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.
My Thoughts: I love historical fiction, and I particular love historical fiction that takes place around the time of Christ or other biblical characters, or even revolving around famous kings and queens. So, I was really looking forward to reading this book, certain that I would love it.
Though I did like it, I didn't love it. I liked the story line but I found the historical details were rather hard to keep straight and I found myself getting bogged down in the details instead of caught up in the story. I'm not entirely sure if that was due to the writing, or to my frame of mind while reading (I was tired and perhaps not as ready as I needed to be to have my brain heavily engaged in processing the information). From a quick glance at some of the other reviews, I seem to be in the minority here, so take that with a grain of salt.
That being said, the storyline was still engaging, the characters were realistic and well developed, and I really enjoyed watching all the different plot points come together.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.