The Queen’s Handmaid

4.55769230769
The Queen’s Handmaid

From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

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 a 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.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Tracy’s website.

Reviews

  • Through Lydia’s eyes, Higley explored Herod’s fall into madness. The author skillfully brought out events that will lead to the birth of Christ and the journey of the Magi the topic of a future novel. This book has made ancient history come alive and interesting. I was continually being drawn in by the mystery of who Lydia was, the task set before her by a Jewish scholar, and in the end the excitement of Lydia’s need to escape. I loved this book and am looking forward to the next volume.

  • . . . Tracy L. Higley is a force to be reckoned with! This book was marvelous! I don’t believe that I have ever read a fictional book that included so much history. The amount of research that had to go into the making of this story is astonishing, because it appears the author really knew her stuff.

  • Tracy Higley is in fine form in this fantastic novel! I couldn’t put it down. There was plenty of palace/royal intrigue, drama, excitement as well as some tragic and heartbreaking moments. There was a romance for the main character of Lydia. This story had a great plot and lots of action too. I can’t wait to see what this author offers up next!

  • A story set in a time before Christ in faraway Egypt, a story that is sure to grab your attention. I couldn’t put this one down!

  • I loved reading about the setting and the contrasts of all the different cultures–Greek, Roman, Egyptian & Hebrew–that clashed rather frequently. The manipulation & power struggles were not unique to this time period, but it somewhat explains Herod’s state of mind during the trials of Jesus. It’s interesting to contemplate.

  • The IE Mommy says:

    I have not read a story in a while that had such a great message.

    The courage and strength that Lydia shows is amazing. The author demonstrates through Lydia that God uses everyone and is not a respecter or people. Some people go through this life with no purpose just going about their daily duties.

  • Higley has another hit! It is set during a very turbulent time in history with a lot of death. Higley writes about this time very well, without overemphasizing the gruesome and instead on a couple of characters. I did not like the way the book ended but I don’t really know if it would have been a good idea to continue past the point that she did. Probably not.

    I thought it done well enough that I let my daughter read it as well. One thing that I really liked is the Higley took well-known characters from history and wove them into her story. Another thing is that I didn’t really find the book to be ‘predictable’, even though it is historical fiction and the events actually took place in the past. She kept you guessing what would happen next.

    I liked the book and would recommend it.

  • I love historical novels. Almost every single one I have ever read has captured me from the beginning and kept my attention the whole way through. This novel is no exception to that fact. Tracy Higley has a way with drawing you in and using her imagination to bring historical figures and events to life. I have favorite historical fiction authors and I believe Tracy is now added to that list. I appreciate all the research she put into the events and people, the details, the places and descriptions were amazing and captivating. I felt like I was a part of that history as it took place. Although much of what she wrote is, as my husband calls it, sanctified imagination, it is an amazing imagination. She had the information and put the pieces together in a way that made sense and felt so real. Lydia is someone you will know inside and out after reading this book, and the spiritual aspects are clear throughout. I appreciate that Tracy showed us through Lydia that each one of us has a specific plan designed by God in this world and how important each one of us is. I highly recommend this book!

  • The Queen’s Handmaid had me from the start and I’d love to read what comes next! It’s a wonderful piece of historical fiction of Ancient times. Well written and written in such a way that you are there! You are in Cleopatra’s court and you are with Lydia as she flees and hides her valuable possession. I can’t wait to read the next installment of what happens to our Royal servant.

  • It’s getting increasingly difficult to write a review on a new Tracy Higley book. What can I say that I’ve not said about one of her previous novels? Once again, she has written a “Wow!” book. It has everything I’ve come to expect from her. There’s drama, suspicion, intrigue, a woman in a danger who isn’t Jewish or Christian and, yes, even a bit of romance.

