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Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar
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Jun 06, 12


A Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar is the first in a series of biblical fiction in the time of the Jewish exile in Babylon. Sarah discovered a way into her scribe father's heart by teaching herself to read Persian, and the quicker she learned, the more praise and attention she earned from him. When her cousin, Nehemiah, cup-bearer to the king, helps her earn a place at Persepolis, the palace, as the queen's scribe, she is at first terrified of such a rapid ascent. She loves her position in the palace, working with numbers and proving her worth through hard work, even though she constantly pushes herself harder and harder, fearful of losing her place and other's respect for her. When she solves a politically dangerous mystery for Queen Damaspia, the queen in turns does a "good" deed for Sarah by finding her a royal groom, Darius. Sarah's fear of marriage and complete lack of knowledge of all things feminine lead her to make a terrible mistake, shaming her husband and earning his disgust. He deposits her at his estate and leaves to stay at court, and Sarah, for the first time in her life, is forced to be herself without hiding behind work and numbers, and must do her best to hide her love for her husband. I had high expectations for this novel, but Afshar blew them all away. Sarah is so full of self-hatred, the reader can't help but ache for her and hope for Darius to see his real wife. Afshar carefully creates this very lifelike world that just springs to life under her capable pen. She includes mystery, romance, faith, and drama all into one powerful and thoroughly enjoyable novel. I was stunned when I came to the end of the book, nowhere near ready to say goodbye to the characters, so I am thrilled to know that a sequel is in the works!
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