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Amazing Gem of a Read February 28, 2013
Think you know the story of Nebuchadnezzar and his madness?
That sounded terribly cheesy.
I saw "Garden of Madness" up for review on Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze review program, and I felt drawn to it. So, I signed up to review it, not even knowing what gem I had asked for.
I begin reading it, and was drawn into this Babylonian world so familiar to the biblical and historical one I was familiar with, and yet so new, fresh, and dark.
I couldn't put it down, I flew through it, and I didn't even bother to say, "just one more chapter", as I knew that would never come to be.
And I finished it in a matter of hours. All 337 pages of it. Done. I think I might have broken a new personal record.
I remained at the end of my seat the whole read through, and thinking to myself, "there is no way this can turn out happy for everyone. There is no way Tiamat can fix this".
And you know what? I was right.
It came shockingly, like, a bucket of cold water I should have expected.
None of us can fix messes in this world. None of us can right wrongs.
At least, not alone.
But everything does turn out good for everyone in the end. (Expect for Shadir, but do I look like I care about him?).
But not my Tia's hand, nor by Daniel's, or any extremely awesome Jewish guy who I adored before Tia thought it cool. *hipster glasses*.
But by Yahweh's. things were an awful mess until she reached out to him, and begged for him to "take the wheel" as Carrie Underwood says.
That ice bucket of water reminded me of how often I do the same thing, I try to take control, to work things out all on my own, when Yahweh yearns to take it from my shoulder so he can deal with it.
It's a retelling of that mysterious time period when Nebuchadnezzar went through his humbling madness. It painted a picture of how the kingdom was kept safe by attackers or enemies within the palace.
But it's more it's a novel about searching and finding truth, be it pleasant or painful.
It's about pride, and learning to humble yourself before God.
It's about the complicated relationships within families, the ties, the bonds and strengths that hold us together.
And it's about trusting your well being, your very life, into God's hand; letting Him shelter you and yours beneath his wings, and giving the fight, whatever it is, into his capable hands.
And even with all that, I feel I haven't praised this book enough.
(See full review here: http://theepicreader.blogspot.com/2013/02/garden-of-madness.html)
Review by Ashley
Garde of Madness was a great read! April 26, 2012
Garden of Madness is the story of the Babylonian princess Tiamat, daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar. The king has been struck with madness and for seven years has secretly roamed the Hanging Gardens like an animal. All seems secure for the royal family until the unthinkable happens. When a palace noble is found brutally murdered and the king’s safety is threatened, Tia begins a quest for answers and discovers truths she never could have imagined. With the help of two Jewish captives, the wise man Daniel and Pedaiah, the brother of her late husband, Tia enters a world of palace intrigues and closely guarded secrets to protect
the king she loves.
Right from the get-go I was drawn into this story. The mystery and secrets swirling around the palace kept me guessing throughout the entire book and once I thought I had it all figured out, the author would throw another twist. Tia was a wonderful character to read. She is flawed and I liked that about her. At times I wanted to shake some sense into her and then later I was smiling with her or cheering her on.
I thought the romance in this story was very well written. It wasn’t overdone and the relationship builds, believably, over time. This book had darker elements than the previous books in the series but I thought the author did a good job of portraying the heaviness of these situations without overdoing it. So far this has been my favorite read from this author and I would absolutely recommend it!
Review by Liz R
The untold story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter
For seven years the Babylonian princess Tiamat has waited for the mad king Nebuchadnezzar to return to his family and to his kingdom. Driven from his throne to live as a beast, he prowls his luxurious Hanging Gardens, secreted away from the world.
Since her treaty marriage at a young age, Tia has lived an opulent yet oppressive life in the palace. But her husband has since died and she relishes her newfound independence. When a nobleman is found murdered in the palace, Tia must discover who is responsible for the macabre death, even if her own freedom is threatened.
As the queen plans to wed Tia to yet another prince, the powerful mage Shadir plots to expose the family’s secret and set his own man on the throne. Tia enlists the help of a reluctant Jewish captive, her late husband’s brother Pedaiah, who challenges her notions of the gods even as he opens her heart to both truth and love.
In a time when few gave their hearts to Yahweh, Tia must decide if she is willing to risk everything—her possessions, her gods, and her very life—for the Israelites’ one God. Madness, sorcery, and sinister plots mingle like an alchemist’s deadly potion as Tia chooses whether to risk all to save the kingdom—and her family.
“The biblical story of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years as a madman, found in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, deepens and broadens thanks to veteran author Higley’s historical research and vivid imagination . . . Readers will find much to enjoy here: fine writing, suspense, mystery, faith, love, and a new look at an old story.” —Publishers Weekly
“Higley gives readers a dose of biblical history set in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palatial gardens and a character like no other in Tiamat, devoted daughter of a king gone mad. The author’s insights into a woman’s inner strength as she searches for the one true God will leave readers rejoicing.”—Romantic Times TOP PICK
"Her story will appeal not just to readers of historical fiction but also to those with an interest in biblical history." —Booklist
|Publication Date||May 1, 2012|