My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
From the Book of Ether comes a haunting story of two royal sisters. The elder sister, Ash, will do anything to bring her father, King Jared II, back to the throne. The younger sister, Naiva, only wants to save her family from destruction. The bond of sisterhood becomes precariously fragile when one man . . . named Akish . . . falls in love with the younger sister, Naiva. Yet he chooses to marry the elder sister.
The sisters’ hearts are divided. And when Ash becomes queen, seduced by the promise of power and wealth, Naiva watches her world crumble away. She sees only one way out. But it will require forsaking all that she holds dear.
Wow. Just wow. Heather B.Moore is an author who is extremely skilled at bringing the scriptures to life. This story is based on the 10th century B.C. Meso-American scriptural account from the Book of Ether in The Book of Mormon. (I believe this ancient story can be appreciated by readers of all faiths). It was a time of much corruption and struggle for power within the ruling family. I recognized the structure of the tale and the real-life characters from my own scripture study, but this novel is written in first person perspective from second daughter Naiva's point of view. She is an innately good person, loyal to her sister even at great sacrifice to herself. I was frustrated that she recognized the manipulation by her family but continued to serve them out of love. As she learns about and turns to the Lord instead of the idols and gods she was raised with, He strengthens her in her trials and guides her path. There are some seriously humbling and heart-breaking experiences for herself and her family, but the support she is lacking from her sister she finds with a few devout servants of the royal household and Levi, Akish's righteous brother. Naiva's sweet romance with Levi was thwarted at every turn, and I wondered if she would ever have her own happy future. Even though I knew the general story from the scriptures, I was riveted with Naiva's journey and the rich details the author used to make it easy for the reader to envision the ancient time period. Highly recommend, especially to fans of Biblical fiction.
(Thank you to Ebooks For Review for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)