Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1)

by Lynn Austin

Paperback, 2005


Checked out
Due 22 October 2023

Call number



Bethany House Publishers (2005), Edition: Reissue, 320 pages


Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country. Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings.

User reviews

LibraryThing member htrask
Great book! Some sad and violent content. Leaves you wanting the next book immediately.
LibraryThing member WaterMillChurch
This fiction book about King Hezekiah brought to view what it might have been like to be the son of the wickedess king of Judah who offered his own sons as a sacrifice to the god Moleck. It tells a story of how even with this background, Hezekiah became one of the best kings of Judah and sought and
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worshipped the Lord God. LKC
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LibraryThing member retha.groenewald.56
The king sacrifices his firstborn to the idol Molech in the land of Israel. God had chosen Israel as His nation, but throughout the history Israel did not always choose God. During the reign of king Ahaz, idolatry was rife in Israel.
Hezekiah witnesses his brother being sacrificed to Molech. Will
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he survive or is his father going to sacrifice him too? How many sacrifices will there be? Will Judah repent and listen to the prophets?
Are the Levites strong enough to stand for their faith in God? Do they still believe in God? When the high priest is promoted, will he be able to withstand the temptations?
“Grandpa?” he asked at last, “couldn’t Yahweh kill all our enemies and save us? Then my father wouldn’t have to spoil His Temple. Couldn’t Yahweh do that?”
“Certainly He could! Don’t you remember the story I told you about how Yahweh helped David defeat Goliath?”
Hezekiah nodded?
“And remember Joshua and the battle of Jericho? And how Yahweh caused the sun to stand still so Joshua could defeat the five Amorite kings? Yes, of course Yahweh could defeat all of Judah’s enemies.”
“Then why didn’t He, Grandpa?”
Zechariah’s face looked sad as he shook his head. “Because our nation no longer believes in Him… and so no one bothered to ask Him to.”
Lynn Austin thoroughly researched the history of Judah during the reign of king Ahaz. She turned history into a beautiful story allowing the reading to experience different emotions while tension builds with the turning of each page.
The story reminds us that God is the only God to serve. When we replace Him with idols, our hearts are hardened and it becomes difficult to hear the voice of Truth.
“Belief in Yahweh doesn’t come with your mind, Hezekiah. It comes with your heart. When you only believe in things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands, it is idolatry.”
What I enjoyed the most, is how the characters came alive in the pages, pulling the reader into their emotions, fears, victories and love.
I highly recommend Gods and Kings: Chronicles of the Kings.
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LibraryThing member suzemo
This particular book is based on a bit from the Old Testament.

Prince Hezekiah, of Juda, is living a rather boring princely life. He's the son of the King and his wife, the daughter of the (former) high priest of Yahweh. He gets schooled in Yahweh-ism by his high-priest granddad until the king
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becomes a vassal to Assyria (and its gods) and imprisons the grandfather (he was busy protesting the altar to the Assyrian gods at the Temple). King then gets his son a "good" tutor, who happens to be an atheist. King gets old and fat, tearing his kingdom apart to serve Assyria. Everyone turns away from Yahweh, cue indirect smiting. King dies. Hezekiah takes the throne. Comes back to Yahweh. Story ends and we are supposed to read what comes next as Hezekiah tries to bring his Kingdom back from ruins.

It would have rated an extra star or two if there had been a lot less Yahweh. There is a lot of bloat that's only about how awesome Yahweh is. Whatevs. My own fault, I know, reading something categorized as christian fiction, but I've read plenty of fiction whose plot was taken from the bible that was less preachy. I like less preachy. Getting too much into the whole god thing takes it to fantasy land, and there's better (and more fun) fantasy out there.
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LibraryThing member chriSchaeffer
I really enjoyed this book. While it is not completely true to the Bible because the author takes a little liberty in dialogue and events, it is a great way to see a completely new aspect of the same stories I've heard my whole life. Great book!
LibraryThing member PleasantHome
Fictional interpretation of the story of King Ahaz. Thought provoking.
LibraryThing member judyg54
Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When the story begins we find his evil father, King Ahaz, planning to sacrifice Hezekiah to the god Molech. Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. From there she will try to keep Hezekiah
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alive in a time and place that is evil, and filled with treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh. Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength and they will, but it will come after much sorrow and false teaching and failure to give Yahweh first place in their lives. This story brought the history at this time from scriptures more alive and easy to remember and understand. It has also made me check out the scripture passages mentioned at the beginning and read them to see see the real story.
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LibraryThing member EstherFilbrun
I haven’t figured out why, but sometimes, it’s a lot easier to buy books that you want to read rather than actually getting around to reading them. I’ve owned this book for around five years, but finally picked it up about a month ago—and as soon as I started the story, I wondered why I
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hadn’t taken the time for it sooner. This is a good book!

As a fan of Biblical fiction, I was impressed by this story. Not only is it well-written and engaging, but it also keeps to what we know of the Biblical characters and events with an accuracy I greatly appreciate. It bothers me when authors take liberties with Biblical events—there’s a reason why God had them put down as they are, and I don’t like it when things are changed for the convenience of the story. Lynn Austin doesn’t do that, and I respect her for it.

This book brings King Ahaz and the younger years of King Hezekiah to life. I appreciated that even though some of the major sins prevalent at that time were mentioned in the story (and several times, characters had to witness horrific things), those were never glorified or dwelt on in much detail.

If you’re looking for a well-written Biblical fiction series, I highly recommend this one. I’ve only read the first book in the series, but from what I’ve heard, they’re all good. I can’t wait to dive into book two!
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

8.38 inches


0764229893 / 9780764229893

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