When I heard of a new impending release by Tessa Afshar, I was excited. Biblical Fiction is one of my favorite genres to read, and after reading her previous book, A Pearl in the Sand, I expected a great story. I was not disappointed as I saw the creation of a strong character in Sarah who provided a look at what could have been. If you are familiar at all with the Biblical story of Esther, this is situated right after the death of Queen Esther, King Xerxes, and is during the time of King Artaxerxes and his Queen Damaspia. There is little mentioned on this time, so a lot of creative license can be taken. Sarah is immediately someone a reader can relate to, a scared girl who wonders if she is valued, loved. We all deal with that inadequacy, wondering if we lack something. Afshar’s take on this character as well as her handling of the delicate issue of being a female scribe in a job that is commonly held by a man is refreshing.
I picked this book up at 6pm and did not place it down until I’d finished reading it, sometime around 10pm. It was not a short book, but it was one I found hard to place down. With engaging characters and dynamic story-lines, Afshar immerses her readers in the world of which she writes, a world that leaves us wanting for more, even when the story ends. If you enjoy Biblical Fiction, this is a book you will not want to miss. For that reason I am giving Afshar’s book 5 out of 5 stars for what I consider an excellent addition to the genre of Biblical Fiction. I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in return for my honest review.
What defines a great story for me is engaging characters and a dynamic story. Harvest of Rubies possessed all of that. If this is your first Tessa Afshar book, be sure to read the book she wrote before this, A Pearl in the Sand which is about the story of Rahab. Once You’ve Finished with Harvest of Rubies, be sure to look at Harvest of Gold, the sequel to this book that continues the story of Sarah and Darius as well as the Historical events surrounding them.