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 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.
|Contributor(s)||Tracy L. Higley|
|About the Contributor(s)||Tracy L. Higley
Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored nine novels, including Garden of Madness and 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 her travel journals and more at TracyHigley.com. Twitter: @TLHigley Facebook: tracyhigley
|Release Date||Mar 18, 2014|
- Review by Becky
Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's household having been abandoned at birth. She has a way of making everyone love her and depend on her, all the while trying to keep them at arms' length so she doesn't get attached to them and risk having them be taken away. Her mentor, Samuel, entrusts her with a secret mission and a memento from her past. She makes her way to Jerusalem through joining with Herod the Great's staff. Will she fulfill her duty to Samuel and be able to uncover who she really is?
"The Queen's Handmaid" starts in 39 B.C. and spans a decade. The book follows historic events very closely. I actually went online and researched Cleopatra, Herod, Marc Antony, and other characters in the book to find the true story of history as I only had a very basic knowledge of who they were. In a way, my research caused me to know what was going to be happening in the book because Tracy Higley followed history so well! I was intrigued to learn what life was like for Jews right before the time that Jesus was born. It made me feel like I had a better understanding of Biblical times and what it was like for them living in Jerusalem.
I enjoyed how Tracy Higley wove faith in God (HaShem) into the story and how Lydia came to trust Him as her OneGod.
I recommend this book to anyone, especially those who love history and stories set in the ancient past. (Posted on 5/6/14)
- Review by Rachelle
Not only was the plot interesting and the characters well developed, but the history was masterfully presented. The intrigue of the era, the wars and rulers and murder and intrigue have always left me baffled when reading through the history books and yet this novel seemed to bring it all to life. I could see the ruthlessness of Cleopatra's palace and taste the agony at Masada and feel the press of the rioting in Jerusalem. From Herod's madness to Mariamme's despair I lived the history.
And then through this history I also lived a mystery. What if there were scrolls that faithful Jews had been guarding and others had been looking for over centuries of time? And what if this was the moment when their secrets were to be brought to life? What if God chose one simple handmaid and brought her into the palace and the family of the queen so that she could play a part in preparing the way for the Messiah?
This book was fabulous on so many levels. Drama, suspense, spiritual battle, the discovery and growth of faith, the presentation of true love amid a culture where marriage (and sex and offspring) were leverage in a political game and the ever present hand of the One True God bringing about His plan for redemption threading through the midst of it all. I recommend this novel. (Posted on 4/25/14)