King’s Shadow

Kings shadowAuthor: Angela Hunt

Series: The Silent Years #4

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: August 6, 2019

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

As the silent years come to a close, the story of Herod the Great is put on display.

Salome is sister to Herod the Great.  Her family is from Idumean descent, who the Jews believe are inferior.  Herod was placed in power by the Roman Republic as a puppet king to rule over the lands.  Salome is determined to protect and defend her brother with her life as he once came to her rescue.  Unfortunately, sometimes his choices make that difficult to do.  His decision to marry Mariamne, daughter of Alexandra whose father was Hyrcanus the previous Jewish leader who was a Hasmonean.  They always speak ill of Herod and his family and plot ways to get the kingdom back.  Their offspring prove to be no better.  Herod begins to rule emotionally, his decisions often swift and sometimes unjust.  What will become of the Jewish nation?

Zara is a young Jewish girl who is selected to be handmaid to Salome.  She learns to trust her mistress and do her bidding indiscreetly.  However, as she ages, she sees the bitterness and lack of trust begin to tear the Herodians apart.  She continues to live selflessly, hoping to one day have a family of her own.

I have read a little into King Herod’s time, but have never delved as deep as what Hunt has just given me.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the historical timeline played out between Herod and Marc Antony of Rome with Cleopatra which lead to the battle with Octavian and eventually to Augusts Caesar.  I’ve dived much deeper into Roman history and was happy to see how well this all accurately connected.  As always, Hunt is a master historian that can easily weave the knowledge into her novels.  I haven’t found any book by her that I haven’t loved.  I also enjoy that she uses more minor characters from history to be her main characters so that readers get to witness the events in a first person setting.  I’ve heard of Salome, but more from the reference of Herodias’s daughter that ask for John the Baptist head on a platter.  So it was very interesting to see the story of her ancestor played out up through the birth of Jesus.

I recommend this book to historical fiction lovers, biblical fiction lovers, and people who enjoy Hunt’s work!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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