A highly recommended read: My review of Garden of Madness by Tracey L. Higley

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 1, 2012)

For 7 years, Babylonian princess Tiamat has been longing for her father, King Nebuchadnezzar, to be released from the madness that has gripped him. Animal-like, roaming around on all fours, King Nebuchadnessar has been entombed in the famous Babylonian gardens, hidden in secrecy so that the populace remains unaware of the true state of his mind. When Tiamat's Jewish husband dies and a nobelman is found murdered, Tiamet finds herself questioning everything she's ever been taught. Her own desires soon become entangled with the plotting of her mother the queen, who seeks to see Tiamat remarried to a cousin-prince, a match that will ensure the security of the kingdom. When Tiamat herself believes herself to be losing her own sanity, she finds that only her relationship with her late husband's brother, Pediah, offers peace in the midst of madness, as he provides glimpses of the One true God. Soon, Tiamat must face difficult decisions for herself, her father, and the future of the kingdom, while trying to unravel the secrets that shroud the palace.

Tracy L. Higlye has written a fascinating novel set in an intriguing period of time of King Nebuchadnessar. Never before have I read a story set in this time period, and I found the rich historical details about Babylon, combined with the exciting plot, to be absolutley gripping. Secrets abound, and twists and turns keep the plot moving along well. Although I found that a couple of the chapters dragged a little bit, I felt the plot accelerated with each chapter, and soon I found myself devouring the novel as I raced towards the conclusion. Higley has created truly memorable characters, especially in the character of Tiamat with her deep love and loyalty to a father gone mad. I especially loved the scenes where Tiamat encountered the prophet, Daniel, and his faith in God, a faith that is set up against some truly evil beings. Pediah and Tiamat's owns struggles to reconcile their different cultures and religious beliefs with their growing attraction for each other provides for wonderful romantic tension that builds beautifully throughout the book.  The novel builds up to a spell-binding showdown between good and evil, and I was left having felt thoroughly entertained, while having been given a new understanding of the world of King Nebuchadnessar.

I highly recommend this book, and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Booksneeze program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

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