Young Shulle is taken from the peaceful life with her loving father, to a world fraught with intrigue and sorcery in Prince Manasseh's court. She finds herself lost and confused drawn away from the faith of her youth, to worshipping false gods, while fighting for the love the young prince as he becomes king.
Set during Manasseh's turbulent reign, Mesu Andrews deals skillfully with this complex and at times painful story of sacrifice, forgiveness, and restoration. The story is told through varying points of view, shifting between Shulle, Zibah, and Nasseh, showing the confused and vulnerable king and the women who loved him most.
Though a sequel, this book stands well on it's own. A well researched fictional account showing the danger and darkness of idol worship, as well as the sovereignty of God, in the good and bad. I loved how this book portrayed people with different challenges as equal, but different, showing that they are capable of a great many things.
At times it wasn't an easy book to read, and this book deals with many mature themes--though not explicitly, like the sexual nature of pagan worship, so I wouldn't recommend for younger or more sensitive readers.
Overall, a compelling, and at times heart-wrenching fictionalization of Manasseh's reign and restoration. I loved Shulle from the beginning as a kind hearted young girl, patient and understanding, yet confused and taken advantage of, my heart went out to her. I admired Zibah's faithfulness and her mother's heart for her child. A beautifully, heartbreaking read of love, sin, idolatry and God's sovereignty through it all.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.