Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar

Biblical Book

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

4 Stars

Go to Jewel of the Nile on GoodreadsJewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a young woman whose Roman mother died in childbirth, Chariline was always told that her Cushite father was dead. When she overhears that her father is alive, she heads off to Rome to discover his identity, stowing away on the ship of a merchant, Theo. But Theo and Chariline find out that a secret she’s after—or may already know—could cost Chariline her life in Jewel of the Nile by author Tessa Afshar.

First off, can I rave a little about the cover of this biblical fiction novel? The power of the image is in the angle of the shot and the poetic pose of the woman representing this novel’s biracial heroine. We see that curly hair of hers, and the red and brown of the cover’s earth-toned theme fits wonderfully with the story’s connection to roses and cinnamon. Ahhhh, yes.

I purposely jumped into this novel with no knowledge of the plot, so I was pleased to find it’s a tale of adventure and intrigue, along with its themes of family, friendship, faith, and romance. Besides the aspects of danger and my partiality to historical settings (I love that this story unfolds in the Kingdom of Cush and ancient Rome), I think a couple of the supporting characters are what I liked best about the story. Especially a clever and mischievous boy, Arkamani.

Now, though I can’t say I ever found the story uninteresting, it is fairly slow at times. And these days, I tend to prefer a less-is-more approach when it comes to central messages within a plot, as this story felt a little “lesson heavy” to me, here and there. At the same time, it seemed like the most crucial lesson and discovery for Chariline came to a head rather soon. So even with important events happening in the last 100 pages or so, some of the tension and weight of the plot was already “over” for me relatively early.

Even so, I found this to be comfortable reading, adventurous but not too dark, and plenty of other ChristFic fans should enjoy this dramatic and uplifting story.

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