Barbara J. Shelton’s Review of The Queen’s Handmaid be Tracy L. Higley

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Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
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. 
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.

The Queens Handmaid
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.

This story is a stunner!   Stopped in my tracks, I pondered over much that I read.  Astonished that factually, this was shortly before Christ’s birth, a fact I had not fundamentally grasped about Cleopatra and the cast of real characters’ existence in ancient history (i.e. Caesar, Antony, Herod to the Ptolemaic family).  Author Tracy Higley wrote with intense acumen of the murderous politicians, their zealously for power causing turmoil and punishment for the citizens and royalty beyond imagination.   I wish my history classes in school and college would have been so clarifying, they would have been much more fun.

Ms. Higley begins this entrancing story about Lydia in 39 BC   Orphaned at birth, and given to serve the palace in Alexandria, Egypt at a young age, Lydia is now a handmaid to the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.   Herod is about to make his first visit to meet the queen and everything is nervously aflutter in preparation; while Cleopatra is plotting manipulatively to seductively charm Herod politically into her power.  Lydia has been summoned by her friend and mentor Samuel.  She finds him bleeding and dying from unknown attackers upon her arrival,  With only just enough time, he charges her with secret writings of the Prophet Daniel stored in a chest  that must be delivered to Jerusalem watchers for the promised King of Israel.  Lydia’s journey is long and dangerous and through action-packed events, ultimately becomes the handmaiden to Herod’s bride Queen Mariamme. 

Twisting and turning real historical events and people into gripping intrigue made A Queen’s Handmaid one of the best writings I have read.  Spiritual mystery combined with the actual coming of Christ kept me glued to the story until finished.  Ah, then there is the hint through a simple amulet that could reveal Lydia’s parentage.  Whose head will roll next in the line of royalty?  Which empire will be shaken next?  Drama is highly described.  Lydia has many frightening experiences and secret thoughts about all happening around her.  Does romance figure into this story?  Perhaps, however you will need to read for yourself this incredible book.  Trauma is an everyday event in the royal palaces among the royalty and servants…..and that part of the book is not fiction and the players were real people.

I enjoyed the questions at the end of the story and the answers to many questions I had about the research the author ensured before writing the book.  Tracy L. Higley gave the reader a wonderful synopsis of information about the political kingdoms’ histories, which was personally greatly appreciated.  Beautifully placed before the most important event in life, that remains the whole point of this remarkable story.  Thank you Tracy Higley for the greatest history lesson I have ever had.  I look forward to catching up with all your previous books before The Queen’s Handmaid.  You are blessed!

I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion by the Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.


Tracy L Higley

From her earliest childhood, there was nothing Tracy loved better than stepping into another world between the pages of a book. From dragons and knights, to the wonders of Narnia, that passion has never abated, and to Tracy, opening any novel is like stepping again through the wardrobe, into the thrilling unknown. With every book she writes, she wants to open a door like that, and invite readers to be transported with her into a place that captivates.

Tracy started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. After attending Philadelphia Biblical University, she earned a B.A. in English Literature at Rowan University. She then spent ten years writing drama presentations for church ministry.

A lifelong interest in history and mythology has led Tracy to extensive research into ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, and shaped her desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past.

She has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy to research her novels, and looks forward to more travel as her writing continues. Click on the link Tracy’s Travels, to explore some of the fascinating locations of her books.

Tracy is thrilled to bring readers adventures set in the ancient past, and it’s her hope that in escaping with her, readers will feel they’ve walked through these deserts, explored ruins, felt the white sand and blue sea under their feet, and met with the Redeeming God who is sovereign over the entire drama of human history.

What I believe about our relationship with God –

I believe that each of us is born separated from God, a separation that we can do nothing to rectify on our own. No amount of right living will make us perfect, which is the standard a holy God requires.

We are in need of a Savior for our salvation, and this Savior was provided in the person of Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, who gave His life to purchase our freedom. His death broke our bondage. His resurrection gives us victory.

Our lives are to be about two things: Loving God and Loving Others, and both of these are accomplished through our intimate relationship with God, who lives in us from the moment that we apply His offered gift to ourselves.

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