Monday, January 18, 2016

Daughter of Sand and Stone by Libbie Hawker

I love ancient history. Author Libbie Hawker has gathered up a great deal of research and written a compelling recreation of Queen Zenobia who lived in the 3rd century, in a novel entitled, DAUGHTER OF SAND AND STONE. 

Book Synopsis:  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. Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman, Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices. From the decadent halls of Rome to the golden sands of Egypt, Zenobia fights for power, for love, and for her son. But will her hubris draw the wrath of the gods? Will she learn a “woman’s place,” or can she finally stake her claim as Empress of the East?

Review:  Daughter of Sand and Stone by Libbie Hawker is a novel about Zenobia, the famous warrior queen of Palmyra. She lived in the 3rd century, and it cannot be easy to successfully re-imagine her life, but Libby Hawker has done just that, and who doesn't love a story about a strong woman thrust into a man's world who must fight not only for her survival, but also for her throne and kingdom. 

Zenobia's tale is a tad rags to riches, a tad coming of age, and a whole bunch of cunning! She not only conquered Egypt, she also posed a serious threat to great Roman army. Sadly, Zenobia's tale can also be considered tragic, and I think that's why this novel is an engrossing read. It offers a vivid portrayal of the realities of life and love, of hearth and home, of power and ambition in a most credible way. The author's level of research is evident in the vivid pictures she paints, her thought-provoking scenes, and the joy of reading the elegant prose.


This is a wonderful historical biographical novel--one that I highly recommend.

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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