Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid


Book Review:

The Queen's Handmaid
The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley is a continuous merger of creative fiction and historical research. The book is set in 39 BC and was broad in scope, as it traveled between Alexandria, Rome, Masada, Jericho and Jerusalem. This novel traced the rise of Herod the Great and incorporated all of the intrigue between rulers, their families, and advisors. Well-known historical characters Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Herod’s wife Mariamme, Alexandra, Mariamme’s mother, and Caesar Augustus all made an appearance. The story was told from the perspective of Lydia, a fictional character who was Queen Mariamme’s handmaid. 

The book is fast-paced and the tension builds as the story progressed. After Herod murdered his wife Lydia found that her life was in danger and she was forced escape the wrath of Herod. Through Lydia’s eyes, Higley explored Herod’s fall into madness. 

The author skillfully brought out events that will lead to the birth of Christ and the journey of the Magi the topic of a future novel. This book has made ancient history come alive and interesting. I was continually being drawn in by the mystery of who Lydia was, the task set before her by a Jewish scholar, and in the end the excitement of Lydia’s need to escape. I loved this book and am looking forward to the next volume.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

About the Book:

From the servant halls of Cleopatra's Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled. 
Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she's had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod's political family---his sister, his wife, and their mothers---and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

About the Author:

Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many novels, including Garden of Madness and So Shines the Night. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. 

See Tracy's travel journals and more at: tracyhigley.com

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