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The Last Queen Of Sheba
Sisters of Lazarus
Love In A Broken Vessel
Rebekah
Gods and Kings
Love’s Sacred Song
Stories of Jesus
Sarai
Yeshua
The Fisherman
Martha
The Damascus Way
Ave Maria
The Book of God


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Christian Fiction: Biblical

Novels of fantasy with Christian principles, Bible characters or about church life.

The Last Queen Of Sheba

- A Novel

by Jill Francis Hudson


The Last Queen of Sheba centres on the visit made by the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon (recorded in 1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9) and draws on legends written about this event.

The main characters, Tamrin, Makeda the Queen of Sheba, and Menelik are likeable and the reader is drawn into their story. When Tamrin and Makeda visit King Solomon, he is portrayed as godly, wise and dynamic; Israel is described as enjoying its ‘golden age’ and the fictional love story is not overdone.

The reasons the author gives for the changes in King Solomon which lead to the downfall of the kingdom of Israel fit in with the plot she has conceived. It is interesting to consider how and why he changed so much, when everything had been going so well for him. The contrast when Menelik visits Solomon 20 years on from Makeda’s visit is told convincingly.

Given that the story is set in ancient times, it manages to be accessible and keeps the reader interested.



Review by Heloise Hearn  (28/07/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Published: 31 July 2014
ISBN: 978-1-782-64097-4
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Sisters of Lazarus

- Beauty Unveiled

by Paula K Parker


I loved this book. What a wonderful way to bring the stories of the Bible alive adding the ways of that time and culture so that anyone, without being a Bible scholar, can learn more about them.

Parker looks at the sisters of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, and tells their stories not as individuals but as a family unit with their extended family, along with their culture and their lifestyle, and most importantly how beauty of the physical is not important but beauty of the heart is. The author has an excellent way of bringing the reader into the book and making them feel like they are one of the other guests meeting Jesus for the first time.

Well written, this book flows and I really enjoyed piecing together stories that I had not set in order for myself. I found it quite inspirational from a woman, writing for women and hope that Parker will be lead to write more.



Review by Zoė Stevenson  (14/03/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: January 2013
ISBN: 978-1-780-78050-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Love In A Broken Vessel

- A Novel

by Mesu Andrews


Many people have read and loved 'Redeeming Love' by Francine Rivers, which relocates the story of Hosea and Gomer in the American West. Mesu Andrews’ book recounts the same tale, but does so within the context of the Israel and Judah of the time.

I really liked the way that each chapter begins with a quote from Scripture, which helped me to remember that the story we read in the Bible is one that happened to real people. Mesu Andrews obviously did a huge amount of research into what life was like at that time, which comes across in the events she describes and the descriptions she includes.

The book became a little repetitive, but then the book of Hosea is a litany of repeated turning away from the Lord followed by reconciliation and forgiveness. Because large portions of the book are written from Gomer’s point of view the reader gets a real feeling for how she must have felt to be taken from her life as a prostitute to become the wife of a prophet of the LORD.

Mesu Andrews has included several other characters in her story, such as Amoz and Uzziah.

While there is no biblical foundation for this, their presence is historically justifiable and adds to the overall picture of a people who are struggling to remain faithful to God in an increasingly pagan world.

This is one of the best examples of modern Christian fiction written primarily for women.



Review by Paula Hill  (09/03/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: April 2013
ISBN: 978-0-800-72169-5
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Rebekah

- A Novel

by Jill Eileen Smith


How beautifully Jill Eileen Smith crafts her novel around the bare bones of the biblical story of Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, in the book of Genesis, chapters 24 to 27, staying as close as she can to the original text, which she actually quotes at the start of each part of the book. Not much to go on really, but her fictional additions do ring true. There's Rebekah's devotion to her father, and her brother, both named Bethuel, and the tension between her and her mother, Nuriah, and other brother, Laban. There's the passionate love between Rebekah and Isaac, and her affection for Isaac's father, Abraham. But there's also the deep and lasting scar on Isaac's, and his mother Sarah's relationship with Abraham, following Abraham's "binding" of his son, when he takes Isaac up a mountain, believing it is God's will that he should sacrifice him, a fate only averted at the last minute, thanks to the providential appearance of a ram for sacrifice. It is a long time before Isaac can understand, let alone forgive, his father's action. Years later comes the long and profound estrangement between Isaac and Rebekah, when Isaac shows a preference for one of their twin sons, Esau, while Rebekah favours the other twin, Jacob. Isaac is unable to accept the truth of Rebekah's earlier vision pointing to Jacob as the superior one. The perils of Rebekah's over-possessiveness show when she masterminds the deception that gains Jacob's blessing from Isaac when it should have been given to Esau. Rebekah is not perfect in this novel! Finally, in the book's last four pages, Isaac and Rebekah are reconciled, in their old age. "'We have each other',¯ Isaac said. 'Yes, we do.'¯ She kissed his cheek. And for now, that was enough." Jill comments that this was a hard book to write. "I stressed and prayed over every scene, certain I would never pull the story together." But God, in His grace, helped her to finish it. "I am in awe of a heavenly Father who used a difficult story to tell me much about Himself, about His character. May I never stop trusting Him."¯ Hard to write but thoroughly enjoyable to
read.

