Book Review

Book Review of Reign by Ginger Garrett

Reign Book Review

Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel

Well-Crafted and Intriguing Novel Brings Ancient History to Life

I don't often read fiction books based on Biblical stories. Reign was a total surprise though in how well crafted and intriguing it was. After reading it, I feel like I better understand (and will never forget) the characters of Jezebel, King Ahab and Obadiah.

Ginger Garrett masterfully brought the ancient past alive. She introduces you to Jezebel as a child and paints her with such skill. Jezebel is a complex and intelligent character. You see her being shaped as a girl, hardening herself toward the practices of the time such as child sacrifice. There are moments when you can almost understand why Jezebel turned out the way she did, but any sympathy evaporates as she grows older. You watch her scheme and strive to promote the goddess Ashera and the god Baal, spurning any real love directed her way and hungering for power. In some ways it's so sad because you see the multiple opportunities she had to turn away from false gods and yet she clung to them, channeling all the rage and hate from her childhood into a life filled with bitterness.

The novel also introduces the other characters of the story with such skill and the world building takes you back to the scenery and culture of the time. You can feel the scorching sun during the drought, hear the rattle of tiny bones left behind from child sacrifices, smell the pungent oils and incense.
As far as I can tell the novel pretty closely followed the actual Biblical account (yes I cracked my Bible open to check!).

I do want to caution sensitive readers. This book doesn't shy away from the real and horrible practices of the time, especially infant sacrifice. It's there with many of the gory details. There is also the physical relationship between Jezebel and her husband Ahab, although nothing is described in detail, it's still fairly obvious. Overall, it's quite a dark novel and there are times when you feel like you are reading about a sociopath - with everything made all the more chilling because it's based  on real lives and what really happened.

Still, it was a surprisingly terrific read and I felt it gave me a lot more insight and understanding about the characters while inspiring me to read the actual story directly from the Bible. I know I will never forget these people and their stories. Mix that with the fact I was highly entertained and Reign is a keeper.

*I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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