King Nebuchadnezzar's daughter Tiamat has patiently waited seven years for her father to recover from the mysterious madness that causes him to prowl about on all fours like an animal. Since the mysterious death of her husband and the murder of a nobleman in the palace, Tiamat realizes she must discover who is behind their deaths. As her mother plots to wed her to another to secure the kingdom, Tiamat seeks to help her father by accepting the help of Pedaiah, who takes her to her father's old friend, Daniel.
"Garden of Madness" is a fictionalized novel of the daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar. While it is very interesting in its use of characters such as Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, at times it was uneven, especially in the first half of the novel. The pace really picked up in the second half. Although the novel couldn't seem to make up its mind whether it was a religious mystery or a religious romance or something in between, it was very enjoyable. I found it to definitely be a 3 star novel.
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Reading through the Book of Daniel, I've wondered at times how it was that proud King Nebuchadnezzar managed to hold onto his kingdom during his seven years of insanity. God willed it, of course, but how did events play out? In her new book, "Garden of Madness," Tracy Higley uses her imagination to give readers one possibility.
The book is a work of historical fiction. Several characters are mentioned in the Bible and in other historical documents from the time. Other characters, including the main character, Princess Tiamat, are Higley's inventions. Higley explains more about this in a note following the story.
As for the story, I loved it! Princess Tiamat was a fun character who cared deeply for the people in her life, longed to be loved in return, and determined to seek truth whatever the cost. And the truth of this novel comes straight from the true story of the Bible in which this fictional story is set: the cause and resolution of King Nebuchadnezzar's seven years of insanity.
Though "Garden of Madness" is a work of historical fiction, it's also a turn-the-pages-quickly, conspiracy/suspense thriller. I enjoyed reading this work and recommend it to you. Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
As a child I heard the stories of Daniel in the lion's den. And of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. I knew who Nebuchadnezzar was, but didn't pay much attention to much more than the popular Bible stories.
The Bible tells of Nebuchadnezzar being driven away from people and living with wild animals (Daniel 4:31-33). In the very next verse (v.34) his sanity is restored as he praises God. There is nothing between those two verses to suggest what happened during the "seven times" he was to live as a wild animal.
Tracy Higley does a great job taking those events and telling the story from a different point of view. Tiamat, Nebuchadnezzar's daughter, leads the story line as she becomes a widow at a young age. She goes on to investigate, wanting to know who killed her husband, and why.
Although this story dives into the politics in the palace, a subject I am not really in to reading about, I still found it an enjoyable historical fiction novel.
I received this complementary e-book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
The gardens of Babylon offer solice, beauty and intrigue. But within the lush backdrop of flora lie danger and devastating secrets capturing its visitors within its tempting grasp. In a time of great strife and unrest could a longing from one voice be enough to conquer many?
Tiamat, youngest princess to King Nebuchadnezzar and Queen Amytis learns that decisions afford consequences. Protected from the outside world by a title held by few she loses the husband of her youth, Shealtiel. In a time when arranged marriages are commonplace Tiamat longs for freedom, for her own choice in the land of many gods.
King Nebuchadnezzar held captive from the reality of madness, his contributions to Babylon are remembered and loved by many.
Queen Amytis, most powerful is familiar with the hardships and demands of a royal lifestyle. Loneliness and bitterness can capture even the most absent of hearts.
Pedaiah, brother of Shealtel (former husband of Tiamat), is of Jewish descent, as his family, and has not yet known a wife. His faith, a fortress and safety net, shines in the darkness of what Babylon has become.
Can the one true God rise above all others?
I found myself being thrust into the storyline from the beginning of this impossible to put down book. Highly creative and original this story captured my attention. Offering the reader suspense, romance, history, twists, turns and surprises adding to the pleasure of time being well spent. The author is a very gifted storyteller who has the ability to bring new life into ancient history! With well developed characters, unforgetable scenery and captivating dialogue I felt as if I were present at the scene of the story witnessing the unfolding of hearts and lives and I know this novel will stay with me for a long time. I was challenged in my faith, entertained, and found the overall message inspiring. This book will be highly recommended to others! Very well written! Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers and to Netgalley for the ARC for my review.
Higley's Seven Wonders series is written about the seven wonders of the ancient world. Garden of Madness is about the hanging gardens of Babylon, supposedly built by King Nebuchadnezzer for his homesick wife. According to the bible story, King Nebuchadnezzer went mad for seven years. (Interesting, but I never wondered what happened to the kingdom while the King was crawling around eating grass. Clearly, Higley has more imagination than I do.) I loved the court intrigue and treacher, the lies that treaten to destroy Tiamat, and her struggle to save herself from an arranged marriage, her kingdom from interlopers, and her father from his madness! Nebuchadnezzer is one of my favorite biblical characters and I was sad that he didn't get more screentime.