Great Biblical Fiction Series

I am a historical fiction fan.  I love when my "light" fiction reading can also teach me something, so historical fiction is right up my alley.  And if it's biblical historical fiction, that is even better!

I think someday I will have to do a post on my favorite historical fiction series, but one that would make my list is Lynn Austin's The Restorations Chronicles series.  I read the first book a couple years ago, and I was hoping she would write more - and I discovered recently that she has!

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Keepers Of The Covenant opens with the Jewish people, exiled in Babylon, getting the decree from King Xerxes that all the Jews can be killed on the thirteenth of Adar (if this sounds familiar, it is from the story in the book of Esther).  It follows several families through the fear leading up to that day, and the triumph and tragedy of the aftermath.  It then dives into the story of Ezra, who petitioned King Artaxerxes to let the Jews return to their homeland, and it follows them back to the Jerusalem.

This whole story is told through the eyes of different characters, several in Babylon and one in Bethlehem.  The most fun part of the book is the last third, when all the characters are brought together in one place.  There are a couple different sweet romances in this book, which also made it fun to read.

One thing that bothered me initially in this book was the hatred the main character had toward the Gentiles.  It was mentioned so naturally in the first half of the book that I wasn't sure I liked it - I didn't remember reading anything in the Bible condoning hatred of the Babylonians and other Gentiles in Ezra's story.  I was going to mention that as something that I didn't like, but then the author addressed it in a really satisfactory way at the end of the book.  That is all I'll say.

Overall, I found the story to be really accurate to the facts while also adding enough of a story in the characters' relationships to keep the book interesting.  I would definitely recommend this series!

Note: I received digital copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.
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