I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
Zenobia bat-Zabbai is the daughter of a powerful and well-loved Syrian Sheik in 260 A.D.. All of her life she has known that she is destined for more than to be a dutiful wife at the side of a not so powerful husband. However, after her father goes to battle and does not return, Zenobia takes it upon herself to protect her city and fulfill her destiny. Along with a guard, Zabdas, Zenobia rides through the desert, battles soldiers and brings back her brother-in-law to rule. With her new found confidence, Zenobia is able to secure a powerful husband, who values Zenobia as a political confidant. As a second wife, though, Zenobia has an opponent in Fairuza, the first wife. As her husband’s powers grow, Zenobia believes more and more that she is destined to rule on her own. When her time comes, her place as a woman will not be without challenge.
I loved reading and learning about this powerful and courageous woman in history that I knew nothing about. From the moment that a young Zenobia is introduced, I was in love with her strong sense of self, her pride and her confidence that she was destined to be more than a wife. I also liked that though fiction, the author incorporated much about the actual Zenobia’s little known life into the story, the real Zenobia must have shared these traits with the character in order to have accomplished so much. Zenobia’s story combines many elements, an exciting, educated heroine, who makes very thoughtful decisions, adventure and war, political intrigue, family drama and a bit of romance. I was very happy with the way the romance between Zenobia and Zabdas is done; it is by no means the plot of the story, just another element in Zenobia’s life. The ending moved very fast for me, and I almost felt like I was missing something, but I didn’t want to put it down. Overall, a courageous, moving and bittersweet story of an important woman in history.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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