A beautifully crafted historical fiction tale… Absolutely bewitching.
Weaving historical detail into a rich story about the endurance of the human spirit in the face of adversity, Potter centers his excellent novel on the devastation of Jerusalem by Greek empire and a young Judean orphan’s struggles with grief and personal trauma. It is 135 BCE. and Jerusalem is under savage attack from the daunting Greek army. Twelve-year-old Keziah is rescued by a stranger after she witnesses her parents’ brutal murder at the hands of their once-trusted neighbors. Struggling with her grief, Keziah finds solace in her long-abandoned lute. But as the violent war engulfs the whole region, Keziah realizes her lifetime of problems and heartbreak has just begun. Potter’s prose maintains a raw energy as the action unfolds, and his meticulous research is evident throughout the narrative. The war-ravaged Jerusalem along with the vibrant Galilean community provides an intriguing backdrop to the narrative, which is punctuated with bloodshed, violence, intrigue, and music. Potter adeptly depicts Keziah’s evolving worldview as the years pass, smoothly integrating her personal story into the affecting narrative. In finding herself, Keziah discovers not only her own desires and potential but also finds herself a family in complete strangers as her bond grows with Sarah, Moshe, Basmat, Uri, Mahlah, Jugurtha and others. The lyrical tone of the narrative matches Keziah’s cautious moves in the void of her loss, and her sweet bond with Joseph is rooted in reality. This mesmerizing tale will linger in readers’ minds long after the final page is turned.
By Daryl Potter
Paper Stone Press
Pub date March 29, 2021
Price $23.95 (USD) Hardcover, $7.99 Kindle edition
Categories: Historical fiction