1. King's Shadow: A Novel of King Herod's Court
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    King's Shadow: A Novel of King Herod's Court
    Angela Hunt
    Bethany House / 2019 / Trade Paperback
    $9.99 Retail: $15.99 Save 38% ($6.00)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 9 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW233360
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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    a little long for my tastes
    August 20, 2019
    Reenie
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    There were many things I liked and a couple things I didn't like about this book. This is not my favorite genre so I'm sure that plays into my thoughts as well.

    What I liked: Especially at the beginning of the story, the author paints Herod as a normal man who cares for his family. He usually comes off as a buffoon or an evil monster in books or movies. Of course, he changed a lot during the course of his life but I felt it gave a more balanced picture of him as a person, especially in his early years.

    There are many lessons that can be learned. If we pursue sin, it gets easier and easier to compromise our beliefs. If we keep going against our conscience, or the Holy Spirit's urging, that voice gets quieter. This book also showed the power of a quiet, godly life lived out before others. It matters.

    What I didn't like: It was too long. The book is 384 pages long and covers all of Herod's adult life. I've read very few books that cover a long time period and kept me wanting more. In fact, I can't think of any. I understand why it was done since this series is covering the 400 silent years between the Old and New Testaments but it dragged a bit for me.

    Of necessity, because of the subject matter, it was full of politics. I really don't like politics. Again, this is probably more of a statement about me than about the book. The story is full of drama, intrigues, betrayal, alliances, etc. While Hunt handled it all well, it was just too much for me.

    If you like historical fiction and politics, I think you'd like this book. It was well written and thoroughly researched. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

    The Silent Years series:

    Book 1: Egypt's Sister

    Book 2: Judah's Wife

    Book 3: Jerusalem's Queen

    Book 4: King's Shadow
  2. Kansas City
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Watch your Back!
    August 17, 2019
    tickmenot
    Kansas City
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Salome was the only sister of King Herod, and lived with him in his Jerusalem palace. Despite Herod ruling with an iron fist, Salome was his biggest fan. She constantly rationalized his bad behavior saying it was the result of his people not appreciating, and loving their king. Zara, who lost both parents because of their part in an uprising against Herod, becomes Salome's handmaidat the tender age of nine!

    Although Herod is remembered as a brute, the author humanizes him, and shows him as a misunderstood ruler, at least in Salome's eyes. But his story cannot be told without the inclusion the many murders he was responsible for, including a number of his family members.

    Zara was the one bright light in this tale. She serves Salome well, without blaming her for the loss of her family. Eventually, she meets Ravid whose teachings bring her closer to God, HaShem. Other than the time she spent supporting Herod, Salome was a very self-centered individual.

    Herod was a troubled person who lived a disturbing life, which was the over-riding theme of this story. That shines through no matter how human the book tries to present him, even if that was his sister's opinion. Biblical history fans will enjoy the thorny story in this 4-star book. Bethany House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of King's Shadow for the purpose of review.
  3. Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Fascinating Biblical History!
    August 16, 2019
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    3.5 stars

    "Moses called him friend. David called him Lord. What do you call Him?"

    Two of the women living in Herod's palace are subject to his every whim ; his sister Salome and by association her Jewish handmaiden, Zara; who entered into her palatial employ at the tender age of nine years old. While Herod's reign is fraught with paranoia and family betrayals, Salome is intensely loyal to her brother; going to great lengths to ensure that those around him remain devoted to his sovereignty.

    Quietly serving her mistress, Zara is fully committed to Salome's well-being, even when she is called upon to testify before the king's court. As she grows and matures, Zara's head knowledge of her faith takes root in her heart under the tutelage of a young, dynamic Essene teacher named Ravid. What worries her is this, " Herod did not seem to mind HaShem sitting on the throne of heaven, but if for one moment he thought Adonai wanted to sit on the throne of Jerusalem, Herod would mount a war against heaven itself".

    In spite of the fascinating historical value of this story, it felt weighted with details that at times usurped the power of its words and clouded the intrigue underneath its perspective. What is abundantly clear however, is that God's timing was perfect; birthing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords into a tremulous period of human history.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
  4. Kentucky
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Palace Intrigue
    August 14, 2019
    Connie
    Kentucky
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is an account of two women in Herod's court and even though their stories are written in first-person, it was easy for me to follow because the author has labeled each chapter with the name of the person speaking. Salome is the sister of King Herod and she is very loyal to her brother; Zara is a young Jewish girl who is chosen to be Salome's handmaid at age nine and she remains in this position for many years. It is during these years that we see the intrigue that occurred during this king's reign, when deceit and murder were commonplace and political unrest was prevalent. Salome was a complicated person who greatly changed during this story but it was Zara that I loved best. Her dedication to Salome remained steadfast and her compassion and loyalty earned her Salome's respect. It is only when she is offered a chance for love and happiness in her own life that Zara considers leaving Salome. "Years ago I promised to serve you, but the time has come---I am now asking you to free me from that promise." (p. 266)

    It is evident that Angela Hunt devoted a lot of research into these 400 years between the Old Testament prophets and the beginning of the New Testament and she has weaved true facts and fictional details into an enjoyable biblical fiction novel. Hunt does an excellent job with her mentions of Herod's harem, his willingness to kill even his family, and I was especially intrigued by the detailed descriptions of Zara's attention to Salome's hair! In the author notes Hunt reveals that hairbrushes and hairpins had not invented in the first century before Christ so she had to make adjustments in this story. All of these things will make fans of historical fiction appreciate this last book in the The Silent Years series.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts in this review.
  5. Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    3.5 Stars
    August 11, 2019
    Suzie
    Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 4
    3.5 Stars

    It's difficult to put into perspective the 400-year time span between the old and new testaments, but in King's Shadow, Angela Hunt brings some of that time to life. Readers are given a glimpse into King Herod's reign (leading up Jesus's birth and his demand that every boy under the age of two be eliminated in order to eradicate the threat to his throne).

    Hunt's research is impeccable and evident throughout the book as historical and Biblical characters cross the pages. Through the eyes of Salome (Herod's sister) and her handmaid (Zara), readers get a view of the King's Court through two different perspectives.

    While that got confusing at times (even more so because many of the characters had the same or similar names), the scheming, backstabbing, and paranoia are plenty obvious.

    I've read several of Hunt's other Biblical fiction novels and enjoyed them a little more. But if you're interested in this history or what led up to Herod's demand of killing of an entire generation of boys, this may be the book for you.

    Disclosure statement:

    I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
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