Book Reviews

In Feast or Famine by Mesu Andrews

My edition: ARC provided by Netgalley
Pages: 448
Series: The Egyptian Chronicles #2
Genre: Retelling, Biblical Fiction, Historical fiction
Published: Expected May 9, 2023
Rating: 5 star


Thrust into an arranged marriage, the daughter of ancient Egypt’s high priest plays a pivotal role in Joseph’s biblical narrative in this powerful novel from the award-winning author of Potiphar’s Wife.

After four-year-old Asenath’s mother is murdered by Egypt’s foreign rulers, the child is raised to be a priestess by her overprotective father–high priest of Egypt’s sun god. For fifteen years, Asenath is sequestered in the upper levels of Ra’s temple, convinced it is her destiny to heal the land by becoming the queen to the next Egyptian pharaoh. But when Egypt’s foreign king instead gives her as a bride to the newly appointed vizier–a Hebrew named Joseph–her entire world is shaken.

Beyond the walls of her tower, Asenath discovers treachery, deceit, and conspiracy that forces her to redefine her destiny and weigh where her true loyalties lie. Can she still trust the gods of Egypt? Or is Elohim, the foreign God of her husband, the one who will heal her nation during the feast and famine to come?


Thank you Netgalley and WaterBrook Multnomah for this ARC.

“Elohim is perfect,” he said with a faraway stare. “His covenant bearers aren’t.”

Joseph is one of my all-time favorites to read about in the OT. Mesu made me fall in love with him even more. Especially, when he told Asenath that no one would take her away from him. He is a book husband.

Mesu’s research always impresses me. The depth she goes into respecting history and telling Elohim’s story is straight beauty. An art many authors don’t have. I love that Asenath has inner battles. It wasn’t just oh my husband believes so must I. No, at first she was like “I am Isis Incarnate” but then she starts to realize she is so much more. She is a beautiful daughter of Elohim who has a bigger plan for her than she realized.

This book was beautiful. I loved the writing. I loved the story. The only thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was alternating persons. Anenath’s POV is in the first person, while the other two POVs are in the third.

I love Joseph telling Asenath stories of his family. At times, I forget that Abraham is Joseph’s great-grandfather. Mesu does a fantastic job of telling Joseph’s story to us. I loved being able to experience Joseph and Asenath falling in love and being true to each other even when the odds were stacked against them. I love Asenath’s journey into believing in Elohim as I stated before.

At times, I did not like Potiphera, but then I was like he was just a father wanting what he believes is best for his daughter. He’s not the classic villain. He is human and we get to realize that he is human and it’s not black and white.

I highly recommend this book.

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.

Book Reviews

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 283
Genre: Biblical Fiction, Christian, Romance
Published: July 1, 2014, River North
Rating: 5 star


Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi’s home in Israel. Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she had left–a strong back and a willing heart–to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.

Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.


“If God spared us from the piercing shaft of every sorrow,” she said, “we could never fulfill His best plans for our lives. Sometimes the sweetest things in life rise up out of the worst things in life.”

The book of Ruth is one of my all-time favorite OT books. A true romance with God’s redeeming plans hidden within. Miss Tessa brought this book to life with her characters. While it’s not the Word of God, it is for sure my first five-star of the year.

Boaz is an amazing man. Ruth is so kind. I just love them. I love their story as it grew to the end I knew was coming. Boaz does what is right for Ruth not because he is obligated but because he was very much in love. I have to get myself my own physical copy of this book. I love the start of Boaz’s past. Then the introduction of how a possible version of how Naomi met Ruth, how Ruth married Mahlon, how Mahlon passed… So beautifully written. Also, I have to highly praise a book for making me cry fifteen pages in. FIFTEEN!!! That’s a new record. The characters deal with grief and hardship while learning to lean on God and trust Him even when it all looks bleak.

In the book of Ruth, there isn’t much on the growth of Boaz and Ruth’s love. In this book, we get to read about the growth which just makes the ending that much sweeter.

I will also be getting many more Tessa Afshar books. She was true to the biblical story. She made me love the book of Ruth even more. I wonder if she has a book about David.

Book Reviews

The Days of Elijah by John Noble

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 233
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Published: Sept. 10, 2018
Rating: 2 stars


Elijah’s friends are dead, and without a miracle, he’s next.

Elijah is a young prophet studying the Torah, when the soldiers of Queen Jezebel burn his school and massacre his teachers. He escapes, barely, but finds himself on the run and hunted as Queen Jezebel attempts to stamp out the worship of the Hebrew God in Israel and replace it with the worship of Ba’al.

As the queen’s soldiers close in on him, Elijah discovers a little known promise in the Scroll of Deuteronomy and prays for something impossible – that God would turn the skies to bronze and stop the rain on the kingdom that has abandoned Him.

And God says yes.

As drought and famine grip the cloudless land of Israel, God tells Elijah to hide and sends him to the land of Tyre, to a widow and her son who are on the edge of starvation. In Tyre Elijah finds a darkness at the heart of the city, a darkness that threatens to consume Israel next. But even if he survives, will Israel listen to his warning?

This is a re-imagining of the story of Elijah from the Bible.


To find Elijah’s story 1 Kings 17-19; 2 Kings 1-2

Trigger warning: Involves child sacrifice

Elijah is one of my favorite OT prophets. When I saw this book, I jumped on it. Then I saw it was on KU and my excitement when through the roof. I quickly grabbed it and started reading.

To say I was disappointed would be a correct statement. While this book is an easy read with less than 250 pages, I could have had it done in a day. The reason that did not happen was due to the writing. I didn’t feel like I was in Ancient Israel. The world-building wasn’t the best either. I wish there were more descriptions of the surroundings. The dialogue sounded modern. It took me out of the story.

It sucks because like I said Elijah is one of my favorites but this re-imagine of his life events fell flat.

I do have a trigger warning that I will not hide with a spoilers tag. This does include child sacrifice which many pagan religions are extremely known for doing during this time. It was a hard scene for me to get through and even harder to read Dema’s reaction to Elijah being sickened by it.