Book Review - Biblical fiction at its best Isaiah's Legacy: A Novel of Prophets and Kings
This was my first read of 2020, and it completely blew me away. Isaiah's Legacy is a story of redemption. It is a story of brokenness and evil beyond belief, and the God whose love, compassion, and power changed everything. This is my first read by award-winning Mesu Andrews and I can see why her books are rated so highly. Very well written and it's obvious the author did a lot of research to bring us this book. The Old Testament comes alive on these pages and it’s easy to imagine how life was at the time, with the skilful interweaving of scripture and fiction.
In the prologue, Andrews invites the reader to follow her ‘into King Manasseh’s dark world’…… The drama of the Old Testament comes to life as Judah's most notorious king ascends to the throne in this gripping novel. Isaiah 's Legacy is the story of the cruellest king in the history of Judah, Manasseh. We follow Shulle, a young girl who starts as devout Jew, but is manipulated and blackmailed to follow darker roads. She is placed strategically with Manasseh by her uncle, because she has experience with the specific troubles Manasseh is having as a high functioning autistic (this is not named in the book as that would be historically incorrect of course, but it is clear and it is mentioned in the Author’s Note). We follow both of them through the years, and while this is ultimately a story of redemption, the road they both take is very troubling, as you can expect when Manasseh is described as the most evil kings of them all.
I am rarely speechless but after reading this book I didn't have words for it. I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the undeserved, pursuing love of God. Isaiah's Legacy brought to life one of the most profound prodigal stories and a deep expression of God's love. It made me see myself as I am; undeserving but yet loved with a fierceness greater than any chain, claim or darkness.
King Manassah's and Shulle's story will drive your heart to God, will convict your heart of sin and open you wide to the Lord who pursues you like you are the only one alive.
Although Isaiah’s Legacy follows Isaiah’s Daughter, it can be read as a stand-alone book. Biblical fiction at its best - I couldn't read this fast enough and look forward to Andrew's next book.