    Tracy Higley does a lot of historical and archeological research for each of her novels and expertly weaves in her fictional characters with those who existed and the events surrounding them. History dictated Mariamme’s fate in this novel, but what would that mean for the fictional Lydia? How close would she come to facing Herod’s wrath and the evil of his sister, Salome? I had to keep reading to find out. You’ll want to do the same.

  • In typical Higley fashion, this is a suspenseful and entertaining read.

  • I really enjoyed this book. It is based during a very bloody time in history and that kind of makes it fascinating. The author provides amazing details and really gives you a sense of the era. She doesn’t go into gory detail on death though so don’t worry about that. She focuses on key characters such as a servant named Lydia.

    I liked how the author took characters from history that I knew like Cleopatra and included them in the story. It made it more interesting. The book kept you trying to figure out what was going to be happening with Lydia and really got you into that whole Cleopatra era

    Lydia is one tough nut. She is smart and very brave. She follows through on her tasks no matter how difficult. The book really kept me on my toes. You are going to enjoy it….a really nice story.

  • I really enjoyed the rich historical setting of this book. I felt transported back to the time of the ancients; to face their problems, to feel their pain, and to watch the once “dry” stories that make up the past come alive!

    I did find, after a little while, the historical descriptions beginning to get a bit tedious with the sheer amount of them, however I did understand that they were necessary to the storyline itself. I felt that the author did do an excellent job of bringing history’s facts to life, giving them flesh, blood, and breath. Weaving together a tale that pulls at your heart strings, giving you the opportunity to feel the heart’s struggles and aches, but in the end to know the joy.

    I loved the ending–it totally took me by surprise!

  • This was a well written book filled with interesting people and times. If you love reading about the past along with people and their emotions, this book will delight you and get you to thinking of things that you might not have originally thought about.

  • By The Book says:

    Tracy L. Higley consistently writes well-research historical novels with a fictional thread that not only fits the context, but adds depth and meaning. In The Queen’s Handmaid, Higley tackles the story of the Herodian, Hasmonean and Ptolemaic dynasties during the expansion of the Roman Empire. Sound daunting? Well think about the importance of this time in history — three decades before the birth of Christ. This was a time I new little about, but The Queen’s Handmaid put the political and spiritual implications in perspective for me. A great read for fans of Biblical history.

    Not a quick read — there is just too much history and political intrigue to digest — it is, nevertheless, a page turner. I recommend The Queen’s Handmaid to those who want to know more about the time leading up to Jesus’s birth. The words, In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1), just might take on a new meaning.

  • This is a really interesting historical novel. You can tell that Tracy Higley did her research because the scenes and characters are realistic. It is like taking a step back in time. This book will not only make a wonderful selection for readers of historical fiction, but I also think book clubs would enjoy discussing the intricacies of the book.

  • The Queen’s Handmaid was perfect to read especially during this Lent season when you hear a lot about the rulers in Jesus’ time and the characters in this book. I learned so much about them in this book and the time period right before Jesus was born – the time of Herod, Caesar Augustus, Cleopatra and others!

    The book was a great mix of historical facts, fiction and romance and I find myself wanting to learn more and more! It was written so well that I never once was bored with facts and a time period that could be boring – Tracy just made it come alive!

    I highly recommend The Queen’s Handmaid if you want to learn more about the Bible, the historical period and rulers of the day, and get a great book all in one! It has been on my mind every day since I finished reading it!

  • I’m not sure what I loved more about The Queen’s Handmaidnofollow. Was it the fact that we were in 39 B.C.? Finding ourselves in Cleopatra’s court? Traveling to Herod’s court to witness the coming of the Messiah? Or the fact that all this is in a Christian novel so that I didn’t have to worry about bad language or graphic bedroom scenes? All of the above.

    The Queen’s Handmaid helped to deepen my understanding of the politics of that period, from Caesar’s court to the Ptolemaic family line. The “real” characters in history are so well blended with the author’s imagined characters that I had to remind myself that the story was still fiction. The women in the story play a huge part in carrying out the hidden agenda. The pages almost dripped with intrigue and deception. So thrilling!

