Monday, April 14, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid Tracy L. Higley Review

     Last year I had the opportunity to read a really good mystery suspense book written by Tracy Higley.   So Shines the Night was historical fiction at its finest.  Her depictions of the city of Ephesus, the plight of the early Christians, and the idol worship gave me background for reading the Bible.  I realize that it is fiction, but sometimes we don't know much about the historical context of the Words we are reading in Scripture. That's one reason I like historical fiction.  Naturally, when I saw The Queen's Handmaid, I knew I had to read it.
Thank you Litfuse for this review copy.

Read all about it:
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 Madnessand 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

My thoughts:
     Tracy's website says, "your portal to the ancient world."  This book did not disappoint.  It was everything that I hoped it would be... drama, mystery, suspense, historical, and an expression of growing faith in God.  It was all of that plus dark secrets, a compelling mission, character refinement and growth, and divine protection.
     I have to admit, I got a little confused with the Herods and Caesars.  It's not Tracy's fault.  She put a chart in the front of the book.  They just had some wonky relationships.  This was the time of the Julius and Augustus and Octavian Caesars and Marc Antony. Hateful and heartless, the lot of them.  Cleopatra plays a starring role and she is just nasty every way you looked at her.  She did her share of hateful and heartless things as well.  I was shocked at the way human life held no value in their eyes nor did marriage or fidelity.
     I came away from this book with a better understanding of the time period of the Hasmonians whom you might know as the Jewish Maccabeans. I never fail to be amazed at the anti-semitism.  The Romans and Jews really did hate each other.
     I was so happy that Lydia, the central character, was a good decent young woman who was artistic and caring and brought beauty to relationships and locations.  Oh pickle loaf sandwiches and popcorn brains, I want to tell you about some things that were so wonderful, but they would just spoil the book for you.  I'll hush.  ~smile~  This is well worth reading.  Do be careful though.  Your housework may suffer.  Laundry just isn't quite in the same league. ~smile~
     I'll give this one five stars.  I will be reading every Tracy Higley book I can get my hands on. ~smile~  I recommend you do the same.
Read what other ladies thought at the Tour Landing Page here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from litfuse as part of a blog tour.  
I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Modest Mondays -  Proverbs 31 Monday  -  A Mama's Story

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting read!

    ~Trisha

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was, Trisha. Your blog is adorable. I'll be over for a visit in just a bit!

    ReplyDelete

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Laura