Title: King’s Shadow: A Novel of King Herod’s Court (The Silent Years #4)
Author: Angela Hunt
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Publishing Date: Aug 6, 2019
Length: 384 Pages
About the Book:
Two women occupy a place in Herod’s court. The first, Salome, is the king’s only sister, a resentful woman who has been told she is from an inferior race, a people God will never accept or approve.
The second woman, Zara, is a lowly handmaid who serves Salome, but where Salome spies conspiracies and treachery, Zara sees hurting people in need of understanding and compassion.
Powerful and powerless, Idumean and Jew, selfish and selfless–both women struggle to reach their goals and survive in Herod the Great’s tumultuous court, where no one is trustworthy and no one is safe.
King’s Shadow takes the reader on a journey with an interesting perspective on the life and rule of King Herod through the eyes of his sister Salome and her handmaid Zara.The level of research that went into this story was highly evident. While creative license was taken to fill in the holes so that a full-length novel could be written, it was easily seen that the author took great effort to be respective of Biblical history.
One thing that stuck out to me in this novel was the emphasis on what motivates people most in making decisions. There were several points in the story that you see Salome reflecting on whether Herod was being fueled by his heart or by fear. You could see that over time his confidence left him and fear started to run his life. It was interesting to me to see this as more of a slow fade rather than something that happened overnight. I think it’s easy for us to look at others and think “I would never do that,” but in this story we see a man who thought he would never do a number of things, and yet the more he felt threatened the more he responded in fear instead of looking to and trusting God.
I was surprised by how emotionally connected I felt to this novel. The characters were impeccably developed and the setting was clearly palpable. While I admit that there were moments that felt like the story dragged, for the most part I found it highly engaging. This is one I’d easily recommend to Biblical fiction fans.
*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.