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Garden of Madness

Title:  Garden of Madness
Author:  Tracy Higley
Pages:  376
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Tiamat is the youngest daughter and princess of King Nebuchadnezzar.  She was married at a very young age and her husband has just died.  She is now 21 years old and doesn’t want to marry again.  She thinks she will now be free to do as she likes.  Her mother soon dispels that notion by telling Tia she will marry again and soon.  She will be married to her mother’s cousin, a Mede, to form an alliance between Babylon and Media.  Tia wants no part of this and tries to think up different plans of thwarting her mother’s plan.  Her mother is very cold toward Tia and always concerned with appearances and duty.  Tia literally runs from responsibility.  She has her own training room where she runs sometimes.  She feels free when she leaves the palace and enters the city full of people.  The murder of one of her father’s faithful noblemen causes her to begin asking questions about his murder.  This leads her to Pedaiah, her dead husband’s brother.  He is being trained by Daniel to lead others in the ways of Yahweh.  Pedaiah has secretly loved Tia, but she was married to his brother as well as a pagan, so he kept his distance from her and his feelings to himself.  Now that his brother is dead, is there any hope for him in regards to letting his feelings for her to be known?  Is she even capable of listening and/or learning about the One True God and leaving her pagan gods behind?
Shadir is a mage and has his own plans for Tia.  He has served her father, but due to her father’s “illness”, he now wants to take over the kingdom for himself.  Tia’s mother vows not to let this happen.  Shadir practices sorcery in secret and welcomes demons.  He will stop at nothing to get the man he wants on the throne of Babylon.  Murder is no stumbling block for him.  He also has plans to reveal the true nature of King Nebuchadnezzar’s “illness” to the people of Babylon.
I thought Tia was very spoiled, naïve and selfish throughout most of the story.  Everything was all about her and how things would change for her.  She might have said it was about her family, but it really was about herself.  Not until the last few chapters did she slowly begin to change.  Her focus really did become something other than herself.  This was an intriguing story, and I enjoyed the historical and biblical facts put together to form this fictional take on what could have happened in Babylon.  I also enjoyed reading the Story Behind the Story and the Author’s Note; they are always very interesting and I learn something new each time I read them after one of Tracy’s entertaining stories.
My rating is 4 stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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