  • Barb Shelton says:

    This story is a stunner! Stopped in my tracks, I pondered over much that I read.

  • The Queen’s Handmaid- Suspenseful retelling of history’s intrigue!

    Welcome to the Ancient world, where a king can go mad, a queen can be wicked, and a servant girl can witness it all.

    This book is packed with nearly-unbelievable-and-yet-factual events. There are marriages, divorces, executions, escapes, liaisons, schemes and conniving. And because there were very human hearts beating in the midst of the turmoil and politics, there was forbidden love, unrequited affection, sharp desperation, fragile hope, and strong bonds between unlikely friends.

  • This is historical fiction with a spy novel feel. I enjoyed learning about this time period and liked this book alot.

  • I really enjoyed reading The Queen’s Handmaid. I loved how the author showed Lydia’s transformation from lowly servant to someone who knows God and who she is in Him. The Queen’s Handmaid is full of history, royal intrigue, faith, and the battle between good and evil.

  • If you enjoy historical romance/drama that is set in Biblical times, this is the book for you. I just finished reading “The Queen’s Handmaid” by Tracy Higley. I will admit that when I started the book, I wasn’t too sure about it. I didn’t understand the politics and I kept getting people confused. But about halfway through the book, it started clicking for me. There is so much mystery and drama and intrigue in this book, I just couldn’t put it down at the end.

    Higley has obviously done her research for this book. The book is set in 39 BC and most of the conflict is between the countries and governments of Egypt and Judea. Lydia, a handmaid in the story, knows she has an important role to play in her life, but she doesn’t realize for such a long time how important she really is.

  • …As always, Higley’s research proves well done, with a story rich in detail, yet not overwhelming. The story spans several years and while quite often, this gets drawn out and drags a story along, that wasn’t the case with this read.

    With characters you love (or instantly hate), The Queen’s Handmaid, will take you deep into the politics of the day, faith and trusting God’s plan will always prevail…

  • Typically I don’t read biblical era fiction because it’s just not my type of book. But Tracy L. Higley has the unique ability to write such a beautifully woven stories that you can’t help loving regardless of your feelings about the time-period. She does such an amazing job of blending the facts with fiction, that sometimes you can’t even tell the difference. I have grown up in a Christian family and was homeschooled so I learned quite a lot about this time in history, but this author brought it to life in a whole new way and brought it all together in my mind. It’s amazing how one can learn so much from a fiction book!
    Lydia was a fantastic character. I loved her grace, her gentle ways, and most of all, her loyalty and devotion. ..

  • I really loved this book! As I stated, I haven’t read anything by Tracy L. Higley until this book but I had a few of her books on my TBR pile. I had read many glowing reviews so I knew I wanted to read her books. Tracy L. Higley writes with authority on biblical history, the geography of biblical times, and the politics during that time. I could not put this book down, it kept me engaged from the start right until the end. I thought the characters were fantastic and Tracy L. Higley gives these characters such life and depth. I found myself drawn to the character of Queen Mariamme. She is a kind woman who loved God, her family, and would do anything to protect them. As I read this book I felt like I was there watching the events unfold right in front of me. I learned a lot about this time in history that I did not know before. I was fascinated with all the facts in this book. Tracy L. Higley did a wonderful job weaving fact and fiction together into a cohesive work of fiction. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoy Biblical Fiction, Tracy L. Higley is a must read author in the genre. I cannot wait to start reading her other books that are in my TBR pile! I give this book 5 STARS.

  • The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley was a great read. This type of book usually isn’t my type of book and from the moment I started this book I didn’t want to put it down.

  • I am a huge fan of Tracy Higley’s literature because of her ability to write the reader into the story. You are just reading it, you’re there as part of the story in the background as a silent observer. You can see and feels things so vividly, pictures aren’t required. Her ability to utilize the character of Lydia to bring the characters of Cleopatra and Herod to life in a unique way. Based on factual information, she shows you just how manipulative they each were to obtaining their goals and how they played upon others to achieve their selfish aspirations even at the cost of those they loved. It was sad to see how far greed got carried away in their own life and even though they each thought they were in control, they were really being played by others around them without knowing it.

  • I absolutely LOVED this book, so much in fact I read it in two days, I just couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t wait to get home to finish it, LOL!

    This book has everything I love, politics, devotion to the One True God, mystery, secrets, murder and romance.

    Throughout the book, we get a glimpse into the minds of all the characters, and the reader is immersed into their world. There was one part in particular where I actually held my breath when Lydia was confronted by an evil and wicked person and was trapped as evil began to envelope her….

  • My opinion: I loved this book by Tracy Higley,she was really able to bring history alive with it and it had me very engaged and eager to see what happened next! I am big into history but even if you were not a history buff I think one would find this enjoyable as she really makes history come alive and many of the characters have relevance to the scriptures which I thought was really neat.

  • The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley is rich in history and drama. It follows the story of a jealous Egyptian Queen, a lascivious Galilean Governor, a beautiful servant girl, and how their stories come together with prophecy, self-discovery, and revelation.

    Higley knows her history. I could not believe how in depth and well written The Queen’s Handmaid was. I also the loved the time period that this book was set in, with Cleopatra and Marc Antony, and also how she used her own character Lydia with the Jewish aspect. This is such a heightened time in history where the coming of the Messiah is set up, and it’s really exciting to read when authors take this time and make it into their own fictional accounts.

  • Once again Ms. Higley has brought historical people to life with her stories. Thank you, Ms. Higley.

  • What a wonderful story! I loved learning about the politics of the time and the courts of these two famous Kingdoms. And the anticipation of the Messiah coming!

    The author has done her research writing this story! You won’t be able to put this book down until you are finished!

  • I really enjoyed this book. I did not want to put it down. From the start through the entire book I was reluctant to put it down at all.
    I enjoyed the innocence of the characters and that this is a book I can share with my yound adult reading son as well. I thought the male characters had great character as well as the ladies.
    Hands down one of my favorite biblical historical fiction novels!!

  • This was my first time reading from this author before and I know it won’t be the last. There was something solid in her style of writing that appealed to me in the end.

  • This was a great book about Herod from the Bible. I loved that the author has actually visited the settings in this book. She was able to greatly describe places that she has seen for herself. I also really thought that it was fascinating that the author wrote about Cleopatra, the second triumvirate and ancient scrolls. – See more at: http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-queens-handmaid-by-tracy-l-higley.html#sthash.EQddHlsC.dpuf

  • The Queen’s Handmaid brings the dry, dusty, ancient world to life in a whole new way.

    From the beginning, I was gripped by the sense of danger, as we witness insecure, yet powerful Cleopatra execute a servant girl over a minor offense. It’s not long before you’re caught up in the mystery: Who is Lydia? Who were her people? What secrets did Samuel not get the chance to tell her before he died, leaving her an overwhelming and dangerous mission?

    This was a great story, with many facts from history woven into it. I hope there’s a sequel coming!

  • As many who initially read, “The Queen’s Handmaid” and not familiar with any other of Tracy L. Higley books, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the book, with the first few chapters.
    Definitely well researched, although “The Queen’s Handmaid” is set with a fictional character of Lydia, Tracy displayed a thorough knowledge of the pre-history of Cleopatra, Marc Antony and Herod to establish a powerful setting for what becomes a story about not just self-discovery but the anticipation of a Messiah.
    This is not light reading and for “sensitive” readers, be prepared for very deep scenes that, although are not graphic, even the innuendos that captures the cultural tones and mores of the times, maybe upsetting for some while for others, they will understand that it was part of the cultural and view

  • This book is a fun romp through history. While it isn’t exactly mind-blowing, the plot is stimulating and imaginative. Higley’s characters are creative and unique, each with their own back-story. Although there are a few somewhat violent scenes, this book still manages to hold the reader’s attention without becoming too gruesome. Overall this book is exactly what you would expect for romantic fiction.

  • Okay, I admit it, I always expect a spectacular experience when reading a new Tracy Higley book. Her amazing attention to detail and obvious extensive research of the time period create an authentic setting far beyond those of other authors of ancient historical fiction. With The Queen’s Handmaid, I easily got lost in the feeling that I had been transported to the outskirts of power in 39BC.

    I really enjoyed the story’s protagonist, the fictional Lydia. She seemed real both in her strengths and weaknesses. Her fears, hesitations, and feelings of uncertainty provide a beautiful juxtaposition to her ultimate bravery.

    The mystery and suspense in this book are very well written. It was not at all obvious how the book would end. I know the reader always knows (hopes) that everything will work out, but while reading the book I found myself constantly wondering just exactly what that “working out” would look like.

    There is no question in my mind that you will be richer in experience for having read this book. I know I am.

  • Breathtaking in scope, this historical piece takes us back to when Cleopatra was still ruling the Nile and Rome was still in all its glory. Told through the eyes of a handmaid, this tale of suspense, finding one’s true purpose, and faith is inspiring and intriguing. The political intrigues and backdrop are fascinating enough on their own but author, Tracey L. Higley, goes above and beyond creating the perfect story.

  • There were great parts of the story. The characters drew me to their history. But the two different story arcs divided my attention in a way that stole much of the excitement. I am glad that I read it and hope for a follow up,

  • What a story! We start in Egypt, take a stop in Rome, and end up in Jerusalem. While the story was a bit slow at first, it wasn’t long before it picked up speed and became one of those books you just don’t want to stop reading until it’s all over and done with. Poor Lydia has quite the rough life — she’s seen more than her fair share of loss, and then some.

    Full review: http://proudbooknerd.com/2014/04/13/review-with-giveaway-the-queens-handmaid/

  • The Queen’s Handmaid was a nice tale I also finished this week. I have to say I rather enjoyed it. This takes place right after Julius Cesar died and Cleopatra still reins. She has a great handmaid whom she treats poorly. The other men rulers take notice of your handmaid and it seems everything she touches turns beautifully. Jealousy strikes her so she run her off to Herod. Before leaving 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 takes her work very seriously as she serves Herod’s wife. She befriends her and they become close almost family. This tale has a great deal of history woven in with a story. I will say this is a great book for beginner’s.

  • Tracy’s website says, “your portal to the ancient world.” This book did not disappoint. It was everything that I hoped it would be… drama, mystery, suspense, historical, and an expression of growing faith in God. It was all of that plus dark secrets, a compelling mission, character refinement and growth, and divine protection.

  • We’ve always heard the scripture in the Bible about rendering to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar. Have you ever really stopped to think about that for a moment? Have you stopped to think that Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Herod the Great were all leaders at the same time? I guess I just didn’t…

    I appreciate that Higley researches things so well and brings history alive to me. Her stories help me understand the political and religious situations of ancient history. I am forever thankful to this author for bringing history to life!

  • In The Queen’s Handmaid, Higley masterfully blends rich history, faith and fiction. Her descriptive detail places you right in the middle of the story as if you were an observer there in person. And while the descriptive detail slowed the story down a bit in places, I appreciated being able to have the picture Higley painted with her words in my mind as I read Lydia’s story.
    This book is as much a history book as it is a novel. I loved how Lydia “told” the story, but you also get to hear snippets of what the other characters are thinking and feeling throughout the story. Through Lydia’s journey, Higley does an exceptional job of showing readers a genuine struggle with feelings of unworthiness and loneliness and how the One True God – Yahweh fills all the empty spots in our hearts and meets all our longings with Himself.
    You will not be disappointed with the time it takes you to read this book. And with the way Higley strategically places little twists and turns within the fictional portion of the story, it won’t take you very long at all to finish!

