Sarah finds purpose and fulfillment as scribe to the Queen of Persia. Pleased with Sarah's work, the Queen arranges Sarah's marriage to Darius Pasargadea, a respected and handsome aristocrat, as a kindness. However, after a disasterous wedding celebration, Sarah finds that marriage has stripped her of position, security and dignity. Locked in a miserable marriage and missing her old life, Sarah must open herself to new ideas and people, including her distant husband.
With Harvest of Rubies, Tessa Afshar cemented herself as one of my favorite authors. Having previously read Pearl in the Sand, I had high expectations for Harvest of Rubies and I was not disappointed. It had a unique storyline filled with a memorable protagonist, a little mystery and suspense, a history lesson and plenty of romance. I loved Sarah's personal and spiritual development. This is the type of book I could sit down with in the morning and read all day. Although I didn't have that luxury, it was that good! I am definitely looking forward to reading the sequel.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from River North Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This is another wonderful Biblical fiction novel by Tessa! Other than a few verses, I haven't read the book of Nehemiah in the Bible, but you can bet I will be reading it after it came alive in this story. Though Nehemiah is a secondary character, Sarah and Darius became very real people to me. Sarah, with her misplaced sense of self based on the value of her work, and Darius, so intent on finding the truth but blind to his own judgmental ways, how we can still relate to them today. Combined with the stunning Persian palace life descriptions and historical tidbits are valuable lessons about trusting God, instead of leaning too much on the people around us. I also enjoyed the antics of Caspian, Darius' hunting dog, who became Sarah's friend. There is an excerpt of the next book about Sarah and Darius included at the end, and I enjoyed the peek into what will come next for these two.
With thanks to Moody Publishers, via NetGalley, for my review copy.
I throughly enjoyed Harvest of Rubies. The story line was easy to follow and I anticipated what would happen next. I really was pleased to learn more about that time and place in history and to encase it in real characters of the Bible made it even better. I look forward to reading her next book.
Tessa Afshar in her new book, "Harvest of Rubies" Book One in The Sarah/Darius Series published by River North Fiction Division of Moody Publishers takes us back to Biblical Persia 457 B. C.
From the Back Cover: Remarkable talent Threatens to cloud a life
The prophet Nehemiah has a cousin who can speak several languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve mysteries.
This cousin is catapulted into the center of the Persian court - working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and completing high-level tasks as a scribe for the queen.
Not bad, for a woman living in a man's world.
The talented Sarah has a glowing future, and those closest to her believe her good fortune is the product of none other than God's glorious design. Yet a devastating past has left Sarah with two strong conclusions: that God does not love her, and that her accomplishments are the measure of her worth.
The only thing that will help her escape her idol of success, Sarah must learn to love and be loved - a task that could prove dangerous.
I like history and Tessa Afshar, if she wasn't a writer of fiction, would make a great historian. Now add in that "Harvest of Rubies" is Biblical historical fiction and we have a full-blown winner. "Harvest of Rubies" takes place at the time of Nehemiah, the cup-bearer to King Artaxerxes, who will return, later, to Jerusalem and rebuild her walls. He has his own book in the Bible. Sarah is his cousin and she does the unthinkable at that time, which is to learn to read, write and do numbers. Eventually, this gets her promoted to being the Queen's scribe but none of these accomplishments give her a feeling of self-worth. When Sarah solves a mystery for the Queen, the Queen rewards her with a husband which doesn't work out so well at first. Now Sarah, with a little help, must deal with her self-worth issues and then, with her husband's help, once again come to the aid of the Queen. As I said if you enjoy history like I do then this book is for you. Ms. Afshar really makes you feel the heat and the dust. Every one of her characters seem to come alive and it is like actually being there in Persia with them. "Harvest of Rubies" is all about loving who God made you to be, families and relationships and that is what makes this book a winner. I enjoyed this book a lot and am looking forward to the next one.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Wynn-Wynn Media for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."