Why you should read Christian fiction

I love my mom. The reasons are endless, but let me give you a few specifics.

My Mom and Dad. They're good people.

  1. She makes the best chocolate chip banana bread ever. EVER.
  2. She lets me do my laundry at her house and doesn’t get mad when I accidentally leave a load in the washing machine for a week.
  3. She gives me stylish clothes for Christmas and my birthday. I honestly have zero style without her.

But even more than her magical ability to make banana bread, I love how she loves Jesus.

So when she asked me to read the first book in a Christian fiction series that she loves, I was happy to oblige.

Now, despite the urgings of my friends to hop on the Francine Rivers train, I have not read any Christian fiction since I was in high school. This is mostly because I love fantasy, and I haven’t discovered any really good Christian fantasy books since Lewis and Tolkien. (If you know of some, PLEASE tell me.) Also, I have found that Christian fiction often involves some sort of heartbreaking tragedy that I generally don’t have the emotional fortitude to handle.

So this was a new direction for me. Here’s the premise.

“God’s and Kings”

by Lynn Austen

4 **** = Can recommend; Great; Overall enjoyable

Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah s mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country. Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings. Premise by Goodreads.

This book is historical fiction. It expounds on the story of King Ahaz and his son, Hezekiah’s rise to power. What I found most intriguing about the book is how real it felt. The events took place thousands of years ago in a society where traditions and ceremonies were vastly different from our own in America.

However, Lynn Austen did a fabulous job at portraying them in a way that didn’t feel foreign or strange. That’s cool.

Now, this book isn’t exactly my style. It doesn’t have the cliff-hangers and mystery that I generally enjoy. But let me tell you why you should read it.

If anything, the book follows the events of individuals who were faced with the impossible. I mean the IMPOSSIBLE. Just the other day, I was moaning and groaning a bit about a difficult task ahead of me. Then, I thought to myself: “Sara Kristen, it’s not like you’re being asked to risk your life to tell a pagan king about the one true God. If God can equip Isaiah and Micah to do that, then he can get you through this.”

So there you have it. Any book that encourages a deeper dependency on God is worthy to be read. Thanks mom.

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8 thoughts on “Why you should read Christian fiction

  1. Sounds like a pretty darn interesting book.
    If you’re looking for Christian fantasy, I’d highly recommend Frank Peretti books.

    This Present Darkness
    Piercing the Darkness
    The Oath

    These are some of my favorites; they involve angels fighting demons (which is pretty fantasy to me), and The Oath involves a large monster that’s terrorizing a small town. Each book has its own message about the power of prayer and the importance of keeping the faith even in the face of overwhelming odds.

    Besides the fantasy element, Peretti is just a good writer all around. It’s been years since I’ve read these books, but they certainly left an impression.

    Thanks for the book recommendation!

  2. The second in the series is really the one that was the most faith-building for me. So, will she or won’t she continue with the sequel (For all of you followers of this blog, she has the second in her possession) I will say, our little sweetheart, the author hit the mark with you, accomplishing her purpose.
    Your testimonial warmed my heart and was just what I needed this morning, a testimonial to God’s love, not my own! The thing is, i want to be humble and blush, but everything you said is true! (And what is it they say? It ain’t braggin’ if you really did it!) Seriously though, loving Jesus is a gift, not of my own choosing, but a response to his goodness to me. It thrills me that you share in it.. I love you, Sara!

  3. Aww, so, so sweet! You need to appreciate your mom now. I only wish my mom could see how much I read and now writing on this blog. She was the reader in our family and she never got to see this new light in my life. APPRECIATE your time together!

  4. There are several good fantasy authors in Christian Fiction.

    Top of my list (aside from Frank Peretti) would be Ted Dekker’s Circle books (Red, White, Black and Green, not sure of the exact order). These take place half in the contemporary world and half in a fantasy-like world.

    Stephen Lawhead does an excellent job putting a different spin on British lore, such as Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle) and Robin Hood (The King Raven Trilogy). His latest series, Bright Empires, is about time travel.

    Donita Paul is a personal favorite of mine. Her Dragon Keepers Chronicles are sometimes considered as “Young Adult”, but I enjoyed them; they reminded me a bit of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong trilogy. My favorite by Donita Paul is “Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball”, which is a wonderful novella with a fantasty twist for all ages.

    You might also want to check out FamilyFiction.com and their e-newsletter Family Fiction Edge. They have a lot of information on what they term “Speculative” fiction.

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