Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review - The Queen's Handmaid


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 a 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:

This is a historical novel with a lot of intrigue and twists and turns. I really like how the author shared the history of the times in a way that made it interesting and non-confusing. So many times, historical novels will either put you to sleep with their endless details or confuse you but Tracy Higley writes about history in a beautiful and insightful way.

Lydia is a handmaiden to the son of Cleopatra and I found it so interesting how there is so much vying for power within the servant staff of the palace. I guess I never thought that would be so, but human nature being what it is, the author shows this quite effectively. Lydia and Samuel's goodness quiet natures far outshine and greatly contrast with those who are always thinking of themselves to any cost like Cleopatra, Herod and even some of the servants. 

I really loved Lydia's devotion to Cleopatra's son and to Samuel. I loved her quiet spirit and her creativity. She was just really likeable and I came to really care about her.

This book was not a quick read for me. There is so much detail and such a poetic writing style that I wanted to savor each page. I really enjoyed the book and it was very hard to put it down. For this reason, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

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