Monday, May 21, 2012

Garden of Madness

Summary: "Three princes who would all have me. One as a means to peace, one as means to power, and the other—the other to set me free."
For seven years the Babylonian princess Tiamat has kept her family's secret, waiting for her father, the mad king Nebuchadnezzar, to return to his family and his kingdom. Married for treaty at fourteen and widowed at twenty-one, she revels in her newfound independence, determined to
control her own destiny.
But when a nobleman is found dead in the palace, Tia must discover who is responsible for the murder, even if her own freedom is threatened. Evidence points to the man-beast roaming the Gardens, and Tia fears the closely-guarded secret may soon be discovered.
But the lies have only begun to unravel, and as Tia uncovers one unspeakable truth after another, she finds that she is the center of the intrigue, and her questions are a threat to her very life. Madness, sorcery, and sinister plots mingle like an alchemist’s deadly potion, and Tia must dare to risk everything—to save the kingdom and herself.

My Take: One day. That's all it took for me to finish this book. It's an election year and I thought today's politicians were scheming and sometimes willing to do almost anything for power. The characters in this book show you how far the quest for power can corrupt man.

One of Tracy Higley's gifts is to make a time and a place come alive. You can hear the sandals slapping, smell the fresh baked bread, and feel the fear as Tia is faced with the demons trying to control her and her kingdom. It all feels as if you are standing right next to her - living it with her.

This was a complicated plot, but it never felt overdone or too difficult to follow. It wasn't easy to predict though - the author manages to surprise you even if you know the story. 

I loved Tia. She reminded me a bit of Jane Austen's Emma because she always went against the tide and wanted to remain single and control her own destiny. She also was naive, and didn't understand what was happening around her and why. She needed maturity - and God to shape her into the woman she was meant to be. It was glorious to see her make the journey.

The three princes vying for her hand are all different and are like choosing turns down a hedge maze. Who truly offers the way out? She thinks she knows the answer many times - but only someone with a different perspective can truly know the right answer. 

This was a fabulous book. It makes my favorites list. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing it through the Book Sneeze program. It didn't influence my review in any way.

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