  • This is the first book I have read by Tracy Higley. I loved the rich historical details in the novel from the description of the castles, to the streets, to the servant attire and food. It really made me feel like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. Lydia was asked to do a very difficult task, to take the scrolls to the temple. As she travels first with Cleopatra, then Herod she sees people around her die, as the scrolls are looked for. She is a strong character and solid in her desire to achieve her assigned tasks.

  • The author did a tremendous job of writing a tale involving Herod, Marc Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian using historical facts and anecdotes. I found myself wanting to learn more about them since I am not very familiar with that part of history. The strategies the monarch’s used such as divorcing and marrying off women are mind-boggling to me. I love when a book has a good story and teaches me something I didn’t know, which this book clearly did.

  • This story was very captivating, and I had a hard time putting it down. I wanted to see Lydia safely through her quest, and I cared about what happened to her. Her life was more than it seemed, and even as the secrets of her past unfolded, I feared they would take her away from being able to fulfill her calling and find happiness. I can’t tell you how the story unfolded, but I can urge you to check it out if you enjoy historical fiction!

  • Suzanne Dawson says:

    I would love to read this book or any book by Ms. Higley. This sounds like my kind of read.

  • I found this book to be carefully thought out, and historic while still being pleasantly fiction-y. Tracy Higley obviously has studied the history behind the story, and it shows through very well and creatively.
    This book was one that I liked; I didn’t necessarily love it, but I also didn’t hate it – not at all. It was a good read, and I’m very glad I had the chance to read it!

  • T. L. Higley has done it again! She’s taken a group of historical characters and woven a fictional tale that kept me riveted from start to finish. “The Queen’s Handmaid” has it all – richly drawn characters, suspense, sweeping drama, a moving plot, all set in a fascinating period of history that gave me a new appreciation for the period of time leading up to Christ’s birth.

  • As always, this newest book reflects the author’s meticulous research that brings the story world alive, peopled with authentic, if fictional, characters. Lydia’s courage to do what is right and speak her mind is evident right from the start. In spite of her ignorance of her past and origins, she is loyal to her mentor in Alexandria, and she strives to fulfill his dying request even in the turmoil and intrigues of Herod the Great’s court. I love how the themes of God’s faithfulness and love are portrayed throughout the book, as His hand is seen in the orchestration of His plan to keep hope alive in the face of insurmountable obstacles, from human and the spiritual forces of wickedness.

  • Moments says:

    Wow Tracy L. Higley has done it again – “The Queen’s Handmaid” is historical fiction at it’s best! Transported back in time to the year of 39 BC in Egypt, we meet Lydia, an orphan whom is uprooted from the only home she has known and become intertwined in Herod’s household, a mission and danger. This book is packed full of historical details and vivid images making the setting and the characters come alive in the pages. Tracy has a way with bringing history to life and helping her readers to feel as if they are a part of the characters’ lives and experiences.

  • The Queen’s Handmaid was a thoroughly enjoyable book that kept my attention throughout the entire time I read. The book is full of political action and real historical figures and storylines that will keep you up late into the night reading. With the descriptive writing with which Higley writes, I felt that I was experiencing each scene with the glorious characters. This was a passionate and well-rounded book that I loved and look forward to reading more from this author. This is an ideal read for those over 17 years of age, as well a great book for book club study.
    This was a fantastic historical book that I highly recommend

  • This is a wonderful historical novel. Lydia, a handmaid to the Queen of Egypt Cleopatra has found herself in the middle of a huge undertaking. It has fallen on her to return to Jerusalem with the writings that were done in secret by Daniel. There are many who want to destroy these scrolls and destroy the future of the Israelites, that is now in her hands. There are many twists and turns that I was very surprised at.

