I have known that Jill Eileen Smith writes biblical fiction, but I've never convinced myself to read one of her books. The Prophetess is a great book to read for an introduction to this author. She has woven the historical customs into her interpretation of the years of Deborah's stint as a judge of Israel and used them to make a seamless story woven of whole cloth.
Deborah is portrayed here as one who listens to God and tries to follow His dictates. In her dreams all she sees is war, and she knows why God is showing her these thing--because the Israelites have gone after foreign gods and forsaken Him. Deborah's right hand man, Barak is given a mission to find and take out two cruel enemy kings--Sisera and Jabin. Because he wouldn't go into battle alone, Deborah told him that a woman would be given the honor of killing Sisera.
Jill has added a family and all the dynamics that go with children who are growing up and stretching their wings, especially a daughter for Deborah who wants to marry Barak. Talya, the daughter, often goes toe-to-toe with her mother, especially when her skills with a bow or a sling are in question. Talya especially wanted to be the one to take Sisera down, but there was another woman God had in mind for that job. When Talya sees what her willfulness has done, she repents. There are other conflicts that Jill works into her novel that aid the plot in keeping the reader involved and caught up in the action of the story.
This is a FIVE STAR book that I cannot recommend highly enough.
My thanks to Revell Books for allowing me to read and review this book.