Visit the author's website:www.jilleileensmith.com/

Review by Barry Vendy  (03/07/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-800-73430-5
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Gods and Kings

- Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings.

by Lynn Austin


The story of King Ahaz and his son Hezekiah told in novel form – and a powerful story it is too. Powerful enough when read in the Bible but dramatised in this way, I found horrific passages better to skip through so appalling were the things that happened - they were too explicit for me. Despite the evil perpetrated in the land there are still those faithful to Yahweh, notably Isaiah and the group of prophets he taught. There is hope throughout this bleak and terrible episode of history.
Lynn Austin has taken the Biblical story and created a compelling and moving tale of love, hate, fear, forgiveness and faithfulness. I read far into the night to finish it.
‘A note to the reader’ at the start, outlines the historical background and gives the Biblical references so that you can read the Bible story for yourself.


Visit the author's website:www.lynnaustin.org

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (31/08/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 01 February 2005
ISBN: 978-0-764-22989-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Love’s Sacred Song



by Mesu Andrews


Set at the time when Solomon ascended to the throne, I found this book extremely interesting. From a religious point of view, it definitely made me want to explore Ecclesiastes a bit more. It was fascinating to learn about some of the troubles and trials that Solomon endured, right from the start of his reign. People expected a lot from him; King David was a hard act to follow. It is well known that Solomon had many wives, all of whom he used to political advantage. I loved the personal tale that was told of at least one wife offered to him, by a desperate father who was actually bartering for the freedom of his beloved daughter. The author did make me question the fact that religion and politics seem inevitably bound together, and were very important in the days of old, when royalty had official influence over its kingdom. I enjoyed the sense of place that the author brought to this novel, and the descriptions of Solomon and his men at breakfast. I found some of the dialogue a little unconvincing at times, but the author will take the reader on an excellent voyage throughout the ancient kingdom. They will definitely feel that they know Solomon a bit better, and indeed be able to unlock the mysteries of his reign a little as the novel draws towards its close.

Review by Alice Collins  (10/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 20 April 2012
ISBN: 978-0-800-73408-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Stories of Jesus

- A Gospel of Faith and Imagination

by Connie Ann Valenti


Stories of Jesus is a beautifully touching and vividly imagined book with some of the most wonderful short stories, stories that are based around the Gospels but not actually retellings of the Gospel stories. Instead they are short interludes between the stories we meet in the Gospels, the vivid imaginings of what might have occurred whilst Jesus was growing up, short snippets from his walking between towns with his apostles and each one with a very vivid moral point that backs up the actual Gospel message. Stories of love, friendship, compassion and grace, stories of gentle rebuke and pointed insight too, lovingly told and crafted so that we meet a person who sees what we miss and wants to share it with us, and does share it with us if we but listen and open our eyes and our hearts.
The gentleness and interaction of the stories reminds me in many ways of Anthony De Mello’s stories, the same blend of short, insightful and gentle teaching.
The author has crafted a wonderful book and some of these short stories would be fantastic to share and highlight in sermon teachings, or as meditation pieces in group settings especially as throughout the book there are a range of lengths of story with some taking only a minute to read.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (03/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Orbis Books from Alban Books
Published: 05 May 2012
ISBN: 978-1-570-75960-4
Paperback
Price: £12.99

Sarai

- Wives of the Patriarchs

by Jill Eileen Smith


Keeping close to the Bible story but with an added chunk of imagination and a dollop of the ‘highly likely’, the author has produced a very believable version of Sarai and Abram’s longing for a child, Sarai’s struggle to believe God’s promise to her husband and all that befalls them when they obey God’s command to leave their wealthy home in Ur and seek the promised land.
As with Jill Smith’s previous books, you come to know, in a new way, the many characters; their father Terah, Lot and his wife, Hagar, Eliezer and others. You enter into their emotions, you feel for them as they react to each other and their surroundings, and of course we know the end of their story. We know that Sarah as God renames her, bear’s a son in her old age, impossible except for God. No wonder she had given up hope and offered her servant to father Abram’s child. You sense the trauma of this in the Bible story, here the whole tale is told in more detail and for me, bringing greater understanding

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (24/05/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: April 2012
ISBN: 978-0-800-73429-9
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Yeshua

- The King The Demon & The Traitor: Ancient Mysteries Retold

by G.P.Taylor & Paula K. Parker


This is a wonderful collection of short stories that form the story of the life and teaching of Yeshua, or as we more commonly know him Jesus. Each chapter is short, each story revealing a known story in a way that makes you think a little, if for no other reason than that the names used are all using more Jewish spellings and pronunciation, thus somehow causing you to think more. The blend of stories is excellent, containing almost hints of magic, mystery and horror at times, suspenseful and intriguing, they read in some ways as short and choppy, each one leaving me feeling like I’ve just entered a slightly different reality or am perhaps looking at something I know but seeing it through a fun house mirror that slightly distorts it. This I think though is what makes this book so very good. The last time I enjoyed and found such insight in a book of short stories was Trevor Dennis’ Imagining God – and that is still one of my favourite books to this day. This book will likely live happily beside that one, and will find much use in future Sunday school sessions I have no doubt!

