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A Crown in the Stars (New)

(Paperback - Apr 2005)
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Overview

A Crown in the Stars follows the growing rebellion of mankind as the tribes of the earth continue building the great tower begun by Nimr-Rada (commonly known as Nimrod). After the Most High Himself thwarts their plans by confounding human speech, He comforts His followers by revealing to them the identity of Avram, father of the tribe that will bring forth their savior, the Promised One.

Details

  • SKU: 9780802413697
  • SKU10: 0802413692
  • Title: A Crown in the Stars
  • Series: Genesis Trilogy
  • Qty Remaining Online: 4
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Date Published: Apr 2005
  • Edition Description: New
  • Pages: 420
  • Weight lbs: 1.00
  • Dimensions: 8.50" L x 5.80" W x 1.16" H
  • Features: Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: FICTION, CHRISTIAN
  • Subject: Christian - General

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

"The earth was not always as you see it today, Shoshannah-child. Before the Great Destruction, the heavens glowed pink as an endless sunrise. The mountains were low and rounded, and the trees were enormous-beautiful and fruitful. And the flowers-they were so sweet that we sometimes ate them; But even more wonderful, little one, were the animals in the world of that time. They didn't fear people as predators or stalk them as prey; they lived around us-often seeking our presence. Yet the earth before was so filled with violence and death that the Most High mourned. To save His cherished creation, He allowed the earth to be swept beneath the waters. But first He warned our Ancient One, Noakh, to build this pen"

Half dreaming of the earth as it must have been, Shoshannah followed I'ma-Annah through the immense, dusty, dark vessel she called "the pen." Cautiously touching a web-swathed reed cage, Shoshannah murmured, "You truly lived here for more than a year, surrounded by animals."

"It seems impossible, doesn't it?" I'ma-Annah paused at the base of the pen's central ramp and sighed. Her lovely features saddened as she shook her sleek black hair, bound with gold talismans. "I sometimes despair that the children of my children can't imagine the Great Destruction. But it truly happened."

Grieved by I'ma-Annah's sorrow, Shoshannah leaned forward. "I believe you, I'ma-Annah. I do. How I wish I could have seen the world of that time! It sounds so beautiful. This world must appear desolate by comparison."

I'ma-Annah stared at her, surprised. "Yes . that's how I felt when I first stepped out onto this mountain. Oh, little one, I cried; it was terrible! But being surrounded by loved ones-like you-eases everything." She hugged Shoshannah, fondly smoothing her wild brown curls. "And I must stop calling you 'little one.' Soon you'll be taller than I am; you're growing up to be just like your mother."

Pleased, Shoshannah asked, "Do I really look so much like my I'ma?"

"Yes, except that your eyes are a bit darker gray, and you have dimples like your father's. But come now. I'll show you the upper level; then we'll join the others before they worry."

They were just nearing the top of the ramp when a large, fur-covered shape bounded out of the shadows above them, bellowing, "Raa-a-aww!"

Shoshannah screamed, clutching the resin-coated railing as I'ma-Annah leapt backward, landing on Shoshannah's toes. But before they could run, the seething shape stood big and tall, dropping its fur cover. A young man laughed down at them, his clear green-brown eyes sparkling in his tawny, lively face.

"Kal!" Shoshannah swatted at him, furious. "We could have fallen down the ramp!"

"Forgive me," Kaleb said, contrite. But his remorse instantly vanished, replaced by his usual life-loving grin. "I found this shabby old hide and couldn't resist teasing you. I was sure you'd hear me scuffling around up here. I'ma-Annah, I saw where you must have kept the birds-those nets are huge! How long did it take to feed them? I wish I could have been here then-I feel like I missedeverything."

He held I'ma-Annah's arm protectively, guiding her up the ramp, talking the whole time. "Not that I want to see the earth destroyed again," he assured her earnestly, "but I wish the Most High would grant me such an adventure."

Shoshannah followed them, frustrated, wishing Kal would leave her out of his adventures. Her toes were smarting, and he had stolen her precious time alone with I'ma-Annah. And he was still talking and making I'ma-Annah laugh.

When they finally emerged from the vast pen and walked down the huge, dark, summer-warmed ramp, Kaleb helped I'ma-Annah down, then turned to Shoshannah, smiling.

Annoyed, she said quietly, "You have a pimple on your nose."

He touched his nose briefly, bewildered. "I do? Well, you've got one on your chin."

"Oh!" Shoshannah pressed a hand to her chin, glared at him, and marched away.

Kaleb followed her, calling in a need-to-know voice, "But does it really matter?"

Kal, she threatened silently, I'm going to repay you someday.

She rejoined I'ma-Annah, who said, "Forgive me, child, for stepping on your foot earlier when I was frightened. Your Kaleb is a rascal-but a wonderful young man."

