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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review - Finding Sheba


Review  
The search for the burial site of the Queen of Sheba in several countries is the theme of this book.  Each country has a stake in finding the site of the Queen. And the countrys have a representative involved in the hunt for the legendary Queen. According to Wikipedia "The Queen of Sheba is commonly believed to be the Queen of the South referenced in Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31 in the New Testament, where Jesus indicates that she and the Ninevites will judge the generation of Jesus' contemporaries who rejected him. In Ge'ez and other Ethio-Semitic languages, she also bears the additional title Nəgəstä 'Azeb (Queen of the South), in reference to the cardinal compass point South ( 'äzeb)."   Ancient history, political intrigue, international crime, romance, are set in the tenth century B.C. and modern times.  Add a couple of murders, human sacrifice, and an attempted assassination of the Coptic pope, to the mystery and intrigue.
Heather B. Moore lived in the Middle East for several years, and being raised by a biblical scholar, has the background for this subject.  Moore has written several historical thrillers; 'Finding Sheba' is the most recent.   The mix of characters are interesting, an American graduate student, Jade who is researching the Queen of Sheba for her thesis.  An Ethiopian man, Alem, in search of his family heritage and Omar Zagouri works undercover for the Israeli government, to name a few.  Moore switches from ancient times to modern throughout the book.  Although irritating at the start, makes sense as the story progresses.  The many individuals have their own roles in the search.  Challenging the reader to retain the part each one plays at the beginning.  But their relationships become less ambiguous as the plot develops.  A tomb is discovered, controversial engravings in a chamber, cover-ups to hide their illegal activities, add to the adventures of those involved.

The ancient legend connected to the Queen of Sheba, archaeologists, and undercover agents were my attraction to this book.  Heather Moore has written several historical novels set in Ancient Arabia and Mesoamerica.  This is the first of her books I have read.  I liked the action and suspense.  The parallel stories of bygone and modern times helped me to understand the myth and the events in the present. But I did get confused at times with the different locations of the tombs.  But this became clear by the end of the book.    Romance stories are not my preference for reading.  Moore delicately portrays the Queen of Sheba's love and sense of duty.  The author dealt with Omar and his love in a realistic manor. But Jade's feelings of romantic emotion appeared artificial and on occasions, even annoying.  Over all, I found the plot good and characters likeable.  Sometimes I found the separate tales frustrating but they began to mesh around the middle of the book. Curiosity kept me reading.  But further research is needed to answer more questions I have now than before I read the book.  Overall an interesting read with plenty of action and intrigue.  


An ancient legend is reborn . . . One that might prove the Bible false.

For centuries, historians have theorized the Queen of Sheba as only a seductive legend, and scholars have debated over the legitimacy of King David or King Solomon. When undercover Israeli agent, Omar Zagouri, stumbles onto a tomb in Northern Jerusalem he unknowingly finds the final clue that threatens to overthrow government claim to the Holy Land, pits wealthy collectors against one another, and sends ruthless archaeologists scrambling to find the queen’s secret burial place. An assassination attempt on the Coptic Pope, His Holiness, Patriarch Stephanus II, is only the first in the chain of lethal crimes. Omar must find a way to prevent the greatest discovery of the century from becoming the most deadly.
Author Heather B. Moore

heather mooreHeather B. Moore is the award-winning author of ten novels, two inspirational non-fiction books, and two anthologies, including The Newport Ladies Book Club Series, A Timeless Romance Anthology, and Christ’s Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler).

Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore. She is the two-time recipient of Best of State in Literary Fiction, two-time Whitney Award Winner, and two-time Golden Quill Winner for Best Novel. Her most recent historical novel under H.B. Moore is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).

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