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Prophet of Israel Perfect Paperback – August 22, 2008
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The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
Prophet of Israel is probably the best example of creative non-fiction I've ever read. The author writes his tale largely from the viewpoint of young Samuel, a boy whose previously barren mother promised in prayer that if she were to give birth she would dedicate the child's life to service at the Temple. Personally, I appreciate the author's take on what it would feel like to be left by his parents at the tender age of 3, to live amongst adults serving at the temple.
Warrior heros and evil villians entralled me, the gruesome images of war realistic, and the fast-moving past held me captive until the very end.
I look forward to reading the second installment of the Eternal Throne Chronicles.
The story has a great human element as well, portraying the anguish of a barren woman and her husband during a time when having children was the most important thing for every couple. It also helped me realize how Samuel must have been affected by being given up by his mother when he was only 3 years old, and growing up in a place ruled over by corrupt priests.
The appendices are great reading in and of themselves, giving explanations for some of the more controversial decisions the author has made and showing the incredible amount of research he has done to make this story realistic and historically accurate. Probably the most interesting is the essay that shows that King David and his life are the real basis for the stories of King Arthur and his knights of the round table.
I highly recommend this book, and I eagerly await the sequel.
This story hearkens to a different legacy than is popularly conjured of the Hebrew scriptures - allowing the characters of the time to be fiercely heroic while at the same time vulnerable, and ultimately more human than mythic.
I recommend this story to anyone interested in historical fiction, the origins of mythical legends (King Arthur for example), and Jewish history.
It took a part of the Bible I was only familiar with and enriched my understanding of the story, the time period, and the reasons it is important. All of this with many of the same elements you'd perhaps see in a fantasy novel (giants, mystical weapons, etc.), but also with a level of historical clarity that is a testament to the authors years of study on the subject.
I also appreciated the supplementary material in the back, the most interesting of which is a comparison of King Arthur stories and their similarities to those of Samuel through David.
All in all, I'd give Prophet Of Israel a 4/5.