Long before Jesus, there was Samson, son of God, tasked with freeing the Israelites from the oppressive hold of Philistines who were busy worshipping Dagon, the god of fertility, half man/half fish. It’s not easy being one of Yahweh’s chosen with a divinely-appointed destiny to fulfill, even when gifted with superpower strength as the main character in SAMSON: THE WRATH OF GOD by W.K. Leslie is. While following Samson’s life according to Biblical history, the novel is a fictionalized retelling that dives into one man’s conflicts as he struggles to do what’s expected of him while being buffeted about by relentless ordeals.
Born of a barren woman, Samson is a Nazirite whose life is dedicated to God, accompanying a prophecy that this particular miraculous offspring is meant to save his people from the tyrannical Philistines. Upon entering adulthood, one of Samson’s first acts is to instead desire to marry a Philistine. Not that this keeps conflict between the Israelites and Philistines at bay. Spoiler alert: this is not the Samson-and-Delilah story one might recall from Sunday School. This is a Game of Thrones version. Violent acts of provocation and revenge abound. There are beheadings, snapped necks, bloodiness galore. The burning of people, homes, entire fields of necessary sustenance. Females trapped in sexual servitude. 1000 men killed with the jaw-bone of a dead donkey. And through it all, Samson keeps getting acquainted with Philistine women. Semadar, Razmuhi, and of course the infamous Delilah, who in the end plays an integral role as the Philistine temple at Gaza eventually comes tumbling down. Over 8000 people perish that day, including five lords, visiting dignitaries, temple priests, government workers, soldiers, a princess, and many a common man, woman, and child when God empowers Samson to bring an end to the temple of Dagon. This is either a triumph or a tragedy wherein Samson, like Jesus, dies (along with so many others) while following divine guidance. Or it’s another example of God’s perfect will being done in a manner not fit for mere mortals to question. It all depends on one’s point of view. It’s makes compelling reading, though not for the faint of heart or stomach.
W.K. Leslie’s SAMSON: THE WRATH OF GOD is hated by many–from his own father who thinks he’s good for nothing, to most of the nation of Philistia. He’s a Hebrew rebel, whoremonger and destroyer and the hero of this gripping, forceful story of Biblical proportions.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader