My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Suggested Age: 17+
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction
We’ve always heard the scripture in the Bible about rendering to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar. Have you ever really stopped to think about that for a moment? Have you stopped to think that Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Herod the Great were all leaders at the same time? I guess I just didn’t think. I appreciate that Higley researches things so well and brings history alive to me. Her stories help me understand the political and religious situations of ancient history. I am forever thankful to this author for bringing history to life!
When we first meet Lydia we are swept away to ancient Egypt. When her story begins, she is the handmaid of Cleopatra and a nurse to her young son, Caesarion.
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Cleopatra is a cruel and hard woman but Lydia is still fearful when she is traded to Herod. Mariamme is to marry Herod and he has procured Lydia to be her handmaid.
It may be Herod who takes her into the Holy City, but, it is the dying requests of her mentor that makes Lydia question what she is doing in the city. She has been charged with delivering the scrolls of the prophet Daniel, to the temple on a set day of the year. Why are these scrolls so important and could there really be just one God for all men?
It had been Simon’s wish for Lydia to know the One God of Israel but Lydia is confused about what she should believe. It doesn’t help that the dark arts of Herod’s sister, Salome are influencing the people of the palace. Lydia’s life is in danger and the scrolls are at a risk of being found.
As Lydia tries to serve Mariamme as faithfully as she can, the cruelty and malice of the political leaders of the day are becoming more apparent. Secrets whispered about a promised Messiah have stirred fear and unrest among the nobles.
As the story progresses, the instability and hatred that Herod is capable of becomes more apparent and at the pinnacle of his madness, Lydia must make a decision to either embrace darkness or find her faith and salvation.
This story is so intricately woven into actual historical facts. Some were fascinating, others were scary and some were downright heartbreaking. The life of Herod and the genealogical details of that family are so confusing that I had to refer to the family tree on more than one occasion. The author so graciously provided the family tree in the front of the book for easy reference.
If you’re looking to better understand the time in which Christ was born and the political unrest that plagued His world, this is a fantastic book. I was enthralled from the first glance of the cover and the story inside did not disappoint. Another fantastic book from Tracy Higley!
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Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored nine novels, including Garden of Madness and Isle of Shadows.
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 her travel journals and more at TracyHigley.com
I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own. To view other reviews and learn more about the blog tour for The Queen’s Handmaid please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here