Title: The Queen’s Handmaid
Author: Tracy Higley
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Lydia is a handmaid to Cleopatra in Egypt. She is an orphan and has been raised in the palace. She has an artistic flair for fabric and clothing designs as well as pottery. She takes care of Cleopatra’s young son by Julius Caesar. Herod comes to visit Cleopatra and takes a liking to Lydia. He thinks she will be a help to his betrothed, Mariamme, who is in Israel. While in Egypt, Lydia has been mentored by an old Jewish man, Samuel, in the ways of the One True God. Before being forced to leave Egypt, Lydia is entrusted with a precious cargo and is given a mission by Samuel. Evil is waiting for Samuel and will follow Lydia as Samuel had warned her it would.
Herod eventually gains the throne in Jerusalem with the help of Marc Antony and Rome. He marries Mariamme and installs his evil mother and sister in the palace as well. His sister is Salome. She worships an evil god and has great influence over her brother. She also dislikes Lydia. Lydia still tries to fulfill her mission that Samuel gave her, but doesn’t find what she is looking for. She vows to keep trying no matter how long it takes. Lydia becomes great friends with Mariamme. Lydia also catches the eye of Simon, a Jew in charge of Herod’s palace. She and Simon grow close and just when he declares his feelings for her, a new discovery is made.
Tracy Higley is in fine form in this fantastic novel! I couldn’t put it down. There was plenty of palace/royal intrigue, drama, excitement as well as some tragic and heartbreaking moments. There was a romance for the main character of Lydia. The theme of gaining your identity through being a child of God, not by who your parents are or what your job is or what people think of you ran throughout the book. Lydia at first is a young, timid maid, but matures into a confident princess of the King, standing up to fight evil. It was wonderful to see her transformation. Lydia endured a lot of tragedy in her young life, but never succumbed to self-pity. This story had a great plot and lots of action too. I can’t wait to see what this author offers up next!
My rating is 5 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