4 out of 4 stars
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Man's quest for relevance never ends. There's always the desire to do things that make us appear brave and strong. But sometimes, the line between right and wrong actions can be blurry. This is the struggle that N. L. Holmes portrays in The Queen's Dog.
Nahish-shulmanu, or Naheshi (as he preferred to be addressed), was a eunuch and chamberlain to the queen of Ugarit. Having served his mistress faithfully for years, he was horrified when the dowager queen, the king's mother, ordered him to spy on the queen. With his loyalties torn, he found himself making several hard decisions — not knowing who to protect. With each choice he made, he wondered if he was doing the right thing.
This novel is a coin of two sides. On one side, there are betrayals, treacheries, and acts of cowardice. On the flip side, there are acts of courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Somehow, it reflects real-life struggles — the kinds that most people go through but refuse to talk about.
Several things fascinate me about this book. I admire how each of the characters seems to live their own lives with distinctive thought patterns and behaviors. They are real, human, and have flaws. They also take responsibility for their actions — not just doing things to fit into the story. I feel like I've come to know and understand each of them and how they will react in a particular situation. Hence, I applaud the author for developing the book's characters excellently.
I love the author's writing style. She switched between direct and indirect speech and between different characters' perspectives in a way that gave me a holistic view of the story. I also marveled at the author's ability to squeeze out emotions from me. I switched between laughter and tears of sorrow. However, the latter was more predominant. The book had a moving, gripping narrative that reached into my heart. This was my favorite aspect of the book.
Since this was a historical fiction book, it contained some terms that might be unfamiliar to most people. Therefore, I was grateful for the brief explanation provided at the beginning of the book. Additionally, there was a glossary of terms at the end of the book. Everything about this book was well thought out.
I only found one error. Hence, it was professionally edited. There was minimal use of profanity. However, the level of violence this book contained would require parental guidance for children aged 13 and below to read it.
I thought the storyline was unique and beautifully crafted. I rate The Queen's Dog 4 out of 4 stars, and I recommend it to people who love historical novels with a truckload of tension and emotional elements.
The Queen's Dog
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