As my children grow older, I admit I am more and more frequently reading ahead in our school books. It’s hard to resist – the books are so great!
My new favorite author is Joanne Williamson. She writes historical fiction that’s just superb. The God King is one of those books.
The main character is Taharka, a Kushite boy (modern-day Sudan) who is raised in the palace during the time the Kushites ruled Egypt. (Yes, there’s a lot I didn’t know about Ancient Egypt either.) To his surprise, and the surprise of everyone else in the palace, Taharka succeeds his father as Pharaoh of United Egypt. That is interesting in and of itself, but one day an ambassador shows up at court from the distant kingdom of Judah, looking for Egyptian help against the Assyrians.
Through a series of events – amazingly intricate and difficult to predict – Taharka himself ends up speaking to Assyrian king Sennacherib and then to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, after sneaking into the city through tunnels Hezekiah built under the walls.
The end note will help you appreciate the research & imagination Williamson puts into creating this story. Reading the historical account of King Hezekiah’s dealings with Sennacherib in the Bible (2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 32:1-23, and Isaiah 36-37) will also increase your appreciation of this story.
But in the end, The God King is an action-packed adventure, filled with intrigue, attempted murder, and war – and love, loyalty, courage and boldness. What more could a boy ask?