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Monday, April 7, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid

You can tell when you're reading a historical fiction novel or in this case a biblical historical fiction novel that the author has done their due diligence and written something so exceptional, you honest wonder how long the research must have taken. In the case of The Queen's Handmaid from best-selling author Tracy L. Higley, she writes the little known fictional story of Herod, the Galilean governor with his eye on conquering as many kingdoms as possible. Using all his influence he begins to form alliances with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and Mark Anthony, second in command of Rome. Herod hoped that each of these alliances would lead him to gain more control of the surrounding lands he had already acquired and had hoped that with his marriage to Mariamme he would have an heir to his throne. But Herod the Great would soon face his challenges beginning with Cleopatra who would not give up any control to anyone including members of her own family if she felt threatened. She would have them executed without a second thought.

Lydia is Cleopatra's handmaid who cares for her children at first until she is introduced to Herod. He sees the intelligence and value she possesses and hires her as a handmaid for his soon-to-be wife. Only Lydia is living with a task she must accomplish in her lifetime and one that requires her to locate a man in the temple courts of Jerusalem and provide him with a set of sealed scrolls from the prophet Daniel. She must not divulge this information to anyone and her mentor Samuel was murdered before he could complete the task. Since he left no sons behind to carry on, he has tasked Lydia with helping to usher in future for the nation of Israel. Only if Samuel was murdered for having the scrolls in his possession, so can Lydia.

As things begin to unravel with being in Cleopatra's household, Lydia knows it will only be a matter of time before Cleopatra has her killed as well. Lydia has always proved a threat to Cleopatra not by her words or actions, but by her calm demeanor and how people are immediately drawn to her. Even Cleopatra's own children find solace and comfort in Lydia than with their own mother. So when the opportunity presents itself to flee from Cleopatra and leave secretly with Herod, Lydia realizes that it will not only be for her benefit but also move her closer geographically for finding the one person she can give the scrolls to before they find her. But even Herod has his secret spies working in his own family to ensure their own personal interests and survival, is Lydia any safer with Herod than she is with Cleopatra?

I received The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my honest review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own. I am a huge fan of Tracy Higley's literature because of her ability to write the reader into the story. You are just reading it, you're there as part of the story in the background as a silent observer. You can see and feels things so vividly, pictures aren't required. Her ability to utilize the character of Lydia to bring the characters of Cleopatra and Herod to life in a unique way. Based on factual information, she shows you just how manipulative they each were to obtaining their goals and how they played upon others to achieve their selfish aspirations even at the cost of those they loved. It was sad to see how far greed got carried away in their own life and even though they each thought they were in control, they were really being played by others around them without knowing it. Hands down this one gains a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and can't wait for more from Tracy in the near future.

For more information about The Queen's Handmaid, Tracy L. Higley or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Tracy L. Higley on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Queen's Handmaid, please visit Litfuse Publicity Book Tour Page. 

Tracy L. Higley is celebrating the release of The Queen's Handmaid with a fun giveaway.

Retailers + Resources gave it this glowing review: "Rich in historic detail, Higley’s vivid writing brings to life the plots and intrigues that swirled through the ancient world as alliances were built and broken on the calculated schemes of power-mad monarchs." 
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced April 21st on Tracy's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Tracy's blog on April 21st to see if you won.

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