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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Faith of My Fathers by Lynn Austin

At the sudden death of King Hezekiah of Judah, his immature son Manesseh was given control of the entire kingdom. However, Manesseh is no more than a boy who knows nothing about being king. Soon, paranoia and confusion are triggered in his mind by an encounter with a strange man preforming sacrificial rituals in a graveyard. This man plants seeds of doubt in his mind regarding a supposed conspiracy against him designed to usurp the throne. Manesseh soons foolishly allows this man to take control of his life-and all of Judah. He murders the only people he can trust, forcing his childhood friend, Joshua ben Eliakim, into hiding with other family members who escaped with him. As Manesseh leads Judah further and further away from Yahweh, the one true God, further away Joshua wants to be from his friend-turned-enemy. But when Joshua is faced with the opportunity to smuggle all that is Yahweh's out of His defiled temple, he will stop at nothing to visit revenge upon the young king of Judah.
Lynn Austin's series has entered a new dimension. Gone is Hezekiah and his righteousness, mistakes, and repentance. In is Manesseh and his wickedness, confusion, and immorality. I imagine that this is how it was for Judah as well, so Lynn did a good job of capturing this. All series need a changeup if they are to continue past the normal three-book limit, and she has done this as well, by choice and by requirement. What she has done with Faith of My Fathers is something she has never done before in her career-break her limits and finally achieve the five star rating.
Joshua is a better character than one may expect at first. He is perhaps the deepest character of this series. Manesseh's journey to wickedness is much like that of Uriah's in Gods and Kings-slow but sure, and prodded by an outside force. Lynn Austin did an excellent job by handling this deeply troubled man correctly rather than making him out to be a cheesy character, causing him to begin his reign with wickedness. There are no perfect characters as there were in the first three books of this series. Lynn has finally returned to her old self by crafting and developing good characters.
Lynn must have worked overtime studying the Bible and paralleling historical accounts, because she discovered some intruiging passages of Isaiah's prophecies that the average readers does not think much of. She showed readers many overlooked things in the Bible and developed a good plot based on these such things. There are no romantic subplots that work out, and most key character deaths are based on the Bible. Lynn has shown that she is a true research author, for she has researched the forgotten corners of the Bible and has written a superb book as a result. There is nothing wrong with this plot, therefore finally awarding Lynn Austin a five star book.
Lynn Austin is the best Biblical\historical author on the market because not only does she research her plot backgrounds well, but she also writes an original plot to complement this. She has done what no other author in her genre has done before by simply going to extra mile.
5 stars

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