The David Chronicles
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The David Chronicles is the story of David as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. In his mind, history is written to praise the victorious--but at the last stretch of his illustrious life, he feels an irresistible urge to tell the truth. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.
Volume I: Rise to Power
This volume starts at his coming to Saul's court, to play before king Saul, and ends with his coronation to become king of a single tribe. How does David see himself, during this first phase of his life? With his hands stained with blood, can he find an inner balance between conflicting drives: his ambition for the crown, his determination to survive the conflict with Saul, and his longing for purity, for a touch of the divine, as expressed so lyrically in his psalms and music?
In an era of cruelty, when destroying the enemy is deemed a sacred directive, the slayer of Goliath finds a way to become larger than life. His search for a path to power leads him in ways that are, at times, scandalous. Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer, a successful captain in Saul's army, a cunning fugitive, a traitor leading a gang of felons, and a ruthless raider of neighboring towns who leaves no witnesses behind.
Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
This volume starts at the civil war between the tribes, his eventual coronation over the whole nation of Israel, and his affair with Bathsheba. Against the backdrop of wars, raging within the land and without, David is growing into the mantle of leadership. Between his anointment as a tribal king and his anointment as the king of all of Israel, he uses wisdom, cunning, and his own understanding of the forces of history, aiming for high ideals: stopping the bloodshed, uniting the nation, and bringing about healing and peace.
But then, having reached his peak, David falters. He makes a serious error that threatens to undo his political success, and cost him not only the adoration of his people--but also the sense of being sustained by a divine power. That error is the most torrid tale of passion ever told: his deliciously forbidden love for Bathsheba, followed by his attempt to cover up the ensuing scandal by sending her husband--who serves him faithfully in his army--to his death.
Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
Struggling to find the right balance between loving his sons and upholding justice, David is silent when Amnon rapes his daughter, Tamar, and when Absalom lures Amnon to his death. These crimes go punished, because a mysterious change has come upon the king, which his court scribes note even before he does. In the past he had to explain his actions, such as the affair with Bathsheba, to them. Now, they want to understand the opposite thing: his lack of action.
In families other than his, such matters may be a mere matter of gossip. Yet when assault, incest, and murder occur in the king's family, they affect matters of the state. David is toppled from his throne and must escape from the son he adores, Absalom.
Even as he finds a way to quell the revolt and come back to the City of David, the road ahead seems unclear. How will he find the right successor amongst his remaining sons, the one who will connect to him and continue his legacy?