Read The Queen's Handmaid Online

Authors: Tracy L. Higley

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The Queen's Handmaid

Acclaim for Tracy L. Higley

City
on
Fire
, previously released as
Pompeii

“Higley’s Pompeii ignites with riveting and compelling characters. No one unleashes the secrets of history with a masterful hand the way Higley does! Authentic and powerful, [
City on Fire
] is a fiery tale of a city lost to the power of Vesuvius. I simply could not read fast enough!”

—R
ONIE
K
ENDIG
,
AUTHOR OF THE

D
ISCARDED
H
EROES
SERIES

“[
City on Fire
] is a richly detailed story of powerful redemption and raw courage. Higley takes readers right to the foot of the legendary volcano, Vesuvius, and spins her tale under the shadow of certain disaster.”

—G
INGER
G
ARRETT
,
AUTHOR OF

W
OLVES
A
MONG
U
S

“Higley brings Pompeii to life again in this exhilarating tale of love and adventure. The story was so enthralling to me—I want to read it again!”

—E
LIZABETH
G
ODDARD
,
AUTHOR OF

T
HE
C
AMERA
N
EVER
L
IES

So
Shines
the
Night

“Higley proves once again that she has a great talent for historical fiction. It is easy to get lost in the ancient world with Daria during her adventures. The story is so well detailed and the struggles between different faiths and cultures is exceptionally illustrated. Daria characterizes all one would hope for in a strong, brave woman of faith.”


R
OMANTIC
T
IMES
B
OOK
R
EVIEWS
,

4-STAR REVIEW

“I love Tracy Higley’s novels. Meticulously-researched, spell-bindingly written with luscious prose and compelling and complex characters, each one is a treasure. Higley knows her history, but more importantly, she knows just how to capture the struggles and questions of the human heart—yesterday and today.”

—T
OSCA
L
EE
,
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
BEST
-
SELLING AUTHOR OF
H
AVAH
:
T
HE
S
TORY
OF

E
VE
AND
THE
B
OOKS
OF
M
ORTALS
SERIES

Garden
of
Madness

“Readers will find much to enjoy here: fine writing, suspense, mystery, faith, love, and a new look at an old story.”


P
UBLISHERS
W
EEKLY

“The author’s insights into a woman’s inner strengths . . . will leave readers rejoicing.”


R
OMANTIC
T
IMES
B
OOK

R
EVIEWS, 4½ STARS
, T
OP
P
ICK
!

“Mystical as the Seven Wonders, exotic as the Hanging Gardens. Higley has outdone herself with this exquisite story of intrigue, elegantly told and rich with all the flavors of ancient Babylon. Simply magnificent.”

—T
OSCA
L
EE,
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF
H
AVAH:
T
HE
S
TORY
OF

E
VE
AND THE
B
OOKS OF
M
ORTALS SERIES

“Even more riveting than the historical background is the mystery that Higley creates as the backdrop to her exploration of the ancient world . . . Readers will not be satisfied until they have discovered the truth along with Tiamat.”

—D
R
. S
HANNON
R
OGERS
F
LYNT
,

A
SSISTANT
P
ROFESSOR
, D
EPARTMENT OF

C
LASSICS
, S
AMFORD
U
NIVERSITY

Also by Tracy L. Higley

Garden
of
Madness

Isle
of
Shadows

So
Shines
the
Night

City
on
Fire: A Novel of Pompeii

Pyramid
of
Secrets
(available in e-book only)

© 2014 by Tracy Higley

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected]

Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Higley, T. L.

The Queen’s handmaid / Tracy L. Higley.

pages cm.

Summary: “From the servant halls of Cleopatra; Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled. Alexandria, Egypt, 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 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. Trapped among the scheming women of Herod; 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”— Provided by publisher.

ISBN 978-1-4016-8684-0 (pbk.)

ISBN 978-1-4016-8685-7 (eBook)

1. Queens—Fiction. 2. Slaves—Fiction. 3. Egypt—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3608.I375Q44 2014

813'.6—dc23 2013037409

Printed
in
the
United
States
of
America

14 15 16 17 18 RRD 5 4 3 2 1

For Steve Laube

In gratitude for nearly a decade

of unwavering support,

wise guidance, and genuine friendship

Contents

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-One

Twenty-Two

Twenty-Three

Twenty-Four

Twenty-Five

Twenty-Six

Twenty-Seven

Twenty-Eight

Twenty-Nine

Thirty

Thirty-One

Thirty-Two

Thirty-Three

Thirty-Four

Thirty-Five

Thirty-Six

Thirty-Seven

The Story Behind the Story . . . and Beyond

Reading Group Guide

Acknowledgments

About the Author

THE HASMONEAN DYNASTY

(Also known as the Maccabeans)

Not a complete family chart—only characters referenced in the book or familiar from the New Testament

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