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Keepers of the Covenant

Title:  Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles #2)
Author:  Lynn Austin
Pages:  477
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany House
This story takes place a generation or two after Return to Me, book one in the Restoration Chronicles.  The fictional account of Ezra begins in Babylon during the time of Queen Esther with the proclamation from the king allowing the execution of all Jews on the thirteenth day of Adar.  Ezra has been living with his brother, Jude, and his wife, Devorah while studying the Torah.  He is known as the man who knows more about the Torah than any other man.  He teaches other men the Torah as well.  With the proclamation, Ezra becomes the leader of all the Jews in Babylon, changing his life.
Amina is a young Edomite girl who lives in a village just outside of Bethlehem.  She has a crippled leg and is often rejected by those in her family and village.  With the proclamation, her father and brothers determine to kill as many Jews as they can and take their property and possessions.  Amina has been befriended by an old Jewish woman and doesn’t want to see her killed.  Soon the time approaches and in one day Amina’s life will change forever.
Reuben lives in a town north of Babylon with his family.  He works as a blacksmith along with his father in his father’s smithy.  His father is a strong man of God descended from the tribe of Levi and wishes his son to remain strong in the Jewish faith even when surrounded by Gentiles.  As the date draws nearer for their execution, Reuben is more and more afraid.  What will happen to him and his family?
These three threads of the story are woven together in a well-crafted tale that tells a fictional story of Ezra.  The story is well-written and the characters’ feelings and emotions easy to relate to.  The plot moves along at a good pace, and the chapters are usually fairly short so they’re easy to read.  Ezra at times was very legalistic and I liked how he was able to listen to the wise counsel of his wife as well as how he remained strong in his faith and courageous in standing up for what was right.
My rating is 4 stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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