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The Hidden Prince by Tessa Afshar: A Book Review

The Hidden Prince
Author: Tessa Afshar
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: 2022
Pages: 416
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: From the bestselling author of Jewel of the Nile comes the thrilling tale of a woman who feels she has no future but soon discovers the fate of nations may rest in her hands.

     The beloved daughter of Jewish captives in Babylon, Keren is sold into Daniel’s household to help her family survive. She becomes Daniel’s most trusted scribe, while taking lessons and swordsmanship training alongside Daniel’s sons and their best friend, Jared.

     But after a tragic accident changes the course of her life, Keren finds herself in a foreign country, charged with a mysterious task: teaching a shepherd boy how to become a lord. When she overhears whispers that hint at his true identity, she realizes she must protect him from the schemes of a bloodthirsty king.

     Jared cannot forgive Keren. Still, he finds himself traveling over mountains to fetch her back to the safety of home. When he discovers the secret identity of Keren’s pupil, Jared knows he must help protect him. Love battles bitterness as they flee from the king’s agents, trying to save the boy who could one day deliver their people from captivity.      

     My Review: The Hidden Prince retells the early life of King Cyrus the Great. The story is told from the perspective of Keren. She is a Jewish captive in Babylon who was sold to Daniel. Because of her intelligence, she becomes Daniel’s scribe. One day, she accidentally injures her childhood friend and aristocrat named Jared. Keren is sent to Ecbatana and becomes a tutor to a young prince named Cyrus who is disguised as a shepherd. Could Keren help Cyrus fulfill his destiny as the promised king who helped free the Jews from captivity?

     Keren is a fascinating protagonist. She is very flawed. She can be jealous and possessive at times. She also feels like she is always lacking. However, I loved her intelligence and tomboyish personality. I also love her friendship with Cyrus. She is willing to risk her life to save him. Thus, she was a very lovable character, and I rooted for Karen to find her own happiness.

     I also loved Jared as Keren’s love interest. He could not forgive Keren for injuring him. Throughout the course of the novel, he has to struggle with his wound as well as forgiving Keren who had deeply hurt him. He has to move beyond his pain and grow to love Karen for who she is. Jared eventually accepts Keren for her strengths and her weaknesses. Thus, I really admired how he grew as a character. I thought that he was the perfect match for Keren.

      Overall, this novel is about friendship, forgiveness, and grace. The message of this book is to always trust your instincts and that God always has a plan. I loved all the characters. They seemed to be very realistic. I also loved Mrs. Afshar’s eloquent prose! The story started out very slow. However, I was soon enmeshed in Mrs. Afshar’s world of ancient Babylon! The Hidden Prince is a provocative and inspiring novel that will captivate you from the first page! I can’t wait to read the sequel, The Peasant King, which comes out later this year! I recommend The Hidden Prince for fans of Mesu Andrews, Rachael C. Duncan, and Connilyn Cossette!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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