Title: The Hidden Prince
Author: Tessa Afshar
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Copyright: November 8, 2022
Format: E-Book, 416 Pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction
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.
Keren’s family are Jewish captives who live in Babylon, trying to make a living in a difficult place. When Lord Daniel, governor of the province of Babylon, takes Keren into his home, she promises to faithfully serve him as a scribe. While living there, she becomes someone he trusts deeply and is instructed in lessons alongside his sons, where she meets Jared, their best friend. When the cruel hand of fate strikes, Keren is sent far away, where she must teach a shepherd boy and protect him from a wicked king. Eventually, Jared finds his way to her and learns the truth behind the boy’s identity. He agrees to do what he can to protect him. But will it be enough?
This is a fascinating and engrossing read, with a brave protagonist living in a world where the threats are all too real. Despite the danger Keren faces, she selflessly helps a young boy who will one day become Cyrus the Great. The ancient world of the Persian Empire comes to life, and it is fascinating to read about the different cultural nuances and the daily life of people within that land. This is a wonderful exploration of the Book of Daniel. What stood out the most to me were the beautifully written characters, who come across as being genuine, human, and easy to relate to. The author’s note does a wonderful job presenting the background research and explaining what decisions Afshar made when writing the story. All in all, this is a deeply moving read.
Originally featured on the History Novel Society website.