Disclaimer: This book was received from a PR company in exchange for an honest review.
One of my favorite things about historical fiction is learning in a way that I don’t feel like I’m learning. I recently received a copy of The Queen’s Handmaid for review and was delighted that I was able to read a lot over the weekend. I hate having to wait for a pocket of time when I’m reading a good book.
The Queen’s Handmaid is a sort-of Biblical fiction novel. I say sort of, because it involves people in the Bible and elements of it, but the main plot & character are not real. The story starts in Cleopatra’s palace as she meets with Herod, who is unimpressed with her. Noticing that Herod seems to be impressed with her, and that Cleopatra dislikes her & is threatened by her beauty, she threatens to send her to Herod’s. A series of events occur that have Cleopatra out for her head and she clings to the hope that Herod may actually have use for her as a lady’s maid for his wife.
Before she flees, her mentor is killed, but not before making her a guardian of some secret scrolls about the Messiah that need to be returned to Jerusalem. The Queen’s Handmaid is the story of the servant girls journey to complete her mission while at the mercy of the political maneuverings of Herod, Marc Antony, Cleopatra, Octavius Caesar and the Hebrew Royal Family that Herod married into.
The Queen’s Handmaid was a positively fascinating book! I love history but don’t make the time to study it on my own. Historical fiction fills in a lot of gaps for me in that regard. One thing that I really enjoyed about the historical aspects of this novel was the section in the back where she led you through her thought-process in creating the story. It made it super easy to see where & how she took artistic license. I love that! She did a ton of research on the political climate which was awesome. I feel like I got a good history lesson, too.
I loved reading about the setting and the contrasts of all the different cultures–Greek, Roman, Egyptian & Hebrew–that clashed rather frequently. The manipulation & power struggles were not unique to this time period, but it somewhat explains Herod’s state of mind during the trials of Jesus. It’s interesting to contemplate. Tracy Higley did a great job with the description of the characters; I loved them all, and the struggles were believable. I also appreciated that she used God’s promises in an awesome and very Old Testament way. They were well placed. I wondered briefly how she would accomplish her goal and was caught totally off guard at the plot twist near the end regarding her family. The end was not as surprising because I had briefly wondered about it earlier but was swept up in the action of the book.
If you like biblical fiction, or want to learn more about Cleopatra, Marc Antony & crew, The Queen’s Handmaid is a fabulous read! It is one of those books that takes some time compared to its size, but every twist and turn is enjoyable. I highly recommend this book!
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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.”
- 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.