“Each one of us must seek Adonai’s help and cry out to Him to free us from Sisera, from Jabin, our tormentors,” Jill Eileen Smith writes in her historical fiction novel, The Prophetess: Deborah’s Story.
~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy enhanced versions of Biblical stories involving women. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, the topics of rape, murder, war, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. An author’s note and biography, as well as acknowledgments and advertisements, complete the book.
Second in the Daughters of the Promised Land series, this retold story is taken from Judges 4 in the Old Testament when Deborah was the judge of Israel, Sisera was murdering her kin, Barak warred with him, and Jael got revenge. Using these four characters with a backdrop of several others not mentioned in the Bible, it focuses on repentance and having faith and trust in God.
After twenty years of praying to be released from the Caannanites’ cruelties, the Prophetess Deborah sees visions of salvation by God. Questioning her marriage and daughter’s persistence, she finds strength in the Almighty both politically and personally.
~ Why ~
With the story based on what little is known of Deborah, the historical reenactment adds the personal strain and emotional frustrations between families as Israel is told not to worship other gods. I like how Smith’s research helps the reader visualize how customs, beliefs, and relationships were in 1100 BC.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like fictionalized Bible stories may pass on this one as the author has used liberties to enhance the story with many added characters. I found the beginning rather slow and confusing due to the myriad of names, but the novel did become a captivating read.
~ Who ~
Bestselling author Smith has written ten books about the lives of Biblical women from King David’s three wives and the wives of three Israeli patriarchs to the love of King Solomon and this new series of the daughters of the Promise Land.
~ Wish ~
With a plethora of characters, it would be helpful having a list at the beginning of the book.
~ Want ~
If you enjoy learning about Biblical Old Testament women in a fictionalized setting based on Scripture, this is an engaging, historical story. For those that know the Bible, it is a viable rendition of the prophetess, equally focusing on Jael’s role in Sisera’s demise.
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars.
Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.