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Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she's had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
A jealous Egyptian queen. A lascivious Galilean governor. A beautiful servant girl. Theirs is a story of prophecy, self-discovery, and revelation.
The year is 39 BC. All of Alexandria awaits the arrival of Herod, the Galilean governor with his eye on the Judean kingship. The handmaid of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, receives a troubling visit from her aging mentor.
An orphan since birth, Lydia lives in the palace at the demand of Cleopatra and her royal child, the son of Julius Caesar. But Lydia has a growing problem on her hands: her beauty is becoming a liability to the aging queen, and the visiting Herods undisguised interest only makes matters worse.
When Lydias mentor is murdered, the handmaid inherits a daunting task. An ancient set of sealed scrolls, the secret writings of the prophet Daniel, must be returned to Jerusalembefore those who killed her mentor destroy the scrolls as well. The future of the Israelites depends on it. So Lydia leaves the palace to serve as ladys maid to Herods wife in the Holy City.
As Lydia is absorbed into the machinations of Herods household, her mission and her peoples hope of a Messianic Kingare endangered at every turn. Can Lydia avoid the adulterous intentions of Herod? Can she deliver the scrolls to the mysterious man on the steps of the Temple? Will the true King of Israel ever rise?
"Higley amazes us with another of her action-packed feats of storytelling." RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK! (on Palace of Darkness)
LalaAge: 18-24Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Not My Favorite by Tracy...September 2, 2014LalaAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3"The Queen's Handmaid" was interesting and left me with mixed feelings which is why I'm giving it a 3.5 stars!
The history that is woven through the pages is what really held my interest and intrigued me! I did not realize all that had been taking place politically and even spiritually before the time of Jesus! I knew things were chaotic at times, but I didn't fully realize how much the Jewish nation longed for the Messiah until reading this! After seeing how things were in just Herod the Great's rule I understand a lot more about the ideas of the people concerning the Messiah and how that related to Jesus!
I have noticed throughout Tracy's novels that there is always an "evil" character who worships false gods with power coming from that worship. It usually makes me rather uncomfortable, but this was the first time that I truly appreciated her including this aspect of the story! Reason being is because she showed the true power of God and how He is so much more powerful then evil/darkness! I was left very humble in knowing that like Lydia God has given all His children a divine purpose that cannot be defeated by Satan even though he will try to stop it!
What led me to ultimately having mixed feelings about this story though is how much time passed! There was a period of 4-5 years passing by in the middle of the novel that left me feeling disconnected with the main character! It wasn't until the near ending that I really felt a connection with Lydia again, but I felt like I had missed so much of her life! The romance was also an interesting mix that didn't quite sit with me because it sometimes felt confusing and then rushed (not consistently though)!
Overall I would recommend "The Queen's Handmaid" because it did have a great spiritual message as well as a very eye-opening story to real historical events!
KGD history teacher5 Stars Out Of 5Another Winner for Tracy HigleyJuly 9, 2014KGD history teacherQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book takes the reader from the court of Cleopatra and Marc Antony in Egypt to the palaces of Herod in Palestine. The main character, Lydia, is a handmaid to Cleopatra. She is an orphan who has spent her life serving in the Egyptian palace, knowing nothing of her heritage or background. Her mentor and friend, Samuel, has spent years teaching her the stories of his people, the Jews. One fateful night, she finds him stabbed and dying. He gives her a mission to protect and eventually deliver the scrolls of Daniel to the temple in Jerusalem. After being given to Herod as a handmaid for his soon-to-be wife, Lydia travels to Rome and later Palestine. She finds Samuel has not given her an easy task, one that can be full of danger and may take years to complete. Her travels also bring up the question of her parentage and what does the disc on her necklace mean?
Having read several of Tracy Higley's books, I expected good attention to historic detail. She has done extensive research in ancient history and brings her personal travels and knowledge to each story. This book is no exception. Anyone who wants a good Biblical era story, with accurate setting and background, will enjoy this book.
I received this from Net Galley for my honest review.
