The Jezebel trilogy-review of 1st books

Marilyn Gayle just wrote the following review, covering the first two books of the Jezebel trilogy:
“If ever a devil was born
without a pair of horns,
it was you, Jezebel, it was you.”
This old song from childhood came back to me when I learned that Martha Shelley was writing a trilogy of historical fiction about the life and times of Jezebel, queen of Israel twenty-nine centuries ago. Depicted in ancient scriptures as the embodiment of female villainy, Jezebel has an enduring bad rep. But now that I’m a skeptical feminist, I distrust smear jobs on emblematic women. I believe that Eve was framed, so I wonder, too, if Jezebel got a bum rap.

Martha Shelley has now published two of the projected three books, The Throne in the Heart of the Sea and The Stars in Their Courses, with the climactic final volume still to come. Jezebel first appears as the precocious, spoiled, bi-sexual princess of Tyre, fated to be married off to King Ahab of Israel. Elijah, extolled in old scripture as a holy prophet, begins his career as a haunted and fanatical hot-head. Never having read the original passages that inspired Shelley’s trilogy, I cannot say how closely her story follows the holy plot-line. So I eagerly await Volume Three to learn Shelley’s take on how fair and just was the opprobrium heaped upon Jezebel.
What I like best about the two books already published is Shelley’s predilection for immediacy. She puts you there. She paints the picture. She can land you smack in the midst of mighty battles. We hear her varied characters flirt, agonize and argue, defining themselves less by internal musings than by their deeds. We get to inhabit a vivid, alien, yet hauntingly familiar time and culture. The tale unwinds in actions, dialog, and shifting scenes, afloat upon an undercurrent of rabid, competing mythologies. This is a smart, provocative, meticulously-researched trilogy. Keep on writing, Martha Shelley! I want to know what comes next.

One Response to The Jezebel trilogy-review of 1st books

  1. Mike Russell August 20, 2016 at 9:02 am #

    Big congratulations!!!! I knew the first novel was going to turn out terrific (I read the most current draft and loved it)


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