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Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"... bring(s) the Old Testament to life in a way that is not only entertaining, but educational as well." -- Inspirational Romance Writers

"If you don’t think you’d like biblical fiction, try Gods and Kings. Lynn Austin might just change your mind." -- Christian Book

"This is a terrific work of Old Testament historical fiction that provides an insightful look at two intriguing Hebrew descendents." -- Review Centre

"brings this biblical account to life in her well-researched fictionalization of the life of one of Judah's most fascinating kings." -- RT Bookclub

About the Author

Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner and an inaugural inductee into the Christy Award Hall of Fame, as well as a popular speaker at retreats, conventions, women's groups, and b
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reissue edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764229893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764229893
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (913 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We're Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Anderson VINE VOICE on October 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Hezekiah, prince of Judah, lives in a kingdom under siege from hostile forces within and without. His father, King Ahaz, has abandoned the worship of Yahweh and led his nation into idolatry. Gods & Kings chronicles Hezekiah's coming of age, detailing his turbulent childhood when he saw his father sacrifice his older brother Eliab to the pagan god Molech. Overwhelmed by fear, Hezekiah first encounters the life-changing touch of God through the love and teaching of his grandfather, Zechariah, a Levitical priest. These seeds of faith are all that Hezekiah has to guide him in a kingdom threatened by invasion and corrupted by idolatry. But surrounded by threats to his very existance, can he hope to survive and be given the chance to change the future of his country?

This is one of the best biblical fiction series out there, easily on par with Angela Hunt's Legacies of the Ancient River series. I don't feel that Austin's writing is as strong or her characters quite as well-developed as is evident in her later books (such as the Christy award-winning novels Candle in the Darkness and Fire By Night), but that's a very minor issue. Austin does an excellent job bringing the world of ancient Judah to life in all of its color, pageantry, danger, and intrigue. She breathes fresh life into the character of Hezekiah, creating a flesh-and-blood man whose struggles and weaknesses make his triumphs as one of Judah's greatest kings all the more inspiring. And the book lives up to perhaps the best measure of whether or not biblical fiction succeeds or fails - it inspires study of the actual biblical text.

When reading this book (incidentally this was my second time), I was struck by how timely the story felt.
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219 of 226 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gallagher HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In my opinion, most religious fiction is not very good as everyone is just too nice or the scenes just aren't realistic as it's not "Christian" to write about how people really are. Lynn Austin, on the other hand, does a really nice job of fictionalizing a brief passage of the Bible into a full-length novel, and gets you into the heads of the characters. The imagery and scenery are very realistic and, for example, I could imagine me walking the dusty streets of the Middle Ages. The thing that struck me the most was this book really got me thinking and getting more out of the story than a random section of the 28th chapter of the book of Second Chronicles and makes me want to read the next one in the series: with the volume of books I read on a monthly basis, having one stick with me and recalling various sections of the book long after I read it (about a month ago) is, to me, impressive and tells me this was really a good book.

I initially got this book during a Kindle free promotion and, as I write this review, the price is now $5.38 in the Amazon Kindle store - you will certainly get a lot more than $5.38 in entertainment value if you get this one!
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134 of 139 people found the following review helpful By C. Bowen on May 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Every now and then, I enjoy "escaping reality" by reading a good Scriptural (and historical) based novel. I purchased the first book, "Gods and Kings" at a discount store, not even knowing that it was part of a series, and could not wait until I found it's sequels! I have read all 5 of the "Chronicles of the Kings" series and I hope that Lynn Austin writes more sequels to this particular series.

I did get a bit confused at Amazon's website while looking for the rest of this series, so I am going to list them here in order for the convenience of future buyers:

book 1 "Gods And Kings"

book 2 "Songs Of Redemption"

book 3 "The Strength Of His Hand"

book 4 "Faith Of My Fathers"

book 5 "Among The Gods"

Another author whose sequel I am eagerly awaiting is Ellen Gunderson Traylor's "Jerusalem The City Of God - Part Two", also set in Old Testament times. These types of books really "take you back in time" to the way that things really were.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Straussberger on October 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I loved this book (series) because not only was it a very interesting read, but more importantly because it gave me such a good insight into life during the Old Testament. The stories of Kings Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manassah have never been so real to me as when I read that book. I will never again read the Biblical accounts the same way!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Ahlers on November 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ms. Austin has taken the reader on a journey back into time weaving truth with fiction in such a way that she has managed to pen a read that is not only descriptive but good as well.

This is the story of Hezekiah who will eventually assume the role of king as a descendent of King David. This story opens with Hezekiah as a young boy and we grow with him as he faces many challenges to both his life, and his faith. His father is King Ahaz, and he has plotted to sacrifice Hezekiah in order to gain the favor of the gods, and win the war that has currently decimated his army and killed his own brother. Hezekiah's mother Abijah will do all that she can to spare her last son from his father's evil machinations. She has only two men that she can rely on, but can she trust them to save her beloved son?

Hezekiah is destined for great things and manages to survive his childhood but he is now a man and the dangers to him have not dissipated. He is now King, and his mother and his wife, two women that love Hezekiah, must now stand back, and wait to see if his faith is strong enough to help him survive the treachery and violence that surrounds him. Will he be strong enough to stand by his beliefs and save his country?

This was a very moving read as well as being very descriptive. Fans of Christian novels will find no fault with this vivid story and characters. Ms. Austin has managed to bring the Old Testament to life in a way that is not only entertaining, but educational as well.

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