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.
Christy Award winner Andrews takes on the story of Judah's King Manasseh in the enthralling second entry in her Novel of Prophets and Kings series (following Isaiah's Daughter). Manasseh, known as the wickedest king in Judah's history, is son of Hezekiah, Judah's most righteous king. Told in part through the eyes of Hephzibah, Manasseh's mother, and Meshullemeth, his wife, the life of Manasseh is one of pagan idol worship, deceit, and betrayal. At the age of five, Manasseh exhibits behaviors related to autism obsession with a spinning toy, deep reticence studded with outbursts and is named co-regent with his father. As he ages, Meshullemeth, who he becomes betrothed to, is used as a pawn by her evil Assyrian-influenced uncle to get close to Manasseh and draw him away from Yahweh. The plan works, with Manasseh allowing idol worship and child sacrifice after he becomes king. However, the redemption prophesied by Isaiah, Hephzibah's father, eventually occurs when Manasseh returns to Yahweh. Andrews handles the evils of these Old Testament tales with care, never avoiding the original stories, but also making clear the motives of Manasseh. Christian readers interested in the stories of the Old Testament will want to check out this exciting tale.