Today’s book review features
Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar.
Whispered secrets about her parents’ past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush.
Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents’ tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiting her grandfather before his retirement as the Roman official in the queen’s court, Chariline overhears that her father is still alive, and discovering his identity becomes her obsession. Both her grandfather and the queen have reasons for keeping this secret, however, and forbid her quest. So when her only clues lead to Rome, Chariline sneaks on the ship of a merchant trusted by friends.
Theo is shocked to discover a stowaway on board his vessel and determines to be rid of her as soon as possible. But drawn in by Chariline’s story, he feels honor-bound to see her safely to shore, especially when it appears someone may be willing to kill for the truth she seeks.
In this transformative tale of historical fiction, bestselling author Tessa Afshar brings to life the kingdom of Cush and the Roman Empire, introducing readers to a fascinating world filled with gripping adventure, touching romance, and a host of lovable characters–including some they may recognize from the biblical book of Acts.
Tessa Afshar is the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of biblical and inspirational historical fiction, including Land of Silence, which won an INSPY Award and was voted by Library Journal as one of the top five Christian fiction titles of 2016, and Harvest of Gold, which won a Christy Award in the Historical Romance category.
From Author Website
Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar follows Chariline as she attempts to find her father, who she thought long dead. Along the way, her heart has a few lessons to learn, too.
I couldn’t wait to read this story for two reasons: one, the story takes place outside of the usual scope of Biblical Fiction by beginning in Cush, which is located south of Egypt. And two, because it completes Theo’s story, who we’ve met in the past two books (Thief of Corinth and Daughter of Rome). The unique history of one of the side characters, who turns out to be a man briefly mentioned in the Bible, was a welcome surprise.
Tessa Afshar’s writing is beautiful and I loved reading this story. Honestly, the only downside was that I figured out the plot before Chariline did… but it didn’t detract from the storytelling. Chariline is a wonderful character with hard past. I loved how she stowed away to continue her journey of discovery. Then there’s Theo. I’ve always liked him as a character and I’m so happy that he takes such a prominent role in this story.
If you’re looking for wonderful novel to sink into and enjoy, try Jewel of the Nile. Though it has a mystery, it is not suspenseful in the traditional sense. It unfolds slowly all the way to the end. And, it’s the type of story I’ll enjoy reading again and again. I hope you will, too.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.
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