Book review: The Queen’s Handmaid, by Tracy L. Higley

March 10, 2014

I recently had the chance to read The Queen’s Handmaid, by Tracy L. Higley. This fiction book  will be released on March 18, 2014 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

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 BCOrphaned 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 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.

My Verdict:

I love historical fiction, and Tracy L. Higley’s Christian fiction novels have not disappointed me yet. (I previously reviewed City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii and Isle of Shadows, and have read a number of her books.) Her novels always feel accurate and well-researched, which isn’t a surprise since her author’s bio says that “Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels.” The author’s notes at the end of the book (yes, I read those) say that this book is the author’s “most ambitious to date, both in scope and the amount of historical fact.” She has a way of clearly explaining the relationships between historical figures – including the many Caesars, Herods, and Ptolemys that show up in this book and the time periods before and after. I also enjoyed the main character in this book, Lydia, who ties all of these cities and rulers together with her story.

The test for me is always whether I have to finish the book in one reading, or am able to put it down to read later. This was a finish-in-one-night book! The Queen’s Handmaid would be a great read if you’re heading on vacation for Spring Break next week, as you’ll be entertained, and will feel as if you have learned a little more about life in Egypt, Rome, and Jerusalem in 39-29 BC. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out The Queen’s Handmaid it is currently on sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version right now. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $11.95. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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