My Kaleb? Shoshannah stared at I'ma-Annah, dumb-founded, then glanced back at Kal. He raised his eyebrows at her, clearly delighted by I'ma-Annah's verdict.

Still speechless, Shoshannah followed I'ma-Annah down the rocky hillside, toward the tented encampment where their families were preparing the evening meal.

* * *

"You are going to marry Kal," said Mithqah, round cheeked and full of youthful wisdom, as she helped Shoshannah scrub their dishes outside the women's tent. "He adores you, and your parents love him as if he's their firstborn son. Look how he's working with your father."

Rinsing the last dish in her wooden tub, Shoshannah glanced toward her father and Kaleb, who were covering and tying the horses for the night. Her father, Zekaryah -brown, neatly bearded, and dignified-was nodding as Kaleb talked. He interrupted him now and then with a word or gesture of instruction, which Kaleb swiftly obeyed. They were indeed like father and son.

Years ago, Kaleb's own father, Regem-a shy man who was baffled by his gregarious, daring, third-born son-had asked the strict Zekaryah to train Kaleb to ride horses and use weapons. In turn, Kaleb worked for Zekaryah willingly. And he imitated Zekaryah's rugged leather attire, even wearing his heavy black-brown hair in a thick horseman's plait.

But Kaleb would never match her father's calm, silent demeanor. Shoshannah pretended to be irritated.

"At least he's serious when he's helping my father. Otherwise, I think he lives to torment me."

"You poor thing," Mithqah said, fluttering her black bristly eyelashes exaggeratedly. "Admit it: you love him."

Unwilling to admit anything-even if it might be true-Shoshannah flicked water at her friend's blue wool tunic. Mithqah retaliated, slapping her hand through the tub, splashing Shoshannah's leather tunic and leggings before turning to run. Grabbing the tub, Shoshannah chased her, both of them shrieking and laughing as Shoshannah dashed the entire tub of water over Mithqah's dark head.

"Shoshannah!"

Guiltily, Shoshannah faced her mother, Keren, who had obviously heard the noise and emerged from the women's tent. Tail, incomparable, brown curled and brown skinned with remarkably pale gray eyes, Keren scolded, "If you've ruined Mithqah's tunic, you're going to make her another."

Mithqah wiped her tawny-red face with a quick hand. "Thank you, I'ma-Keren, but I teased her fir-"

"And you're going to get more water and finish the dishes." Ritspah-Mithqah's flushed and formidable mother-joined them, her hands on her hips. "I hope you haven't broken anything!"

"We haven't, I'ma-Ritspah," Shoshannah promised, gripping the tub as she stepped closer to Mithqah. If they were going to be punished, they'd suffer together, as always. "We'll go for more water right now."

"You'd better," Ritspah threatened.

Keren nodded stiffly.

Shoshannah peeked at her mother, suspicious. Keren was covering her mouth with her hand; Shoshannah almost laughed with her. But her delight changed to self-consciousness as she walked downhill with Mithqah to the stream. Kai was watching. He flashed her a grin, which Shoshannah reluctantly admired.

After speaking quietly to Zekaryah-evidently asking his approval-Kaleb approached the girls. "Need some help?" he asked.

"No." Shoshannah walked away, resisting Mithqah, who tried to make her stop.

Kaleb followed her. "Shoshannah, listen. I'm sorry I upset you this afternoon. Please accept my apology-your father is Watching us."

She paused and looked. Her father was indeed watching them closely-as always. He would expect her to accept Kal's apology.

"I forgive you," she said. Almost. She would plan her revenge later. "But, as you say, Father is watching; he might thrash you if we talk too long."

As Kaleb glanced over his shoulder at Zekaryah, Shoshannah hurried Mithqah toward the stream, smiling. Kai wouldn't dare to follow.

* * *

"Confess, Ritspah," Keren said as they stepped inside the women's tent. "Their water fight looked like fun; we should have joined them."

"I would have won," Ritspah informed her.

"Perhaps not," I'ma-Annah teased, settling onto a fleece mat, the gold hair talismans fluttering against her neck. "Sometimes even an old woman like me can best a child like you, Ritspah."

They laughed together, then sobered as Ritspah said, "I can't believe how tall our girls have grown. It's frightening. In a few years we'll have to find husbands for them. Do you think you'll ask Shoshannah to consider Kaleb?"

"Perhaps. But I don't want her to marry for quite a while-and Zekaryah talks as if he'd never allow her to marry at all."

"He's too protective." Ritspah leaned down to peer at Keren's toddler-daughter, Rinnah, who was napping, thumb in mouth, on a nearby mat. "I think we should send our daughters to visit their cousins in the Tribe of Metiyl. We've refused their invitations twice, but it would be fun for them to have a little freedom before they marry and settle in their own households."

"I suppose you're right," Keren agreed reluctantly. "But I keep thinking of what might happen ."

