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Reviewed by Eeva Lancaster for Readers' Favorite
The Jericho Prophecy by Fiona Tarr is biblical fiction based on the fall of Jericho. It has been forty years since the Israelites wandered in the desert, and they arrive in the land of the Canaanites, ready to claim the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, and backed up by the powers of Yahweh, the Israelite god. Joshua sends spies to Jericho for information and there, Salmah, one of the spies, meets Rahab, a priestess of the goddess Asherah, protector of Jericho. In spite of their differing faiths, the two connect and conspire to save their people from the impending turmoil, brought about by the gods whose intentions they cannot comprehend. Under the command of Yahweh, Joshua seems determined to slaughter every man, woman, and child, but Salmah finds it hard to accept that the Israelites will gain the land of milk and honey this way. He starts to doubt if the intentions of Joshua are really the will of Yahweh. He and Rahab, along with the goddess Asherah, work together to find a more amicable solution. Asherah has motives of her own and she is determined that the line of Salmah and the royal family of Jericho be preserved to fulfill a prophecy.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Jericho Prophecy. The history and the characters are skillfully developed by Fiona Tarr. The plot was captivating, and the dialogue kept me engaged. I enjoy biblical fiction and this book made it easy for me to imagine that I was there in Jericho, amidst the chaos, making me empathize with the hopes and doubts of a people who witnessed firsthand the miracles and powers of the gods they worshiped. There's romance and intrigue and I easily got caught up in the machinations of both gods and mortals. I found myself rooting for the characters and sympathizing with the dilemma they found themselves in. Fiona Tarr is a highly entertaining writer with exceptional storytelling skills. I recommend The Jericho Prophecy to readers who like biblical myths and legends, reinvented to give us a deeper view of the people and events we often read about. There is a lot of meat in this book and it gave me hours of entertainment.