Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Harvest of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies, #1)” as Want to Read:
Harvest of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Harvest of Rubies

(Harvest of Rubies #1)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  3,688 ratings  ·  382 reviews
The prophet Nehemiah's cousin has been catapulted into the center of the Persian court—working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and becoming the queen's favorite scribe.

Not bad, for a woman living in a man's world. But a devastating past has left Sarah believing that God doesn't love her and her achievements are the measure of her worth—a measure she can never quit
Paperback, 342 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by River North
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Harvest of Rubies, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Winter White You could try googling it. Amazon also sometimes has this book free as an ebook.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,688 ratings  ·  382 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Harvest of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies, #1)
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
Tessa Afshar has written two outstanding novels: Pearl in the Sand, and now Harvest of Rubies. Both novels are historical Christian fiction, and are more biblical than other Christian fiction, which I really like. Pearl in the Sand tells the story of Rahab, a Caanonite harlot who falls in love with one of Israel's leaders. I read Pearl in the Sand back in 2010 and still think back on how good that book is! In fact, I gave it as a gift to my mom. Then, this Mother's Day, I gave Harvest of Rubies ...more
Christian Fiction Addiction
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Set in 457 BC in the Kingdom of Persia, Harvest of Rubies follows the story of the prophet Nehemiah's cousin, Sarah. Seeking to win the attention and approval of her father, Sarah teaches herself to read and write, a normally unacceptable occupation for a woman in her society. When cousin Nehemiah learns of this, he encourages Sarah in her pursuits, and soon she has learned multiple languages and becomes a gifted scribe. Her gifts lead her to the Persian court, where she becomes the queen's favo ...more
Lady Alexandrine
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is a lovely book with adorable characters. Sarah is a wonderful heroine! She is a very well developed character, full of contradictions. She is brave and vulnerable, self-confident and full of self-doubt, she acts wise one moment and silly the next. She cares deeply for others and at the same time is unable to show them affection. And she can be very funny. It was impossible not to like Sarah, while reading this book.

Sarah's story is so compelling, it was difficult for me to put the book dow
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! In fact, I think Tessa Afshar is quickly becoming a new favorite author for me. I love her wit and sense of humor. The characters nearly leap off the page! The settings, emotions, scenery is real and palpable. So why did I only give it 4 stars? Because I couldn't bring myself to give it 5 stars since it didn't have a strong biblical storyline. The book refers to Nehemiah (the biblical prophet) and is based on the historical context of Israel's captivity in Persia; however, the ...more
This was AMAZING. My first Tessa Afshar book and I absolutely loved it. I know I'm really going to like a book when the main character is relatable, down to earth, funny, and just plain likable, and Sarah was all of those things. Let me just say that I laughed quite a bit when reading this book. Everything was great. The plot, the characters, the setting, just everything. My only small complaint is that I wish the ending of book 2 could have been the ending of this book (I didn't think it needed ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review SUMMARY: The prophet Nehemiah has a cousin who can speak several languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve mysteries. This cousin is catapulted into the center of the Persian court—working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and completing high-level tasks as a scribe for the queen. Not bad, for a woman living in a man's world.

REVIEW: I read this series in reverse order but still loved this book so much. Once again Tessa Afshar has i
When I saw this offered for just 99 cents for the ebook, I had to grab it, and I'm so glad that I did! I enjoyed Afshar's first novel Pearl in the Sand, but, in my opinion, Harvest of Rubies is even more well-written.

Afshar did a superb job with the first person narration, which is my favorite narration style. I really felt like I got to know Sarah. She was a great character, and her developments over the course of the story came across as very realistic. There were a couple of times that she ca
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

Ever since reading Tessa Afshar’s beautiful debut, Pearl in the Sand, I have been looking forward to her next book. Harvest of Rubies will easily capture the reader’s attention as they follow the fictitious life of Sarah—a Jewish girl who becomes chief scribe to the Queen of Persia. While I personally enjoyed her debut novel more, Afshar has brought a fresh, unique, and new book into the biblical fiction category!

It was hard for me to personally relate
Cynthia Marcano
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book ever. I read it once a year and love it more every time.

Beneath the surface of this love story is a love story with God and one's own self.

The characters are so wonderfully written that it saddens me to think how Sarah & Darius are only fictional and never walked this earth or fell in love. It's an actual travesty.

Until next year
Such a good book, I think that I especially appreciated the spiritual lessons learned by the main character, Sarah. So many Biblical truths used in the storyline, this author is becoming one of my favorites.
This was really good. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pretty captivated with Sarah from the beginning. I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Harvest of Rubies
She learned to read, so much so that she was given the opportunity to read and learn For the queen.
“You have established yourself in court and became the queens favored servant. Did you feel secure and happy? No, that’s because you were out of step with Gods design.”
Beautifully written and a great message.
This was chosen for me to read as part of a hidden-gem challenge, and I'm so glad I decided to read this. I enjoyed the author's writing in Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar and again found her writing entertaining and thought-provoking. I especially loved how she had woven the facts of Persian lifestyle so fluently within the story.

Sarah was quite an interesting character - an intelligent young Jewish woman who taught herself to read. This skill opened up doors for her which was against Jewish expectations/upbringing. I en
Sep 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Harvest of Rubies starts off very strong. Sarah first meets Darius by coincidence, when he saves her life. They don't see each other until later, when they have married and the two are at odds. They don't fall in love instantly... except they kind of do. They don't fall in love at first sight, but as soon as they start to see that the other wasn't the vile creature they thought they were, they start having feelings for each other. So that's it for romance.

I loved Queen Damaspia, although I did f
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Some of the most amazing things I've discovered through Christian Historical Fiction, is the author's talent to weave a story about someone from the Bible in a whole new way through their fictional novel. In fact, sometimes it's so well written it sounds as if we were a part of that story and the character is someone we got to know through their words.

That is just what you, as a reader, will find when you open the cover of Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar. Here you are immediately drawn back in
Lisa Johnson
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Title: Harvest of Rubies
Author: Tessa Afshar
Pages: 342
Year: 2012
Publisher: Moody Publishers
This is a wonderful story set in ancient Persia during the time of King Artaxerxes and after Queen Esther’s time. This is my first novel by this author and it won’t be the last! Another novel, Harvest of Gold, continues the story begun in this novel and will be reviewed here soon.
Sarah is a young woman who can do something most other women of her time can’t…read and write. She began teaching herself Pers
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, library
These books are always so wonderful and uplifting. There are tense and sweet romantic moments. The characters are so realistic. The Biblical history is fascinating. I always look forward to more by this author. The narrator was outstanding.
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is not my genre. At all. I expected to "get through" this book, while virtuously keeping an eye out for any redeeming qualities. Go me, expanding my horizons and all that, be it ever so grudgingly.

I loved it. I devoured this book in the course of one day (well ok, half of it was during a long, sleepless night last night, but still technically one day). The heroine Sarah was charming to the reader, awkward to those around her, and very believable. She makes a lot of the dumb mistakes I do a
Charity U
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited when this book arrived in my mailbox! I started reading it almost right away...and finished the book before bed the day I received it. Shows how much I enjoyed it! There was some heart-melting romance…heart-pounding adventure…and heart-moving faith. That pretty much sums it up! The adventures were exciting! The descriptions of what Sarah wore and ate were amazing. Getting to meet Nehemiah, from the Bible, was really cool. It was intriguing to see into the lives of Persian royalt ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I enjoyed this book very much!
It’s set in an unusual time: Persian Empire. It was an interesting and very enjoyable read, with a nice set of characters.
I enjoyed Sarah, and her life choices, even if I would have preferred to have less religious issues in the book. I understand that this is Christian fiction, so that part was necessary, but I liked better the parts where religion was not so strong an issue.
I liked the character of Darius too. He was very much what I would have expected from a Pe
I loved this book! This is the first book I've read by Tessa Afshar and it won't be the last! This is a fictional story set in biblical times about a smart and talented, socially inept lady scribe (very rare) who is forced to marry a man she doesn't know by a Queen who thought she was doing her a favor after she succeeded in solving a problem for the Queen. After totally botching her wedding she is abandoned by her new husband to a rural estate where she wins over the servants, reevaluates her l ...more
Raechel Lenore
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was my third or so time reading this book, and each time I read it, I fall even more in love with it. Tessa Afshar's writing is simply beautiful, and definitely God-inspired. I have learned so much from her books by God writing through her. The depth in each of her books is astounding, and I cherish them all the more for it.

This will forever remain a favourite of mine. I love Sarah and can relate to her in many ways. Following along with her journey is delightful!
Loooove this book. All I ha
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
This BC novel had me drawn in with the first page. And then there was a bit of a lull and I nearly stopped reading. I'm so glad I didn't. The pace and action picked up considerably. Overall, this was a beautiful novel about a young Jewish woman living in a Persian dominated world and her journey to peace with the Lord. Highly recommended. I look forward to the continuing story in Harvest of Gold.
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
I can't voice how happy I am to have found this book.

