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Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel (Lost…

Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel (Lost Loves of the Bible)

by Ginger Garrett

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Book received via GoodReads FirstReads program for an honest review. Thanks for the book!

Rating is actually 3.5, but rounded down for the reason in paragraph 4.

I did really enjoy the fleshing out of Jezebel's character. She breathed with life, with motivations, causes, and emotions all her own. While I definitely wouldn't want to hang out with her in real life ('dis girl got some serious issues), the author gives us reasons for why she is the way she is through life events and a belief system that is twisted at best. Since this is reason for my signing up for a copy of this book, I'm glad it paid off in a rich and vivid character study of one of the Bible's most hated females.

The time period came alive for me as well. The author made ancient Phoenicia and Israel come to life through the sights, smells, and sounds of the ancient world. The distinct cultures of each nation also were very vividly contrasted, from the colors of everyday life to how the people approach their religions.

I've got to give the author chops for not being afraid to portray the times as they were. It wasn't all dreamy nostalgic reminiscences of a better time. Life was harsh and often short, with famine and nasty religions everywhere. The graphic portrayals of the sacrifices and mass murder scenes threw me a bit, but only in that the world felt more real to me. I actually enjoyed that realism, just make sure you're not eating while reading them.

The biggest con in this book for me is that, at times, it came off almost preachy and heavy handed on certain issues, like abortion and women's place in society. In certain parts of this book, I got the impression that the author was comparing female freedom in life to infanticide and evil. That just strikes me wrong on so many levels. There were also times where I felt like I was in church and the preacher was giving a sermon. And while that has its place, I didn't enjoy it that much in my fiction. But then again, this book draws its inspiration from the Bible so I guess it's supposed to be there. From glimpsing through some other reviews, I seem to be in the minority here with these impressions. But they were the big hang ups for me in enjoying this book fully.

Overall, this book swept me into ancient Israel with vivid characters, larger than life religions, and situations that both appalled and kept me engaged. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Bible-inspired Christian fiction as long as you're able to overlook some at times heavy moralizing. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 12, 2016 |
I read this not being previously familiar with Jezebel’s story. All I could recall was that Jezebel = bad. I mean, even her name is a derogatory word these days. So I wasn’t sure which direction this book would take.

I read a couple of reviews before starting because I hadn't realized at first that this was one in a series, and wasn't sure if I'd be able to read it without having first read the previous two. If you're in the same boat, don't worry, this book stands alone. The reviews disheartened me because I am a very empathetic and sensitive person when it comes to violence. But I trudged on. The author wastes no time diving right into the sin, cruelty and perversion. I didn’t think it was as graphic as others thought. Though painful to read, particularly because these things are not just fiction, they happened, it was bearable.

I quickly came to understand Elijah’s sorrow. After his curse, I had a horrible sense of foreboding: This was going to get a whole lot worse. I could see things unraveling. How could Ahab not? How could he not be more affected, more nervous, more driven to set things right? And not just for himself, he was bringing this upon his people as well. I guess it’s in our human nature to want to hope things work out okay even when we’re making destructive decisions. We have the completed Bible, so we know when there’s no hope for a situation. Although, they had prophets, so they knew it too. I guess it just comes down to faith. And as Ahab says, he was born without Hebrew blood, without religion. He even states early on that, “whether or not they are real, the gods are for us,” showing that he had no faith.

This was the low point for me. I knew enough that I knew Jezebel’s story would not end well, and if this was the beginning… well I braced myself for further pain and suffering. It did get better though. I wanted to root for Ahab and of course would wish that Jezebel and her people would turn from evil and know God. But though I could not know that relief, I was able to rejoice for Elijah and the nation of Israel regaining their sanity.

Bottom line, I would recommend this book. I expected to learn a little more about Jezebel and Ahab, and the people of that time, possibly even a little bit about human nature and how their failings are ones that are still relevant to us today. And yes, I did glean all of that, but what I took away from this book was a better understanding of my Father. I got a glimpse of the pain and frustration and rage over the events that took place, but also the mercy and love.

