Hello reader friends! Today I am pleased to share my thoughts about Isaiah’s Legacy with you. It took me more time then I’d like to admit to read this book, but that’s because life kind of got in the way. Finally, I set aside a few hours for reading, and voila. I finally came to the end of the most phenomenal biblical fiction novel I’ve ever read. I was sad to say goodbye, but grateful that I can reread it at any time!
The drama of the Old Testament comes to life as Judah’s most notorious king ascends to the throne in this gripping novel from the award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter.
At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle’s help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah’s five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she’s eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father’s strict adherence to Yahweh’s Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.
Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh’s chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah’s throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria’s crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle’s long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she’d never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh’s mother: Isaiah’s daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah’s dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord’s promise, “Though we’re helpless now, we’re never hopeless–because we serve El Shaddai.” Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah’s legacy.
Mesu Andrews is a fantastic author, and Isaiah’s Legacy is proof of that. I’m fortunate enough to have the read the bible, and Manasseh’s story in particular. I know how his story goes and ends. Andrews made me forget – and I mean that in a good way. As I was reading this story, I was so engrossed in what was happening that my mind couldn’t concentrate on anything else. Andrews pulled me into Manasseh’s world, into Shulle’s world. I was sitting on the edge of seat wondering where the story would take me next.
One thing I appreciate about Andrews is all the research she does before writing her stories. Not only does she include biblical characters (it is biblical fiction after all), but she includes historical characters. She references things that actually happened during that time, such as rituals and traditions. She makes sure the clothing, the dialogue, and everything about her writing matches the time. And yet somehow it is easy for this modern day reader to read and understand. It just blows my mind!
Speaking of modern day, I love the fact that she gave Manasseh a “modern day” characterization (autism). Somehow it just made me connect with his character more, or it made him more real. Something, I just don’t think I can put it into words exactly. And I loved the fact that he found a friend in Shulle – someone who could comfort him.
Shulle’s character intrigued me. I always saw a ray of light in her, even when she didn’t. She had a good heart, which at times became her downfall (in the world’s eyes anyway). I think she truly did love Nasseh, even though he frightened her at times. And same goes for Nasseh. I do think he truly loved Shulle, even though he did not have the best way of expressing it.
Isaiah’s Legacy is not just my favorite story of Mesu Andrews, it is my favorite biblical fiction novel to date. It is more than just a story. It’s a powerful message that will entice readers to study their bible more, and thank the Lord that we live in the day we do. Thank you Ms. Andrews for once again hitting a homerun!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“Though we don’t always understand God’s plan, we can trust His goodness for a future we can’t yet see.”
“We must place him in Yahweh’s hand and trust the only one who can teach him from the inside out.”
Mesu grew up with a variegated Christian heritage. With grandparents from the Pilgrim Holiness, Nazarene, and Wesleyan Churches, her dad was a Quaker and mom charismatic. As you might imagine, God was a central figure in most family discussions, but theology was a battlefield and Scripture the weapon. As a rebellious teenager, Mesu rejected God and His Word, but discovered Jesus as a life-transforming Savior through the changed life of an old friend.
The desire for God’s Word exploded with her new commitment, but devotional time was scarce due to the demands of a young wife and mother. So Mesu scoured the only two theology books available–children’s Bible stories and her Bible. The stories she read to her daughters at night pointed her to the Bible passages she studied all day. She became an avid student of God’s Word, searching historical and cultural settings as well as ancient texts and original languages.
Mesu and her husband Roy have raised those two daughters and now enjoy a tribe of grandkids, who get to hear those same Bible stories. Mesu’s love for God’s Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in deep historical research.
Mesu writes in their log cabin tucked away in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Her best friend is an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke, who keeps her company on long writing days. Zeke also enjoys watching movies, long walks in the woods, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy days.
Do you often find you want to dig deeper into the bible after reading a biblical fiction novel?