Genre: historical fiction
About the book: Set in 280 CE (Common Time, the equivalent of AD),
Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh, refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and her ascendance to the throne.(publisher)
"Rome was the undeniable superpower of the world for a very long time.... The Palmyrene rebellion, initiated by Lucius Septimus Odenathus but carried through its rise and fall by Zenobia, his wife, stands out among many other rebellions for the sheer audacity as well as its relative success." (author's note)
Excerpt from Ch. 1:
Let Nafisha be happy with her game board, Zenobia tells herself, sighing. Her own life will not be one of leisure. It must, she thinks fiercely, be worthy of her Amlaqi heritage, worthy of a descendant of Cleopatra, and of the other great queens to whom she can trace her blood: Julia Domna and Dido. Her life must be worthy of her ancestors. Anything less would be failure - and an insult to the gods who have made her.My comments: I admire the ability of the author to research this unusual and relatively obscure character from history, a woman who dared to defy custom and the odds to became famous in her time. The character is amply fleshed out by the author, who takes us back to this period and shows what it must have been like for an ambitious woman to want to become a ruler in her land.
Well done, intriguing, and a look at a slice of time in the annals of rebellions against Imperial Rome.
Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring deeply human characters, with rich details of time and place. She is the author of ten novels, most of which take place in the distant past among ancient civilizations. She lives in the beautiful San Juan Islands with her husband.
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Thanks to TLC and the author/publisher for a review copy of this book.