Keepers of the Covenant – Book Review

In Their Darkest Hour, Where Would Hope Be Found?

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king’s palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.

Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future–of family and love–seem impossible.

In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review and I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. At times I found myself liking the book but there were also times when I didn’t like the book. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hated parts of the book but there were parts that I didn’t like. Towards the beginning of the book, I did not want a certain relationship to happen but because of the time period of the book, I realized that it was going to happen, although I didn’t like it at first. As the story went on, I started enjoying their relationship. I also found it harder to get into the book because the timeline shifted suddenly. Take for example the relationship I didn’t want to happen. The couple didn’t marry for love and the story also shifted in time and they were in love. I missed how they fell in love. The story focused on time frame and then jumped to fourteen years later, so I had to switch my mind frame from one character being eight years old to twenty-two all of a sudden.

However, with that being said, I felt along with the characters, partly because of going through similar things such as losing a brother and struggling with following God’s laws but showing mercy. This book brought depth to the biblical character of Ezra and the time period of Esther and Ezra.

I think people who like biblical fiction will like this book, as long as they’re not looking for too much detail of that time.


Author Lynn Austin

Though born the second son of King Ahaz, Hezekiah is not protected from his father’s perverted attempts to gain the favor of the idol Molech. Terrified and powerless at the foot of Molech’s altar, Hezekiah encounters for the first time the one true God of his royal ancestry, Yahweh.But his journey to the Holy One is riddled by influence from an assortment of men: Zechariah, a grandfather of noble standing who has fallen into drunkenness; Uriah, the High Priest whose lust for power forces him to gamble the faith he proclaims; and Shebna, the Egyptian intellectual who guides Hezekiah’s instruction.For the two women who love Hezekiah, the meaning of love – and its sacrificial essence – will direct the course of their lives and help shape the young prince’s future.

This is the first book in the Chronicles of Kings series by Lynn Austin. This was the first book I ever read by Lynn Austin and I enjoyed the series very much. It was also the first book I read of a fictionalization of Biblical stories. This book along with the rest of the series made the story of King Hezekiah as well as his son King Manasseh come alive to me and it has also helped me in remembering the Biblical account as well. The Chronicles of Kings series made me interested in reading books based on Biblical events and I’ve read many since reading this book quite a few years ago.

Not all her books are based on Biblical events but rather she is a historical fiction author. Her books take place in historical times and encompass what life was like back then.

I had the privilege of asking her questions about her writing as well as writing in general. She was gracious enough to answer my questions and here I will be sharing them with you.

Would you recommend an aspiring author to get some kind of formal training?

Lynn Austin: I don’t think this is necessary, I would let your writing speak for itself. Although something that has helped me tremendously over the years has been being a part of a writer’s group. We meet about once a month and read portions of our work to each other to critique and encourage. It’s always good to have a trusted friend or fellow author look at your work but I don’t think formal training is necessary.

How often and how long would you recommend a starting author to write?

Lynn Austin:I would recommend writing every day. It does become more of a “job” this way and it can often be difficult for me to force myself to write. But the more you write the more practice you get and the better you become.

What do you do when you have writer’s block?

Lynn Austin:I highly recommend “The Artist’s Way” and other books by Julia Cameron. This book has exercises to help work through these blocks and let your inspiration flow. I also try to take small trips that help get my creative juices flowing and to get a fresh perspective, such as a trip to the botanical gardens, a quiet walk through the forest, visiting an art museum or going to a concert. I recommend finding places that inspire you, I always come home from one of these trips feeling ready to sit down and write.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Lynn Austin:It takes me a full year to write a book, I know a lot of authors that can write a book in less time so it is possible but it takes me a year.

How often do you publish a book?

Lynn Austin:Once a year. Although I also have a non-fiction book coming out this year in addition to my Biblical fiction book. I have been working on this non-fiction book for a couple of years.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Lynn Austin:Much of my inspiration comes from talking to people and hearing their stories. I also get inspired by studying history and visiting historical sites for research.

How do/did you build your voice/brand as an author?

Lynn Austin:I believe that your voice comes after writing as much as you can. The more you practice the more your voice will come through in your writing. I let my publisher worry about “brand.” 🙂

How often do you edit/rewrite before you believe your manuscript is read for publishing?

Lynn Austin:I edit and rewrite hundreds of times! I would 80% of my time is re-writing.

Do you do any of your own marketing for your books and if yes, what do what do?

Lynn Austin:Marketing is not my strong suit, luckily my publisher suggest things for me to do. The world of marketing has changed so much since I started writing, with the advent of social media. I’ve been trying to keep up with it all and I’m now seeing how helpful social media is not only for reaching your fan base but for marketing as well.

How did you know you wanted to be an author?

Lynn Austin:As a young girl I was always making up stories and I’ve always had a wild imagination, but I never knew I wanted to be a writer until I decided to try writing a book. Once I started writing I discovered that I really love it.

If you would like to read more about Lynn Austin and check out her books, you can visit her at