Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley was intriguing. Based off of the book of Daniel from the Bible, Higley, weaves historical facts into a fictional story quite beautifully.
A couple of pointers I recommend before reading this book are to first read the Book of Daniel in the Bible before starting so that you have some background, especially if you have never read it before. And secondly, the author gives a note in the back of the book which does not give any of the book away. I read it after reading the entire book through and thought that it might have helped me have a better handle on things as I was reading if I had read it first, or simply referred to it from time to time.
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has different dreams, which Daniel interprets for him. Because Daniel interprets them, Daniel becomes the King’s chief advisor. Finally, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream in which a huge tree is cut down and stripped. When Daniel interprets this, it is a prophesy of King Nebuchadnezzar’s coming madness that causes him to live in the gardens for seven years, basically stripped of his title, until he can humble himself before God, the Most High. This is the background for Garden of Madness which takes place seven years after this dream and one year before King Nebuchadnezzar’s death.
In the book, Tiamat, the King’s daughter has just lost her husband (whom she was forced to marry at the age of 14). She is an ambitious woman who does not like to be told what to do, including marrying again. She simply wants to be free and she wants to help her father, the King, from his madness. With a death in the palace, she begins to investigate who the killer is, which leads her to many findings she is not ready for.
The first part of this book, for me, was quite long. Several times I did want to put it down, because it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. However, about half way through I was hooked and I wanted to know the end of the story. I also was very grateful for the author’s note at the end which helped to clarify some questions for me. I am ready to go back and reread the book of Daniel so that I can find some of the hidden messages in that book!
I received this copy from Booksneeze for my thoughts.