On side note, the only complaint about the writing that I had was that the dates jumped around too casually. I think the author intending it this way to give the passage of time a feel of melting away, but it had the opposite affect on me, as I had to stop every time I noticed and get my bearings and try to figure out where all the characters were and what was going on. And I appreciated the few facts at the end of the book- simply unthinkable!
( )
  lyssa73 | Aug 2, 2014 |
In her lifetime, she knew murder, prejudice, and faith. She transformed from a Jewish girl longing for family to one of the closest friends of Jesus of Nazareth -- the Son of God. Reign: The Chronicles Of Queen Jezebel is the story of Mary Magdalene, who is probably one the top five most famous women from the Bible. I cried several times while reading this book, out of sheer awe and emotion.

I loved seeing the relationship between Jesus and Mary come to life. You can see that Mary greatly admired him and when she finally found a way to forgive herself, she was willing to work hard to follow Jesus and do what she could to help his ministry.
I enjoyed this book very much but as a warning to other readers, make sure you realize that this is a fictional account of Mary. It may have some of the facts straight, but a lot of this is fiction. If you want to know the real story of Mary, the Bible is where you'll get the most accurate facts. ( )
  MaryAnn12 | Sep 6, 2013 |
Title: Reign (The Chronicles of Queen Jezabel)
Author: Ginger Garrett
Pages: 320
Year: 2013
Publisher: David C. Cook
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org
There are many aspects of Scripture that inspire as well as confound me. Within the pages of the Bible are the words of God, which include the testimony of lives and times of long ago. While most people seek to or wish their history could be changed, hidden or erased, the Bible exposes the true heart of mankind. There is nothing whitewashed in The Book, which leads us to the proof of its authenticity.
Here, Ginger Garrett once again writes an expose of sorts of a woman in Israel’s ancient history in a fictional setting that will capture the reader from the first page! Israel’s and Judah’s history of Kings shows both those who did right in the eyes of the Lord, while others chose to do evil. The novel Reign is set in the time of Ahab as Prince, his marriage to Jezebel and the inevitable interactions with the prophet Elijah. Jezebel knows nothing about Israel’s God. To her, He is just another “god”. She serves her idols with the belief that the highest devotion one can give is a life.
Ginger Garrett’s novel gives us an intriguing story with insights into the main character’s heart and her longing to be loved. Though all attempts to train her in knowing Him are ultimately rejected, Jezebel proves to be a stumbling block not only for Ahab, but for the nation of Israel. There is one thing and one thing only that Jezebel believes will give her fulfillment…a throne and power. Will Jezebel get everything she wants and that she believes will make her feel loved?
I enjoyed reading this suspense-filled novel. Readers can read about the people and events of this time in the Bible. Ginger Garrett will keep you turning pages just waiting to see which of the main characters is going to do something. It was hard to put down and sad to get to the end, because I was enjoying it so very much! I like the story Ginger writes about Esther in her book Chosen, and Samson with Delilah in her other novel, Desired.
You will find all three very worth your time to read and enjoy, with the passing them on to others to read might be a good idea as well. If you aren’t familiar with the Old Testament, these works of fiction will help introduce you to just a small portion of ancient peoples and times. I know Ginger Garrett has written other novels, but I hope she will consider adding more to this particular series!
My rating is 5 stars!
(The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457) ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Jul 15, 2013 |
The name Jezebel brings to mind many things such as loose women, painted ladies. But Jezebel could also be described by words such as moody,manipulative and murderous. She would stop at nothing to have what she wanted, including sacrificing her twin sister to the Goddess Asherah.

Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel is the latest historical fiction novel in the Lost Loves of the Bible Series by Ginger Garrett. It shows that a lot of research went into writing this story. The fiction has been woven so neatly into the historical facts that is hard to tell where the facts stop and fiction begins.

What a wonderful story Ginger has given us. I am so looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

I received a copy of this book through the Book Fun Network in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  grammygeek | Jun 5, 2013 |
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Beyond the Drama, Her Heart Was Real From the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel's exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks down walls. Torn from her homeland and wed to power in a strange country, Jezebel vows to create a legacy and power all her own. Some might call her a manipulative schemer, bent on having her way. But they don't know the whole story, and she was much, much worse. As she moves through the halls of power, her heart struggles between devotion to the gods she worships, the prince who loves her, and her thirst for revenge. She sparks a battle between her strangely powerless gods and the God of palace administrator Obadiah--a God who confronts her with surprising might. She will fight, though victory may cost her everything.… (more)

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