Publisher's Note:  

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 Herod’s undisguised interest only makes matters worse.


When Lydia’s 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 Jerusalem—before 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 lady’s maid to Herod’s wife in the Holy City.


As Lydia is absorbed into the machinations of Herod’s household, her mission— and her people’s hope of a Messianic King—are 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?

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Thomas Nelson

The Queen's Handmaid

by Tracy L. Higley

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Overall Review:  

In The Queen's Handmaid, author Tracy L. Higley traces ancient history back to the times of Herod the Great, Cleopatra, Marc Antony and Octavian. The novel follows fictional Lydia, a beautiful and dynamic young handmaiden with a mysterious past. Higley does a fantastic job incorporating real characters and events into the fictional tale and her impeccable research is evident on every page. The story is a blend of action, romance, and Christian historical fiction, and its plot really springs into motion two-thirds of the way through. Higley also manages to capture the high drama and emotion of the time period.


The Queen's Handmaiden covers a lot of history and Higley herself states in the afterword that the story was her most ambitious project to date. With so much going on, it was sometimes difficult to keep characters and events straight. Thankfully the book's map and family tree provide some clarity. Pick up a copy of this captivating read today!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 derogatory names


Violence/Gore:  A few verbal threats and implied occurrences of violence; numerous second hand reports of violence involving battles and murder; a few brief violent scenes involving battle, torture and a character being slapped; several non-detailed scenes of violent death; a few brief scenes with blood and gore; a brief scene of intense violence. 


Sex/Nudity:  Several incidents of kissing; a few sexual references.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of family members, war, betrayal, religion.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Characters drink wine.

Reviewed By Rachel
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