CharityUAustenAge: 18-24Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Brings History to LifeApril 29, 2014CharityUAustenAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When I stumbled across this book at the library, I recognized it as Tracy's newest and was super happy - how often are new publications actually IN at the library? I was thrilled. So I checked it out and made time to read it over Easter. It was enthralling. It concentrates on Lydia, a fictional character who was first a servant to Cleopatra and then to the wife who Herod the Great actually loved, Mariamme. This book was a fascinating take on those historical characters (especially Cleopatra and Herod!). Lydia is absolutely delightful and I would love to meet her. I was amazed by the all the research that Tracy put into this book - the result is stunningly historically accurate book. I'm so excited for Tracy's upcoming book (don't know a title yet, but I hear it'll be about the wise-men??!?!!?) and I'm definitely really enjoying each of her books.
JanetColumbus, GAGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Decade of History Wrapped into a Powerful StoryApril 24, 2014JanetColumbus, GAGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"The Queen's Handmaid" by Tracy L. Higley is a novel that begs to be made into a movie. It would be epic! I loved reading this book.
Set in the Middle East in the early days of Herod (about 39 B.C.), this book is the story of a simple orphan girl, raised by servants in a palace, now serving royalty. Lydia longs to please people and is happy to serve, yet she is surrounded by all of the most dangerous rulers of the day: Cleopatra, Marc Antony, and Herod the Great, to name a few. Further, she has a mission to fulfill. She must find a way to transport the secret scrolls of the prophet Daniel to their rightful caretakers, giving them vital information about Israel's coming Messiah. Seizing an opportunity, Lydia flees from Cleopatra in Egypt and travels with Herod to become the handmaid for his future queen, hoping for the opportunity to fulfill her calling.
The fictional story spans ten years and is packed full of historical events that took place in the last few decades before the time of Christ. Following the story, Higley tells readers more about these events and the people who were there. She also explains how these prompted her story idea and what she hopes to write next, which sounds like a sequel or closely-related story to me. I will be watching for it!
I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary eCopy of this book for my honest review.
TammimaineAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Impeccable History Brought to LifeApril 17, 2014TammimaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have been wanting to read Tracy L. Higley's books for awhile now. So when her newest book, The Queen's Handmaid, came up for review I didn't hesitate to request it. I wasn't disappointed.
The year is 39 BC when we meet Lydia. Cleopatra is the current Queen ruling over Egypt while Lydia is nurse to her son, Caesarion. Lydia is a beautiful, and unpretentious, young woman who knows nothing of her family or life outside the palace walls. Her heart belongs to Caesarion and her friend, Samuel.
Samuel, a Jewish man, has done his best to teach Lydia about his God and his heritage. He didn't have any children of his own, so he taught everything that he could to Lydia. When Herod arrives to visit the queen, things become complicated. Deciding that Lydia would be better suited to serve his future wife, Herod chose to take Lydia to Jerusalem with him.
Wanting to say goodbye to Samuel, Lydia discovers that he had been attacked and is close to death. Using the last of his strength, Samuel tells Lydia about the scrolls that he has been hiding; and instructs her to carefully hide and guard them until she could get them to the Chakkiym. They've cost Samuel his life and now Lydia is charged with smuggling them out of Egypt in order to get them into the proper hands in Jerusalem.
Lydia made the decision to accept Herod's offer because it was the perfect opportunity for her to get the scrolls out of Egypt. Arriving in Jerusalem wasn't an easy task, especially with the scrolls, which she wasn't even sure what was written in them. Uncertain of what exactly these scrolls held, Lydia knows her life is in danger. Not only that but she'll be living in Herod's home where she'll have to deal with jealous servants, political tensions, fickle diplomats, as well as her own emotions. All she's ever wanted was a place to belong... a family.
Tracy's storytelling is fantastic! She pulled me into Lydia's world, where I met people I fell in love with. People like Queen Mariamme, Simon, and, of course, Lydia. I also enjoyed her descriptions of the different scenes, from Egypt to Jerusalem to the palace interior, she made me feel like I was there standing beside Lydia with each turn of the page. Last but not least I liked how impeccably Tracy brought history to life, and that she included "The Story Behind the Story...and Beyond", where she separated fact from fiction; it was well worth reading.
**The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.