Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley (Litfuse Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Title: The Queen's Handmaid
Author: Tracy L. Higley
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 390
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8684-0
Publication Date: March 18th, 2014

Synopsis:
From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servantin 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 thisvital 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.
Review:
Tracy L. Higley is fast becoming a favorite author of mine. Her attention to historical detail is just amazing! In The Queen's Handmaid, Tracy Higley takes us on an ancient road trip, starting in Egypt, working our way through Rome, finally ending up in Jerusalem.

The story follows Lydia, a handmaid to the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, who we know from history as a scheming, power hungry woman and the love interest of Marc Antony. Tracy Higley captures Cleopatra beautifully with her desperation for power and her insecurities she had in regard to the thrown. As Lydia flees Egypt and Cleopatra, Lydia is offered the job as being the handmaid to Mariamme, the future wife of Herod, who has his own schemes for power. As much as Lydia hates to leave Egypt, she knows if she doesn't she will be killed. With Herod's entourage, Lydia travels with them to Rome where she meets Octavius, or as he has started to call himself, Augustus.

As I read this story, it amazed me to realize how many of the historical people were alive at the same time and interacted together. I knew all about Rome and their connection to Egypt, but I had no clue that Herod knew Marc Antony as well (I enjoyed the historical notes at the back of the book). The men in this story (Augustus and Herod) played a huge part at the time of the birth of Jesus and it never clicked that all of these things happened many years before they became known in the Christmas story. It also offered up insight to why Herod was so desperate to protect his kingship and why he became paranoid.

Watching what happened in history through Lydia's eyes was a thrill. The story grabbed a hold of me. History has some amazing events and Tracy Higley is able to bring it to you in such a way, you don't want the story to end.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
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 her travel journals and more at www.tracyhigley.com.


Giveaway:
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." 
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  • 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.


Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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