number two in the series but you can read it as a stand alone. It is so thought provoking. It shows how times really haven't changed as much as we would like sometimes. I received this book from bookfun.org for a fair and honest opinion.
Carrie5 Stars Out Of 5Biblical fiction based on the return to JerusalemJuly 14, 2015CarrieQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This was the first book I have read by this author and I was not disappointed. Keepers of the Covenant is a biblical fiction based on the era after Israel's exile in Babylon. It begins with the familiar history when Haman tried to annihilate the Jews. Readers familiar with Esther will recognize the events in the beginning of the story. The Jews were prepared to fight for their lives on that fateful day, the thirteenth of Adar. They were successful in battle, but not without great loss. Ezra, is a scholar of the Torah. When his brother dies in battle, he finds himself in a position he never dreamed of-marrying his sister in law to carry on his brother's name. This is a beautiful story of how following God's will can turn tragedy into beauty. As one who has thoroughly studied the Torah and grieved over the falling away of the Jews since living in Babylon, Ezra decides it is time to return to the Promised Land. He goes before the king to request permission to return and it is granted. I enjoyed reading this fictionalized story and it has given me the desire to read the book of Ezra in the Bible.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the parallel story of Amina. Amina was an Edomite and was just a young girl when her family was killed. She and her sister were taken in by a Jewish family. Her sister decided to return to their pagan home, but Amina stayed and started following God and Jewish customs. Some reviewers have found hers and Reuben's story distracting, but I think it added so much to the story. God's mercy and grace are evident throughout this story and I loved how it all came together. I plan on reading the other books in this series.
I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review which I have given.