  • I like the way Tracy Higley writes this story adding enough twists and turns to keep readers interested and entertained! The historical facts are amazing, and I enjoyed all of the different scenes throughout this story. The characters were well developed, and I enjoyed getting to know these Bible people in a more personal way. Even though this is fiction, I love being able to wonder just how their life was back in that time era, and Ms. Higley has an amazing way of explaining it all, and weaving the facts and fiction into a wonderful tale to read and remember.

  • Happy Four says:

    I adore the depth of research that Tracy has done to secure this work of fiction reads like truth. This book contains all the elements for a great read and will leave you wanting for more. This book is action packed, full of history, intrigue, challenges and danger along with unexpected twists and turns. A very enjoyable book that will leave you longing to read more books penned by Tracy.

  • An exciting ride back in time to ancient Egypt, 39 BC, this exciting novel is sure to take you on an unforgettable journey following servant Lydia, as she serves the Queen and builds a lasting relationship with her which will last much longer than the length of their lives. Filled to brim with accurate historic events and a nice amount of fiction, this memorable story is sure to stay with you long after you close it’s pages.

  • …I thought that since Lydia thought that one of her biological parents is Jewish that possibly made her feel like she connected with Jewish people better, and it might’ve been hard to have so many people around who didn’t understand her very well.

    …As always, the fictionalized versions of Biblical stories usually have a way of opening my mind up more to the Biblical account(s) in the stories.

  • The plot of The Queen’s Handmaid was really intriguing. I enjoyed every moment I spent in the book — from the palace intrigue to the mystery and danger surrounding the scrolls. I know a lot of why I enjoyed this book was because I just love history — and Tracy puts a lot of history into this story, and I just ate it up! There are certain author’s that I always keep my eye out for when looking at new releases, and Tracy Higley is definitely one of them. If you like history sprinkled generously with intrigue, danger, romance, and suspense, this is one of the author’s you should definitely check out!

  • I found The Queen’s Handmaid to be a wonderful read. The author has a great ways with descriptions and I was hooked after reading the first few pages. Overall, The Queen’s Handmaid is one of my favorite books from 2014 so far. I’ll have to keep an eye out for her other novels.

  • Watching what happened in history through Lydia’s eyes was a thrill. The story grabbed a hold of me. History has some amazing events and Tracy Higley is able to bring it to you in such a way, you don’t want the story to end.

  • Veronica's 'Views says:

    This story has a lot of history, which was interesting, but overshadowed the plot line about Lydia so I had a hard time emotionally connecting with her. I admired her courage and creativity and felt for her pain as she lost people close to her. I liked the bit of romance and there was plenty of suspense as you never knew who would get killed next!

  • I enjoy history and when you tell history side by side with Church history then the book is a winner. Tracy L. Higley has truly given us a winner with “The Queen’s Handmaid”. Ms. Higley has given us great characters who live and breathe on the pages and draw us into their lives so that we root for the good guys and do not want the bad guys to win. “The Queen’s Handmaid” is great fun.

  • Exciting and thrilling read from start to finish. The suspense was killing me! The plot line was full of strong political characters that we are all familiar with with the lives of regular people. Loved it!

  • 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.

  • This is a historical novel with a lot of intrigue and twists and turns. I really like how the author shared the history of the times in a way that made it interesting and non-confusing. So many times, historical novels will either put you to sleep with their endless details or confuse you but Tracy Higley writes about history in a beautiful and insightful way.

  • If you are a fan of historical fiction and of stories set in biblical times – if you enjoy stories that blend real life characters of historical significance with newly envisioned characters from the author’s imagination – than you will love The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley!

    The Queen’s Handmaid is the sweeping saga of a young girl named Lydia who finds herself caught between desire and destiny. Tasked with a sacred mission she doesn’t fully understand – yet stationed in life to be a handmaiden – Tracy has done a masterful job of creating a story full of suspense, surprises and political intrigue!

