Review: Isaiah’s Legacy, by Mesu Andrews

book coverSynopsis

The drama of the Old Testament comes to life as Judah’s most notorious king ascends to the throne in this gripping novel from the award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter.

At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle’s help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah’s five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she’s eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father’s strict adherence to Yahweh’s Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.

Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh’s chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah’s throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria’s crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle’s long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she’d never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh’s mother: Isaiah’s daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah.

Amid Judah’s dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord’s promise, “Though we’re helpless now, we’re never hopeless–because we serve El Shaddai.” Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah’s legacy.

My Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own. I appreciate being a member of the BFF team.

Comments about Christianity aren’t always positive. I’ve often heard that it’s misogynistic, for example, even though that’s something with which I disagree. But, when I consider the paganism featured in this novel, I want to say how thankful I am for the Christian faith. Isaiah’s Legacy isn’t the first book I’ve read by Mesu Andrews, not by a long shot, but it is the one I had the most difficulty finishing. That’s nothing to do with her quality of writing, but instead due to the subject matter Andrews had to write about.

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Welcome to Isaiah’s Legacy Blog Hop – Stop #22

blog tour graphic

1 Week ~ 24 Blogs ~ 3 Incredible Prizes!

Learn a little about Isaiah’s Legacy and enter multiple giveaways while picking up CLUES at each stop. Compile all the clues, submit the final PHRASE at the last stop, and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 Grand Prizes!

What are the prizes? They’re completely unique to the winners!

Mesu will contact each winner personally to chat about what they would most like to see in Israel, and then she’ll SHOP for just the right gift while touring Israel, March 6-19! She’ll then purchase a personal and memorable gift specifically chosen for each of those three winners and ship them to each one when she returns. How fun is that?!

How does the Scavenger Hunt & Blog Tour Work?

  • Begin at Stop #1. At the end, you’ll find a CLUE and a link to the next stop. Progress to each stop IN ORDER.
  • Collect all the clues—in order—and submit the full phrase at the last blog stop in the Rafflecopter form. Every stop has a clue, so be sure not to skip any along the way!
  • You may enter the final giveaway only once and win only one grand prize.
  • The Hunt begins 2/19/20 at noon EDT. Deadline for entries is Tuesday, 02/25 at midnight Eastern.
  • For best results, hunt through our list using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).

There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have a whole week! As you visit each blog, it’s our hope that you get to know Mesu’s BFF team and discover the heart behind Isaiah’s Legacy.

Hi there!

book coverI’m Sally, and Isaiah’s Legacy is the fourth book I’ve helped promote on Mesu’s BFF team. I love reading her novels, and I’ve learned a lot from them as well.

Want to dig deeper into God’s Word about the king in Isaiah’s Legacy? Check out the YouVersion Devotional Bible Study. (I love YouVersion!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. My actual review will be in another post on here. Remember to write down your CLUE before clicking to the next stop.

Here’s the Stop 22 Stuff!

Clue to write down: betray.”

Link to STOP #23: Assyria’s King Sennacherib Married to a Hebrew?

Bookmark STOP #1 so you can check the tour schedule and get back on track if at any point you get lost or find a broken link.

Enjoy the hunt!
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Review: The Hocus Girl, by Chris Nickson

book coverDisclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

Have you ever read a book and wanted to know MORE? If you’re like me then you probably have, but I don’t think I’ve anticipated a next book more eagerly than when I waited for The Hocus Girl. To quickly recap, in The Hanging Psalm, readers are introduced to thief-taker, Simon Westow, and his assistant Jane. A thief-taker is someone who hunts down stolen items and returns them to their rightful owners for a fee. Simon, Jane, his wife and his sons, live in gritty 19th century Leeds. It’s the time of the Industrial Revolution, and great change is taking place. New machines are being invented, and man’s place in the world is shifting. Leeds is full of mills and mines, and the first commercially viable steam engine has been built on the city’s outskirts. Continue reading

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Review: Veiled in Smoke, by Jocelyn Green

book coverSynopsis

The Flames Took So Much.
She Can’t Lose Her Father As Well.

Meg Townsend and her sister, Sylvie, seek a quiet existence managing the family bookshop. Meg feels responsible for caring for their father, Stephen, whose spirit and health are both damaged from his time as a prisoner during the Civil War. Her one escape is the paintings she creates and sells in the bookshop.

Then the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago’s business district. The fiery explosions and chaos stir up memories of war for Stephen as he runs from the blaze and becomes separated from his daughters. Days later, when the smoke has cleared, Meg and Sylvie manage to reunite with him. Their home and shop are lost, and what’s left among the ashes may be even more threatening than the flames, for they learn that a close friend was murdered the night of the fire–and Stephen has been charged with the crime. After he is committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum, where they cannot visit him, Stephen feels as lost to them as the shop that now lies in rubble.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life but prove the truth of what happened that night, before the asylum truly drives her father mad.

Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the author and the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

The Civil War might’ve ended in 1865, but its impact was felt long after. Continue reading

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Review: Daughter of Rome, by Tessa Afshar

book coverSynopsis

A woman with a devastating secret. A man bent on proving his worth. A chance encounter that catapults them into the heart of history.

When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish immigrant, neither one can dream of God’s plan to transform them into the most influential couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury them. Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they’re banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption.

With impeccable research and vivid detail, Daughter of Rome is both an emotive love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth, reminding readers once again why Debbie Macomber has said that “no one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar.”

My Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author and the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

In her eighth novel, Biblical fiction author Tessa Afshar gives us a fascinating look at two of the many new Christians Paul spoke of in his letters. Not much is known of Priscilla and Aquila: we know they were a couple, probably married; that Aquila was a Jewish man from a place called Pontus; that they were tentmakers who’d been forced to leave Rome due to an edict from Caesar; they saved Paul’s life at one point; and that they traveled with him from Corinth to Ephesus. It’s not much, but I’ve seen writers do a lot with far less. In Daughter of Rome, Afshar examines some possibilities, including the idea that Priscilla was possibly a Roman citizen, and takes us right to the heart of first century Rome.

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Review: An Uncommon Woman, by Laura Frantz

book coverSynopsis

Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical eighteenth-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical eighteenth-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the Seven Years’ War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa’s long-lost friend, Keturah, who disappeared from the settlement years earlier.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand–and heart—are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

My Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

The 1770s were a decade of upheaval in North America. While cities such as Boston were ripe for rebellion against the Crown, inland settlers attempted to tame the lands ceded to the British as a result of the French and Indian War. Many Indian tribes, including the Lenape, had supported the French and – to put it mildly – didn’t appreciate the settlers taking over their traditional hunting grounds. This, then, is the setting of Laura Frantz’s newest colonial romance novel. Continue reading

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Review: On Wings of Devotion, by Roseanna M. White

book coverSynopsis

Against Every Warning, She’s Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as “Black Heart”

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed “Black Heart,” she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing–and some of her own to do as well.

With Camden’s court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope–and to each other–if they want to survive.

My Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

Continue reading

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Review: Above the Fold, by Rachel Scott McDaniel

book coverDisclaimer: This review is part of a Reviewer Tour for JustRead Tours. The words and opinions below are my own.

I’ve a special affinity for the city of Pittsburgh. It’s the first American city I visited, back in 1996, and something about seeing that skyline – whether it’s through the tunnels to the south or on the highway to the north – still excites me. Naturally, I love reading historical fiction set in western Pennsylvania. Above the Fold grabbed my attention in the first paragraph, where the windows of the Allegheny County Courthouse are described as “soot-stained.” Those few words captured the essence of the Pittsburgh in the 1920s.

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The Best of 2019 – Books

According to my Goodreads account, I read 60 books this year. That’s down a little from previous years, but 2019 threw some curve balls our way and I wasn’t able to read as much as I would in a regular year. If there is such a thing as a regular year, that is. It’s also the year I switched to a new review blog.

I decided to join the crowd in naming my favourite books of the year. They aren’t listed in terms of ultimate favourites. Instead, they’re in the order I read and reviewed them.

Amazingly, it works out to a Top 10 + One list.

So, agree or disagree? Which of these did you read this year?

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Admin: Updates of the Good Kind

Hi everyone

So, the observant among might have noticed there was no new book review today. Honestly? I’ve not yet begun to read the book I had planned to review. It’s hard to focus on new fiction when your brain won’t cooperate. Yep, I’ve been sick for a portion of the past week and taking it easy. Thankfully, I’m back to my usual self and normal service should be resumed.

On a positive note, you’ll want to repoint your browsers. I no longer have a long website address. Yesterday, I updated my subscription and this website’s new address is mccombsonmain.com You should no longer see annoying advertising when you come to visit.

This financial commitment means that I am committed to expanding this website. Right now the activity is all on the blog, and almost every entry on the blog is a book review. My original intention, however, was to focus on a couple of different subjects: history, books, travel, and dog friendly locations. Almost all of these can interconnect on some level: the majority of the books I review, for example, are either historical fiction or about historical events. Many of the places I visit are historical in nature, and/or dog friendly. I’ll also share more about my work in fair trade, because I am also committed to improving the lives of others.

So you’ll see some changes over the coming weeks, but you’ll also continue to see some familiar topics such as the book reviews. I hope you’ll stick with me and enjoy the ride we’re about to take. In the meantime, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas.

Sally

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