Author Tessa Afshar whisks readers into the Persian Empire a generation following the lifetime of Esther to weave a story of intrigue and romance. “Harvest of Rubies” takes us into the royal court alongside Sarah, a young Jewish woman who possesses great skill as a scribe. Her cousin Nehemiah (yes, the wall-building Nehemiah) helps her to find a position as Senior Scribe to Damaspia, the queen of Persia and wife of Artaxerxes. Sarah serves the queen but finds herself far beyond the depth of her social skills as she moves among the Persian nobility.
As threats arise, Sarah uses her knowledge and intellect to protect the queen and the queen’s interests. Those same attributes threaten to destroy her relationship with the God of her fathers as she looks to her mind rather than her heart for answers to problems.
When the queen arranges a marriage for Sarah as a reward for a job well done, she drops the Jewess into completely foreign territory. Beyond her duties as a scribe, Sarah must solve mysteries; act as a diplomat on the queen’s behalf; make amends for social blunders and try to win the heart of her unwilling Persian husband.
Sarah’s story, like that of so many people, deals with coming to terms with an unexpected life and the demands of others whose motives she doesn’t always understand. Through her struggles, we can see parallels to the problems we face in today’s world.
Afshar weaves Biblical and historical facts into a beautiful story of a woman finding herself and her relationship with God amid the splendor of ancient Persia. She creates complex characters with interesting perspectives as she leads Sarah to her destiny.
The highly readable book will captivate those who enjoy historical novels, Bible-based fiction, romance, adventure or mystery. All of these elements contribute to a winning novel with an inspirational heart.
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar
Published by Moody Publishers
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review copy provided by the publisher with no constraints on its content. All opinions are my own.
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