Review by Melanie Carroll  (30/04/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: February 2012
ISBN: 978-1-860-24829-0
Paperback
Price: £7.99

The Fisherman



by Larry Huntsperger


A fictionalised retelling of the gospel story through the eyes of Peter, as he tries to correct the misinterpretations and distortions that have grown up between Jesus’ death and his own death, which is imminent. The story begins when his brother, Andrew, first tells him about the prophet from Nazareth and ends in his prison cell as he awaits execution. No liberties are taken with either the actions or the words of Christ, Who speaks straight from the Bible. Everyone else thinks and speaks, sometimes jarringly, as a modern American – the resurrected son of the widow of Nain awakes crying, “Hey Mom, I’m hungry!” I suspect this is done in an attempt to give the story immediacy for the modern reader, as the author’s stated aim is to create a frame through which he hopes his audience “will be able to see history with a new clarity.” Certainly the central message is in no way trivialised or sugar-coated – Simon Peter’s struggles as he finds out what Christ is about and how to relate to Him are the struggles of us all. Very readable.

Review by Diane Morrison  (30/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-800-75844-8
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Martha



by Diana Wallis Taylor


Of course anything not in the Bible is a figment of someone’s imagination, but there has always been serious study of background information to make the story as plausible as possible, and this is what has been done here.
Incidents recorded in the Gospels have been woven together to make a story of Martha that just could be true. It really doesn’t matter. It probably didn’t happen this way – but it might have done!
What the book does well is to describe what it was like for a family living in Bethany at that time. The day to day routine, the way the community behaved, and what befriending Jesus meant for them when the Temple authorities were intent to kill Jesus and wipe out any support for him.
I had never seriously considered what this would mean for Lazarus, or the healed leper who returned to thank Jesus. A book like this makes us stop and think of these people and how their lives will have been changed. Yes, Lazarus was raised from the dead. Yes, the leper was now able to return home, but what then?
I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (11/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: August 2011
ISBN: 978-0-800-73465-7
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Damascus Way

- Acts of Faith Book 3

by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke


I have so enjoyed this series. Each one I have thought could not be bettered, but I was wrong, my enjoyment has increased with each book. The historical research that lies behind any fictional re-telling of Bible times, means you can learn a great deal, and this is certainly so with this trilogy. The fear among the Christians in Jerusalem after the stoning of Stephen and the appearance of Saul with his mission to destroy them is palpable, and that fear follows them as many flee the city into remote parts of Judea and Samaria. Here they find others of like persuasion who are willing to help them, and in this story we follow Stephen’s widow and child to a new life at a trading post on the edge of the desert. The description of a journey through a sand storm in this desert and many other incidents in the story help us to understand more fully, the background to this part of the Gospel story.
We meet with many familiar characters and new story lines and characters are introduced which makes for a thoroughly good read.

A boxed set of these books is available for £25, ISBN 978-0-764-29509-6

Visit the author's website:www.janetteoke.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (31/05/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 978-0-764-20866-9
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Ave Maria



by Françoise Slater


This book is described as “a fictional tale”, in other words, a novel. It covers the whole Gospel story from the Annunciation to the birth of Jesus on that first Christmas. Much research went into the preparation of the novel and the bare facts of the Gospel story are fleshed out with dialogue, background and the day-to-day life of the characters. The central character is Mary. Her home and family life are intimately described and the importance of Joseph as protector and as Jesus’ earthly father is emphasised. What are just names in Scripture - Zebedee, Zechariah, Hannah, Salome and many others - become real flesh-and-blood people and are given individuality and personality. It is a retelling in a new way of the greatest story ever told. It is a bold undertaking and it works.

Review by John Irvine  (10/03/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Austin Macauley from Gardners Books
Published: November 2010
ISBN: 978-1-849-63055-9
Paperback
Price: £6.99

The Book of God

- The Bible as a Novel

by Walter Wangerin


Originally published in 1996, now re-issued yet again, and very welcome it is too.
Because it is described as a novel, it appears in the Fiction section, but it is hardly that! This is the Bible told as a story, starting with Genesis and on through the Old and New Testaments. I first read this book when it came out in hardback, and was hooked. Because the story moves quickly from generation to generation, I gained a greater understanding of how the Old Testament fits together. The Story of the New Testament too, is told with a great deal of imagination, but in no way, does it detract from the Bible. Well worth reading and lending to friends! - My review as written in 2001.
This book made a great impression upon me at that time, and memories of it have remained fresh since that reading. I welcome the chance for more people to enjoy it, and learn from it. It is no wonder that it is already a 'best seller'. Highly recommended.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (20/06/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Published: 20 May 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-95539-1
Paperback
Price: £9.99