by Carole Towriss
Bezalel is a Hebrew slave to Ramses II. An artisan of the highest order, Ramses has kept him in the palace even when all other Israelites have been banned. Bezalel blames El Shaddai for isolating him from his people.
When Moses and Aaron appear one summer, and El Shaddai shakes Egypt to its core, Bezalel must reexamine his anger. Over the course of the next year, Bezalel’s life becomes intertwined with those of an Egyptian child-slave, the captain of the guard, and especially a beautiful, young concubine.
When spring arrives, all of them escape with the young nation of Israel. But that’s only the beginning…
☻☻☻☻☺ (4 out of 5 smiles)
In the Shadow of Sinai tells the familiar story of the Exodus from the point-of-view of an obscure biblical character, Bezalel. Creative. Fascinating. Well-researched. Carole Towriss’ debut novel was a tantalizing snack, leaving me hungry for more from this talented author.
If you’re expecting a re-telling of Cecil B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments, don’t look here. Carole Towriss unwraps the intriguing world of Egyptian royalty, subtly inserting crucial facts and descriptions that bring scenery and landscapes to life. I SO appreciated her extensive research on the ten plagues and the herbal medications available at the time. She also answered those niggling details that I’ve often puzzled over—like: how did the Israelites win the Egyptians’ favor to ASK them for gold before they left Egypt (Ex. 12:35-36). This question and others she satisfies with creative and believable plotlines.
Shadow of Sinai gives Moses and Aaron only a minor role in the major life lessons our main character, Bezalel, must learn. As a talented young artisan in Pharaoh’s palace, his relationships draw us deep into each character’s heart. Each conflict and joy help us examine motives and emotions just like Bezalel inspects the specific metals and stones for Pharaoh’s works of art—another process in which Carole’s research shines. There were no easy answers as characters struggled with the LORD’s methods of deliverance, and I found myself asking the same hard questions—and ultimately having to rest in the same trust they had to rest in.
I’ve given this book four smiles, rather than five, because though I thoroughly enjoyed it, I believe Carole’s future books will continue to improve. She’s already grabbed my attention with her passion for biblical fiction, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, By the Waters of Kadesh. For more information about Carole Towriss and her ministry, you can find her at: www.caroletowriss.com.