It is Christian fiction which usually isn't my cup of tea. This one proves to be unusually illuminating. It touched my soul deeply.
Rachel Leightman
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biblical-fiction
What an incredible book! I tend to devour books; I can go through one or two a day. Rarely have I read a book that I immediately wanted to reread. This book was full of spiritual insight, had plenty of historical detail, and was also really excellent fiction. I don't find that combination often! It really helped change my perspective on a few things and has actually helped both my marriage and my relationship with God. Plus I thoroughly enjoyed the book!!

The time period was fascinating; I haven'
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2017
After reading Land of Silence, I was apprehensive to start another Afshar book. Though "Land of Silence" was very good, it had many moments which brought me to tears and I have to be in the right mind to read a book like that. But "Harvest of Rubies" was unlike "Land of Silence" since it made me smile 80% of the time.

1) Humor, humor, humor: It was so much more enjoyable since I was least expecting it. The sarcasm of Sarah was well done by Afshar.
2) First person narration: I liked the
Christy Lockstein
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book started out somewhat slow. I didn't understand why Sarah felt so unloved throughout the book, and how far people had to go to show her that they cared. Also, I was bored with the work that she did under Queen Demaspia. It didn't intrigue me at all. I would say that I finally started getting into the book about a third of the way through when she went to live at her husbands estate.

I loved Bardia, Shushan, and Pari. The three main servants in the story, they all seemed like realistic f
This was such a spiritually moving book. Plus, I enjoyed the deep love story developing between the husband and wife. In fact, I enjoyed everything about this story. I loved how the author took what is common to mankind and made it relevant to a spiritual journey today. It really made me think about things in my life. Plus, it was very well written and I became lost in the story. Since a lot of books seem to lose my attention lately, this story was especially delightful because I wanted to keep ...more
Eric Wright
I am not a romance reader, but Tessa Afshar quickly captured my interest with this well written, fast-paced historical novel. The story is told from the perspective of Sarah, a young woman who struggles with a very poor self-image due to a distant father and a dead mother. She teaches herself languages including the complicated Persian language in hopes of winning her father's affection and acceptance. It is rather scandalous at that time, circa 400 BC in Persia, for a woman to not only read but ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Christian Books: Free & Discounted Christian E-Books 6 111 Jul 08, 2016 11:58AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 21, 2014 09:00AM  
Christian Fiction...: Harvest of Rubies Free download 7/27/13 7 41 Jul 31, 2013 02:07PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wings of the Wind (Out From Egypt, #3)
  • Shadow of the Storm (Out From Egypt, #2)
  • Counted with the Stars (Out From Egypt, #1)
  • A Light on the Hill (Cities of Refuge, #1)
  • Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2)
  • Love Amid The Ashes
  • Michal (The Wives of King David, #1)
  • Until the Mountains Fall (Cities of Refuge, #3)
  • Love in a Broken Vessel (Treasure of His Love)
  • Abigail (The Wives of King David, #2)
  • Love's Sacred Song (Treasure of His Love)
  • The Hidden Flame (Acts of Faith, #2)
  • The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith, #1)
  • Bathsheba (The Wives of King David, #3)
  • Like Flames in the Night (Cities of Refuge, #4)
  • Of Fire and Lions (Prophets and Kings, #2)
  • The Well (The Living Water, #1)
  • The Damascus Way (Acts of Faith, #3)
See similar books…
Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel, Land of Silence, won an Inspy award, and was voted by Library Journal as one of five top Christian Fiction titles of 2016. It was also nominated for the 2016 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Inspirational Romance. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her b ...more

Other books in the series

Harvest of Rubies (2 books)
  • Harvest of Gold (Harvest of Rubies, #2)

Related Articles

Philippa Gregory is best known for reimagining the lives of famous royal women in bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn...
69 likes · 32 comments
“Some of these walls had been of my own making; my rebellion, my resistance; my arrogance, my need for control. Some had been built around me by the misfortunes of life; my loneliness; my orphaned heart; my fear of rejection. I had kept God at bay, and cheated myself of the warmth of His mercy.” 15 likes
“This is a door that the Lord holds open for you. Walk through it. He who has called shall also equip. Everything you lack shall be provided.” 9 likes
More quotes…