New York Times Bestselling Author’s Newest Biblical-Era Series
Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what–but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery.
Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life.
I’ve followed Angela Hunt’s writings for years thanks to her predictable ability to turn out a good book especially when she delves into historical fiction as she has this ability to make you believe her stories could have happened. Her biblical fiction takes that ability to new heights as she has this way to make the Bible come alive. This latest is no exception as she takes us back in time to the years between the Old & New Testament and provides us a unique view of Cleopatra’s rise to power which we are privy to through the eyes of her loyal friend. Her storyline isn’t overly predictable so you get to have the fun of guessing what is going to happen next through most of her novel.
Like a typical Hunt book her character development is fleshed out so we really get a feel for who Chava is, her place in the world, her relationship to Cleopatra and her faith. She made her version of Cleopatra seem tragic and authentic as if this was more than an idealized version altered for a story. She has a real knack for creating strong female characters. She didn’t write her characters as being flawless human beings who simply believe in God and have perfect lives which can be an irritating part of Christian fiction.
The historical details she puts makes you feel like you are really learning something about the lives of Egyptians and Romans as well as how the socio-political climate was pre-Christ. Reading about the ‘Silent Years’ as seen from a Jewish family who is navigating the world of Mark Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian against a descriptive landscape gives you the feel of a secular book so for anyone who gets a little nervous reading prototypical Christian fiction you should rest easy and give this a chance.
If you’re into historical Christian fiction you should add Angela Hunt to your Must Read list as she is guaranteed to provide well-written Christian books.
Thank you to Netgalley and Bethany House for allowing me to review this book.
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*synopsis and pic from netgalley.com