I was well acquainted with the story of Daniel and Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego. My young years in Sunday School taught me those stories and we even sung songs about them. However, “Of Fire and Lions” taught me so much more about this biblical story.
Author Mesu Andrews is an exquisite author of biblical fiction. She does her research diligently and produces an exemplary novel. It took me one paragraph, that’s all, to become invested in her latest masterpiece. Her penned words picked me up and gently set me down in Daniel and his wife Abigail/Belili’s home. With the author’s talented style I was able to glimpse the land, feasts, customs, and life of Daniel’s time. Her eloquent words flowed gracefully and never stumbled.
Emotions seemed to transfer to me as I felt snubbed or frightened as Abigail admitted she did. Daniel became frustrated and so did I. Even with the three men, I felt their anxiety and then strength. This novel confirmed what we already know, our God is powerful and a safe refuge in times of trouble.
The author knows how to get readers involved and feel what she has written. Descriptions were vivid and to the point. Every word had a responsibility in this work of art and together they produced a stunning, God-glorifying retelling of a biblical story or two.
Each chapter begins with scripture. That was a favorite thing for me. The point of view alternates between Daniel and his wife throughout the book. I adored that. Since this was fiction, I had to remind myself that it did not necessarily happen this way. Blanks were just filled in by the author. However it seemed possible.
All of the essentials for a Christian book were met. First and foremost, it was easy to see this was a Christian fiction that honored a God. Secondly, I gleaned information. It is refreshing to come away from reading a novel with information that I previously did not know. Thirdly, there are discussion questions.
I highly recommend this book. It made me feel closer to God as I read it. Anyone would benefit from reading it. A reading group would find this to be the perfect choice. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by the publisher by I was under no obligation to write a favorable review. These are my own, honest thoughts.
About the Book
Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she’d perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear–until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?
Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.
About the Author