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.
Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many 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 Tracy's travel journals and more at: tracyhigley.com
If you're looking for a book about Cleopatra or her handmaid, you might be disappointed. This story is about Lydia. Yes, she was Cleopatra's handmaid at one time, but not always. Lydia was so much more than a simple handmaid anyway. I really liked Lydia a lot. Her character alone was worth reading the book for.
Most of the book was just okay for me though to be honest. At one point, though I know it's a work of fiction, it almost felt like I was studying for history and reading from a textbook. The last 100 or so pages the story really picked right up and all of the pieces of the puzzle came together, making it a much better story.
This was my first time reading from this author before and I know it won't be the last. There was something solid in her style of writing that appealed to me in the end.
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."
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- The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley