I am always impressed by Jill Eileen Smith’s talent in creating compelling, vivid, and truth-based Biblical Fiction stories. Her newest release from Revell Publishers is my very favorite of all her books so far. . . “Star of Persia: Esther’s Story” is a beautiful, heart-wrenching, inspiring story that intrigued me with the first page, and held my imagination captive right until the end. Continue reading
Bestselling author Angela Hunt is renowned for her fascinating and insightful novels set in biblical eras. Her stories bring this period in history to life, and allow readers to feel as thought they are actually visiting the times and places and people of the Bible. Her newest release from Bethany House is the last installment of “The Silent Years” series, (set during the years between the Old Testament and the New Testament) and is entitled “King’s Shadow: A Novel of King Herod’s Court”. While still fascinating in its own way, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations of an Angela Hunt novel… Continue reading
I always enjoy Jill Eileen Smith’s Biblical fiction. Each story transports us to ancient times, allowing us to see and experience history through the eyes of characters from the Bible. Her newest release from Revell is unique in that portions of the story were previously published as novella-style e-books, but have now for the first time been reworked and included together in a single, interwoven novel. “The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon” tells the stories of King Solomon and four of his wives: Naamah, Abishag, Siti, and Nicaula. As we are swept away by the powerful story, we inevitably are challenged to answer the question of “whether this king’s storied wisdom ultimately benefited him and those he loved . . . or betrayed them.” Continue reading
Angela Hunt’s masterfully written biblical fiction always exceeds my expectations. As we step into the pages of the story, we are carried back in time to Israel before the birth of Jesus, and can see, hear, smell, taste, and almost touch the ancient setting that envelops us. Ms. Hunt’s newest novel is just as incredible (and based on historical fact) as her previous works, and is a continuation of her “Silent Years” series. “Jerusalem’s Queen: A Novel of Salome Alexandra” is the story of one of Judea’s greatest rulers, who lived in the time period between the writing of the Old Testament and the New Testament. In fact, Salome Alexandra’s reign ended only a few years before the Messiah was born, and her peaceful influence over Jerusalem (after a time of unrest and horrific atrocities from the leaders of the nation) paved the way for Jesus’ lifetime. Continue reading
Each time I finish a new Biblical Fiction novel written by Jill Eileen Smith and published by Revell, I’m certain it is the best I’ve read in the genre… at least until her next title is released! As per this tradition, “A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story”, the fourth title in the “Daughters of the Promised Land” series, is my new favorite Biblical Fiction novel to date. Continue reading
If you enjoy reading a compelling Biblical Fiction novel once in a while, as I do, Angela Hunt is always an author you can count on to sweep you away with her masterful writing style which brings the history of God’s people to vivid life. Her newest release from Bethany House is entitled “Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees”, and is the second story in “The Silent Years” series (preceded by “Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra”). Continue reading
Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt’s most famous queen, is a fascinating character who has intrigued many throughout history. When I discovered that Angela Hunt’s newest Biblical Fiction novel from Bethany House would be about this infamous woman, I definitely wanted to give it a try! “Egypt’s Sister” is book number one in “The Silent Years” series, and tells the story of Cleopatra through the eyes of her (fictitious) childhood friend and daughter of the royal tutor. Continue reading
Are you familiar with the Bible story of Boaz and Ruth? I’m guessing you probably are. If you are like me, you’ve probably read numerous retellings based on this timeless story of love, grace, and redemption. While many of those retellings are well-done, none can compare with the new version by Jill Eileen Smith, entitled “Redeeming Grace: Ruth’s Story“, published by Revell in 2017. I have only read one other Bible-based novel by this talented author, but it is clear that her writing style and impeccably researched historical details are unrivaled in her genre. Continue reading
As the Easter season approaches each year, I enjoy being on the lookout for new stories that highlight the theme of Jesus’ last days on earth. This year I found a story that is told from perhaps the most unique perspective I’ve come across so far – through the eyes of a small, innocent dog! “The Dog Who Was There: A Novel” was written by Ron Marasco and published by Thomas Nelson early in 2017. In this sweet and oh-so-endearing story, a little dog named Barley Continue reading
As someone who has always enjoyed the biblical book of Ruth, I was delighted when I discovered a fictional retelling of the story by renowned author Tessa Afshar. Published by Moody’s River North Fiction in 2014, the book is aptly entitled “In the Field of Grace”. If you enjoy biblical fiction of any kind, this book will be a welcome addition to your library for many reasons, including:
- The story is masterfully told, flowing easily and smoothly.
- The characters, both primary and secondary, are convincing and compelling, (which is not always the case with biblical fiction).
- Including an accurate portrayal of the narrative from Scripture, the story also contains numerous little details that bring it to life in a believable and relatable way. Interestingly, the additional information takes care not to detract from the facts.
- Although several scenes and conversations border on inappropriate, I admire the author’s careful avoidance of stepping over the sometimes-obscure boundaries of morality in Christian Historical Fiction.
- Although the language of the characters occasionally feels a bit too “modern” for the time period, the author explains this in her notes when she says, “I want to create a world that feels like the biblical era and yet connects emotionally to my reader. You might say my language resembles more of a New Living Translation vibe than the literal accuracy of a translation such as the English Standard Version.”
Overall, this story is a sweet and enjoyable retelling of a timeless tale from Scripture. Although it was the first book I’ve read by Tessa Afshar, it certainly won’t be the last! If you enjoy the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz, and don’t mind a bit of fiction combined with facts to create a compelling novel, don’t miss “In the Fields of Grace”.
I received this book courtesy of Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.