Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 260 CE to 271 CE in Palmyra, Egypt, and Rome.
First Sentence: On the last day of spring, the moon is just past full and still visible, pale and round in the late morning sky.
Our main character, Zenobia, is the youngest daughter of a wealthy and well beloved merchant in Palmyra. Girls her age should be looking for a well placed man to marry. Zenobia's mother and sisters urge her to keep to a woman's place.
But Zenobia refuses. She believes the gods have a special plan for her.
So Zenobia sets out to acquire power and prestige.
Along the way she is aided by Zabdas. Once he was a trusted employee of Zenobia's father. He has sworn to protect and support her. He loves her. Yet he knows that , because of her ambition, he will never be good enough for her.
Zenobia follows the path the gods have set out for her. For each increase in power, the gods extract a terrible price.
In the end, Zenobia finds herself in the very place when strove to avoid: the wife of a well placed man.
This was an interesting book to read. By writing in second person present tense, the author adds a sense of immediacy to the telling of the tale. We are not reading a story of the past, but we are watching the tale unfold before our eyes.
Check out this book, as well as some of the author's other novels.