About the Book:
The Old Testament book of Daniel comes to life in this novel for readers of Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings series or Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series.
Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. In the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers she thought she’d perfected pretending, with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear–until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?
Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.
I’m sometimes hesitant to read a fictional story about Biblical characters, but I really appreciated Andrews’ tale Of Fire and Lions. I appreciate that Andrews gives an outline for how she writes Biblical, historical fiction.
1) Biblical accounts and Scripture build the foundation,
2) Historical facts support the truth of God’s Word, and
3) Creative fiction holds the historical fact and Biblical truth together.
I absolutely loved that the creative fiction made the familiar stories come alive. For example, I’d never worked out a timeline or thought of the age that Daniel would have been when cast into the lions den. It moved me when I realized he wasn’t a young, strong man at that point, but an older, more vulnerable age. For some reason I tend to create an image of a character and then it never ages, so to meet Daniel in his later years was a gift that I had missed when I read the Biblical text.
There is, of course, a lot of holy imagination happening, but all in all I felt that the story not only stayed true to the Biblical text, it captivated. I now find it easier to put myself in the shoes of the captives than I did before. I stood with awe as I watched the ways that the LORD met with the characters. I remembered, yes, this is my God. I felt their doubts, their losses, their joys, all very real and very familiar.
The book does jump back and forth in the timeline of Belili’s life, but I didn’t find it at all hard to follow. In fact, this was one of those books that I really hated to have to set down and walk away from at any point.
I really liked Of Fire and Lions and would recommend it to you.
I received a free digital copy of this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion.