Monday, December 17, 2012

Garden of Madness

Title:  Garden of Madness
Author:  Tracy L. Higley
Pages:  400
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Note:  I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions expressed therein are my own.  Other reviews can be read at

                Every time I hear that an author has published another novel or is in the works to produce one, my excitement mounts.  Tracy Higley’s writings have continued to excel with each story that unfolds.  Here, in the Garden of Madness, readers will find themselves getting lost in history.  This is a history that actually occurred though most of the story is fictional and based on imagination.  The historical part is based on the writings of Daniel in the Old Testament as well as other sources used by the author.  Due to the current world situation and actual location of Babylon, the writer couldn’t travel to that area; however, her story takes intrigue and mystery to new heights in this setting.
                Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian king who raided Jerusalem three times, each time taking captives back with him, until the final time when Jerusalem was left in ruins.  Daniel was taken with the first wave of captives, and Ezekiel was taken later.  Jeremiah was even a prophet during this time though he wasn’t located in Babylon.  Some scholars believe he may have been in Egypt.  Regardless, the characters in this novel are of both non-fictional and fictional backgrounds.
                During one period of this particular king’s reign, he was foretold that unless he acknowledged the one true God, forsaking all other gods, he would be removed from his throne for a time.  Then, when he looked up, he would regain his sanity.  The gardens in this story are well-described and central in some ways to the story’s plot.  As the pages turn we learn that there is a very deep and devious plot being planned for the benefit of one who seeks the power of darkness.  Tia is portrayed as a princess, but is she really?  She feels that there are many lies being told and sets out to discover the truth.  What she finds and gets entangled in will keep many turning pages until the end of the novel.  The queen and many others are hiding the king’s true illness, but where is he and who knows what is going on?
                Within the palace there are murders, lies, anger, threats of harm and more.  Tia seeks true answers, but what she finds and whom she finds changes her future in ways she couldn’t ever conceive.  Tia is a rebellious princess, but one with courage to really know the truth no matter the cost.  What is the cost she will have to pay if she wants to fulfill her heart’s desire, to change the world?  During all of this, she meets one of the Jewish princes and longs to know more about their God, but something keeps getting in the way of her finding out.  Will her father, the king, ever be the man she once knew?  How can the plot and those involved be found out and stopped?  Who should Tia trust?  Who shouldn’t she trust?
                Garden of Madness is a 5-star plus novel from beginning to end!  So strap yourself in and hold on for the ride you never see coming!

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