Book Review: "The Queen's Handmaid" by Tracy L. Higley

Monday, March 03, 2014

Title: The Queen's Handmaid
Author: Tracy L. Higley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Netgalley / Publisher
Price: $15.99
Buy Online: Amazon

SUMMARY
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 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.

REVIEW
The Queen's Handmaid is the story of Lydia, a servant for Cleopatra. Although she is an orphan, she was taken in by the kind Samuel. When Samuel dies of a knife wound, he entrusts her with a dangerous but important secret - the secret writings of the prophet Daniel - and her life is changed forever. Her mission is to deliver this information to the King of Israel or Judea. After a trip to Rome, she flees Cleopatra's regime to Jerusalem, where the new King of Judea rules. 

As the new handmaid for Queen Mariamme,  she has to navigate dangerous political currents and deliver the scrolls to the right people before the return of the Messiah is ruined.

...That's about as far as I got. Basically as soon as the plot got religious pretty quickly.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I really tried to get through this one. And if you know me, I make it a mission to finish every book I read. But I just couldn't do it. The unexpected religious element threw me off. Try as I might, I couldn't get invested in the storyline. The characters simply did not interest me at all.

Which is my failing, not the book's. I would like to thank the publisher for the review copy. If you're interested in historical fiction with a religious theme, this might just be the book for you.

Did not finish.