I'ma-Annah eyed Keren severely. "You still haven't told Shoshannah of the past, have you?"

"Only that I lived in the Great City and hated it."

"Let her hear the truth from you before one of your enemies finds her, child."

"What should I say? 'Daughter, you have enemies because I tried to kill the Great King, but our First Father Shem struck him down an instant before.' Forgive me, I'ma-Annah, but I dread it."

"Do you want me to tell her?" I'ma-Annah offered quietly.

The First Father Shem was Annah's own beloved husband. And the Great-King Nimr-Rada's manner of death still saddened her, even after twenty years.

"No, I'ma-Annah, thank you. I'll tell her." Someday.

As Keren thought this, baby Rinnah stirred and stretched, her chubby nut-brown face irritable as she whimpered herself awake. Grateful to escape this unwelcome conversation, Keren settled down to nurse her youngest and soothe her into a better mood.

"Well," Ritspah sighed, retrieving a carved wooden spindle and a puffy heap of combed dark wool, "I hope our other children are behaving better than their elder sisters."

"I'm sure they are." Keren absently caressed Rinnah's short wispy black ringlets, thinking of her other cherished daughters, Qetuwrah and Adah, and her sons, Ahyit and Sithriy, who were visiting the Ancient Ones with her brother Eliyshama and his family.

I'll have to tell them everything . She hated the thought. They shouldn't have to deal with her enemies. Time will be enough of an enemy for them.

She had to stop thinking. She had to fight this bitterness against her enemies. And, sadly, against the Most High.

Chapter Two

HIDING HIS IRRITATION, Master Ra-Anan, the bald, smooth-shaven leader of the priests, knelt in his place of honor in a formal, tree-shaded courtyard. The cause of his irritation, the Lady Sharah-his own sister and supposed ruler of the Great City-was emerging from her private residence.

Her golden sandals clicked softly, and her linen robes and pale curls fluttered as Sharah glided into the courtyard and stepped onto a fleece-draped dais. Arranging herself decorously on her fleece-padded bench, Sharah allowed a nervous attendant to check her face paints, then waved her off, nodding to her guardsmen to open the gates. Donning warmth and courtesy like a robe, Sharah now assumed her persona of the City's gracious, tender Mother-Protectoress.

As Sharah received petitions from bowing, worshipful citizens, Ra-Anan studied her critically, distastefully. In a few years her gorging, tantrums, and drinking into the night would destroy her pale, dazzling, paint-garnished beauty. Then she would be left with nothing but this sham dignity that vanished as soon as her citizens were locked outside her courtyard gates.

I doubt your deluded citizens will call you Queen of the Heavens much longer, Ra-Anan warned Sharah in his thoughts. Even your son will hate you, if he doesn't already. Where is that boy? Adoniyram, I have too much to do this afternoon without waiting on you!

The blaring notes of rams' horns echoed outside, making Ra-Anan glance toward the gate. Adoniyram did not appear. Instead Kuwsh, father of the deeply mourned, now legendary Great-King Nimr-Rada, entered Sharah's courtyard. Striking in his habitual gold ornaments and leopard-skin robe, Kuwsh half bowed to Sharah. She nodded, icily proud in the summer heat. Finished with courtesies, and ignoring the citizens bowing around him, Kuwsh sat beside Ra-Anan, an uneasy ally in their political schemes.

His obsidian black eyes glittering in his dusky face, Kuwsh muttered, "Where's our Son of Heaven, Adoniyram?"

Ra-Anan concealed a smile. "Probably planning a grand entrance."

"He should be flailed."

"So should his mother," Ra-Anan whispered in agreement, "when it's safe for us."

"I await the day. Usurpers! I should never have allowed you to convince me that they should live, much less have power."

"They are mere ornaments to please our people; you know that, my lord."

"Hah! By the way, I want to speak to you later."

What now? Ra-Anan wondered, smiling calmly, inwardly seething. "Of course."

Their furtive conversation ceased; Sharah had waved a troublesome petitioner toward them, saying sweetly, "We must be advised, for your sake, by our Priests of Shemesh."

Kuwsh stiffly deferred to Ra-Anan, who studied the rustic petitioner's thin, jutting, bearded features.

"What's your name?" Ra-Anan asked.

"Dayag," the man snapped, glaring.

Ra-Anan chose to ignore his lack of manners-the man was a nobody.

"Present yourself at the tower steps this evening. We will consult then."

"As you say, Master." The man bowed to Ra-Anan, distinctively hostile.

Ra-Anan frowned, watching him move toward the gates. If the man caused trouble, he would be punished.

Now raucous shouts, whistles, and laughter rose just outside the courtyard walls. Adoniyram.

Ra-Anan peered through the open gates. The hostile petitioner dropped to his knees and bowed, outwardly humble, but deliberately blocking Adoniyram's progress.

Continues.

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