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    Inspiring

    It is is interesting to imagine what conversations might have gone on between the people in the Bible in their everyday lives. And though my imagination is not that inspiring, the author, Mesa Andrews does a great job in this novel. Each chapter begins with a scripture that goes along with what is happening. I appreciated how the story followed the actual events from the Bible. Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego along with other strong captives were exiled to Babylon. Thus begins the seventy years God has revealed through the prophets before they will be allowed to return to Jerusalem. Daniel is given special status and recognition from the king because of his God given ability to interpret dreams. The story of the firey furnace is told from the account in the Bible as well as Daniel in the lions den. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to bow down and worship false gods and so does Daniel. God rescues them all to the astonishment of the king and his officials. My favorite jaw dropping moment is reading the account of Nebuchadnezzar’s transformation into an animal and how Daniel helped hide him away for seven years in spite of his dislike of him. I shed a few tears, was inspired by the character shown by Daniel and his friends and was moved by the romance aspect that was spilled out among the pages. I even went back and re-read the book of Daniel in the Bible. I highly recommend this novel and will be seeking out more books by this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise.
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    Wonderful Biblical historical fiction

    Of Fire and Lions is historical fiction at its finest. Mesu Andrews does a marvelous job of telling the story of a young woman who first is depicted as a Hebrew captive, finds herself an idol worshiper, and ends up the beloved wife of the prophet Daniel. Taking Biblical history and fleshing out the story, the author brings readers a thoroughly captivating read. With descriptive prose that makes the reader feel like you are right there in the scenes and realistic dialogue, the author expertly portrays the struggles and the depth of emotions of the characters and brings clarification to some of the convoluted political alliances and tells of the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews. The development of the characters throughout the story is strong, especially Abigail as she struggles to know who she is. Was she Belili, the woman who had won the love of the Medes' chief magus or was she still Abigail, a Hebrew captive who served Yahweh only? Could her family forgive her for her secrets and lies? Would Yahweh someday include her again in His watchful care? I enjoyed the portrayal of the prophet Daniel throughout the story, not just seeing him as a man who was continually faithful to Yahweh but as a husband and father as well. He knew God was good and nothing would make him deny the One True God. With the portrayal of warfare and subsequent captivity, and corrupt kings and their thoughtless rulings, this is not a light read but it is a story that portrays a sovereign God, the LORD God Most High, who alone holds all kingdoms in His hands. It is a story of sorting out fears and failures and extending and receiving forgiveness for the same. A story of the strengthening of one's faith as one learns the truth of Yahweh's love in the midst of hardship and despair, of seeing His working of miracles in impossible situations. Lovers of Biblical historical fiction will not want to miss Of Fire and Lions. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Waterbrook Publishers and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
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    An epic tale of redemption and forgiveness!

    Ever since I read Mesu Andrews book, “In The Shadow of Jezebel,” I fell in love with the author’s ability to make me think about Biblical stories in new ways. Ways that make me realize that God intended a godly life to be practical and filled with blessings...sounds boring, right? Well, not when Mesu Andrews picks up her pen! And man, oh man, did Mesu pull out all the stops when she wrote Daniel’s story in, “Of Fire And Lions.” When you think of Daniel, you’ll probably remember that he was taken from Israel at a young age, advanced to become one of the chief leaders in Babylon and was thrown into the den of lions because of his prayer life. If you’ve read about his life further, you may even know that it’s commonly accepted that Daniel remained single. But, what if there was evidence that he could have married and had a family? This novel explores those possibilities in an unforgettable fictional retelling of might have happened to Daniel and ...Bellili. “Of Fire And Lions” covers Daniel’s entire life; it starts from the time he’s a boy being taken from Jerusalem up to the first remnant of Jews being sent back to Israel under the reign of Darius. During this time frame, you see both Daniel’s life and the fictional life of Bellili, a Hebrew girl with a Babylonian name that Andrews created to be Daniel’s wife, from beginning to then. I really enjoyed seeing these two grow up and how captivity affected their faith in Yahweh. One of my favorite parts was in the first few chapters, where we see them go from the Holy City of God to Babylon, the city where “Etemenanki” was built. (Etemenaki was the name for the Tower of Babel that they rebuilt.) But, if you’re thinking this story will be a sweet romance between a Hebrew girl and a Hebrew boy who both love God, you’re mistaken. This novel sets a whole new standard to the term “unpredictable” in fiction. The plot twists? I never saw them coming! (And I mean, never!) But it was those plot twists that once again, set my mind to thinking about how unpredictable life is. Not just in fiction, but in real life as well. Bellili had to go through many things, things she didn’t understand. And just like real life, she had to trust God to work all things together for good. Together, those plot twists transformed this story into an epic novel. Conclusion: I loved “Of Fire and Lions!” Not only do you get to travel from Jerusalem to Babylon, but also through 70 years of Israel’s Babylonian exile, rulers and some of Scriptures most often quoted stories. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of insanity and Daniel’s own persecution in the lion's den...you get to see it all. But, “Of Fire And Lions” isn’t just another Biblical Fiction novel, it’s an epic tale of redemption, forgiveness and God’s goodness set in turbulent times of Israel’s history. I highly recommend this new book by Mesu Andrews!
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    Novel Lives up to its Exciting, Exotic name

    Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews lives up to its exciting, exotic name. It will be one of my faves for 2019!! Such a complex story, so many deep emotions, and such great God lessons set against the impossibly capricious and precarious times of the rising and waning Babylonian empire. Themes of faithfulness to Yahweh, the strength of love, HIS forgiveness, restoration with family, secrets, and so much more. My heart is so full, I would urge anyone with an interest in Biblical history to read Andrews’ well-researched and amazingly crafted account of Daniel. One of the themes I found most applicable to my life: What is more important? Personal comfort or following God’s Will? Ouch!! Quote(The heart-rending cry of many a parent, including myself): “ ‘I failed to convince the people I love most that Yahweh is real.’ ‘You have not failed, and you can’t convince them. Only Yahweh can work in a heart to help those we love to believe. We must simply love them with an honest and transparent heart.’ “ I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook-Multnomah. I am not required to leave a positive review and all opinions are solely my own.
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    Great Biblical Fiction

    Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews is a re-telling of the Biblical story of Daniel. From the capture of Jewish prisoners sent to Babylon to the return of the remnant to Jerusalem this story takes you on a ride you will never forget. Daniel and his young friends are sent to Babylon where they are trained to serve in the king’s court. I’m not one who usually reads Biblical fiction, but I thought I’d try this one. Ms. Andrews did not disappoint! I loved the way she brought the story to life. Giving Daniel and the Hebrew Children a family life seemed to make them more human and not just stories that you’ve heard from childhood. Her view of the story had me thinking about things I’d never even stopped to consider. Abigail’s struggles throughout the story were a reminder that God is always near waiting for us to be still and listen and He’ll always take care of us. I will definitely be looking for more books by this very talented author. I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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