    Prepare to be totally immersed in this deeply satisfying story that takes place in the days of King Herod and Queen Cleopatra!

  • The author did a wonderful job with the twists and turns of the story. The details of the monarchies and all the intricacies of Judea, Rome and Egypt sometimes got a little overwhelming for me, trying to keep everything straight, but is a testament to the research and detail the author did.

  • This was a great story that really brings you back in time. A lot of history was covered in detail and the characters were really fleshed out. If you like novels set in historical times, this is one for you!

  • Tracy Higley has left me with my mouth gaping this time!! WOW!! Truly, she is the master of historical fiction! She takes an obscure palace servant – Lydia – and builds a story that is intense from the beginning. Danger, drama, complex relationships….and it builds and builds….it builds until you think to yourself, “There is no way this will work out!” And then….the entire picture slowly comes to light and you are blown away! I mean, this is a very well thought out, historically accurate, complex story line that brings ancient history to brilliant light! I love it!!

  • Cara Putman says:

    Tracy Higley is an author with a gift for transporting readers to the ancient world. Her settings have included many of the ancient wonders of the world, and The Queen’s Handmaid transports readers to Alexandria, Egypt, and the courts of Cleopatra. The characterization is rich, the setting lush, and the plot compelling.

  • The author did a wonderful job with the research on this book. Add to that, she did a great job with the characters! I really enjoyed the Bible stories through a new perspective with new possibilities (yes , I know it is fiction, but it could have been real). There are executions, liaisons, power struggles, marriages for alliances, scheming, it was politics! Lydia is tasked with such an important job and she has to navigate this world to get it done. She was really a great character, calm, strong, and just who was needed to take on this task.
    I rate this a 4/5. It was a good one!

  • I could not wait to read this book as this is a time period that I have been wanting to read more and more about. One thing I really liked was how history was told along with Christian history. Normally you get one or the other but not both so being a history lover this was bonus for me. There is a little for everyone in this book – history, adventure and romance all things to keep me turning the pages well into the night. The author did a good job The author does a very good job with the details of the story from describing the characters to describing the scenes. A definite must read for history lovers.

  • The Queen’s Handmaid is a bit of an epic story. It takes place among a TON of historical characters and events. I love reading stories about this time period- especially about Cleopatra and Egypt. I have to say, this book had a bit of everything for me. It had history, a passionate forbidden romance, adventure and a touch of magic.

    Lydia is no wilting flower. She is brave and honest and everything a heroine should be. She is not willing to run from those who she perceives as doing an injustice (even when it seems to get her in trouble). This book spans a long time period, much more than most fiction novels. We really see Lydia grow and come into herself in the book. Although never really passive, Lydia grows confident and more steady throughout The Queen’s Handmaid.

  • Like Higley’s other novels, the history and setting is well-researched and vividly-detailed. It is educational and entertaining. The pacing of the story is a little up and down, and I wanted a little more from Lydia. Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and if you haven’t read Higley’s works, I would recommend you try one!

  • The author kept you intrigued, turning the pages for what was next. She always kept you wanting more. That to me is the sign of a good book. Keeping the reader wanting more.

    I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a good, strong, Biblical fiction read that doesn’t bore, but keeps you clinging to every page.

    Grab yourself a copy and go on a journey with Cleopatra and Herod in their palaces with the evil and good that lurks there.

  • This story has so many twists and turns and is one of the best I have read lately. I can not wait to get my hands on more books from Tracy. I truly cannot recommend this book highly enough. You truly don’t want to miss it. I also loved that at the end of the book she talks about how the writing process went for her. I loved reading this and seeing how the story came to be. – See more at: http://thecraftyhome.net/2014/05/the-queens-handmaid-by-tracy-l-higley-book-review-and-tour/#sthash.QP4dJCkB.dpuf

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