Book Reviews

Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 316
Series: Chronicles of the Kings #1
Genre: Christian, Biblical Fiction
Published: Feb. 01, 2005, by Bethany House
Rating: 3.5 stars


Though born the second son of King Ahaz, Hezekiah is not protected from his father’s perverted attempts to gain the favor of the idol Molech. Terrified and powerless at the foot of Molech’s altar, Hezekiah encounters for the first time the one true God of his royal ancestry, Yahweh.

But his journey to the Holy One is riddled by influence from an assortment of men: Zechariah, a grandfather of noble standing who has fallen into drunkenness; Uriah, the High Priest whose lust for power forces him to gamble the faith he proclaims; and Shebna, the Egyptian intellectual who guides Hezekiah’s instruction.

For the two women who love Hezekiah, the meaning of love–and its sacrificial essence–will direct the course of their lives and help shape the young prince’s future.


Let me point out the obvious here, this book was hard for me to read. I have read two other Lynn Austin books. I enjoyed them and they were nice to read if my memory serves me correctly. This book here dealt with some issues that were super hard.

Disclaimer: There will be spoilers ahead.
Trigger warning: Child sacrifice

The thing about this book is that upon the child sacrifice, there isn’t much gory detail. But it is still hard to read. Ahaz and Uriah are my absolute least favorite of the characters. Uriah, I disliked more than Ahaz. Ahaz didn’t act right from the beginning. Uriah was a priest and not just any priest, the HIGH priest of Yahweh. He was commanded by Ahaz to oversee a human sacrifice to the Canaan god Molech. Uriah does this and doesn’t stand up to Ahaz saying how wrong it is. Then he has the nerve to think Ahaz is a coward for sacrificing his children to keep him alive. Okay, but what does that make you, Uriah? Uriah wanted power and title more than pleasing God. Uriah’s character annoyed me with his hypocritical judgment. There isn’t much mention in the Bible about Uriah other than he did what Ahaz commanded. It was interesting to see a take on what possibly happened to Uriah.

Uriah is what I call the best example of the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” The perfect example really. The more his character showed, the more I was saddened by him. But he is a cautionary tale of what happens when corruption takes over. Another perfect example of when a person who was once for God slowly starts turning to the world to appease the world rather than please God. The people of God are called to stay faithful to God even if we are the only ones doing it. Uriah didn’t do that and you can see this battle when Zechariah and Isiah remain faithful, but Uriah has not. Even Abijah the woman Uriah loves was faithful to God until her end which Ahaz ordered because of her faith.

Now I think another reason I wasn’t a big fan of this book is that I am going into a slump. I don’t know what happened but every book just doesn’t sound good. I am blaming Tessa Afshar who gave me my first five-star book. The book is told in two parts. Part one was slow for me but it wasn’t boring or anything. Like I said, I think the slump had something to do with it. Part two really picked up and I think got me out of the slump. I can’t wait to pick up book two. I hope my library has it.