What lies In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews for me is a memory of Lady Macbeth and all her treacherous plots to move her husband to the to the top of the game of leadership. A woman so cunning she would risk everyone she purports to love. Queen Athalia is the daughter of Jezebel and a high priestess of Baal. Her husband becomes king by her hand in plots of murder and formidable use of dark arts.
Athalia favors her Stepdaughter Jehosheba and wishes for her to become a great high priestess. Her rigorous training to live the celibate life as priestess to Baal is an honor to Sheba and perhaps the way to win the queen's love. The skills she has learned are the one thing she is certain of in her life. The queen's mother love is mixed with abuse enough to scare the young princess and cause her to doubt any true love or to trust that she can be loved.
Bargained off in marriage to the High Priest of Judah, Sheba feels abandonment from her father. She is separated also from her beloved brother Ahazia. She is stripped of her right to succeed the queen into the role of a pagan high priest. She learns to see her world from a very different perspective, however, as she keeps her husband's marital conditions to serve the one true God of Judah and no other.
She is unprepared for marriage and for living in the temple of Judah where she must give up servants and luxuries that she is used to. Her husband, Jehoida is far different than anyone she has met in her life. He is kind, protective and he is true to his word. His faith in Yahweh is unshakeable no matter the events in an evil world that surrounded his temple and the life he and Sheba lived.
The story has all the elements of a thrilling tale of modern fantasy yet it occurs in the Old Testament of the Bible about people who descend from David's line. Mesu Andrews has brought this story to life for me. There are so many things I could speak to yet the story is not one I wish to spoil. I haven't read this author's work before but plan to look for more in the future.