Daughters of Jared by H.B. Moore
"Naiva, daughter of the dethroned King Jared II, lives in the shadow of her privileged elder sister, Asherah. But when Asherah develops a secret plot to return their father to the throne, Naiva’s resentment turns to fear. Thwarting the scheme becomes more complicated when Naiva discovers that Akish, the first man who has shown interest in her, is an integral part of the plan.
Asherah traps Akish in a ploy to make him marry her, breaking Naiva’s heart and leaving her feeling more alone than ever. Somehow Naiva must find the strength to stand against the encroaching evil in the kingdom and a sister who will stop at nothing to become queen. When Akish’s wickedness escalates and threatens to destroy the bonds of sisterhood, Naiva must decide between protecting her sister and honoring her new belief in the true God—a forbidden belief that could cost her life."
The Daughters of Jared is H.B. Moore's newest historical fiction. After writing a series of books that followed the chronicle of Abinadi, Alma the Elder, Alma the Younger, and Ammon, she turns to a another time period in the Book of Mormon. The book of Ether outlines the dramatic rise and fall of kingdoms and the wickedness of those who sought for power. H.B. Moore weaves a story from the life of Asherah.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was that is was told from the point of view of Naiva, Asherah's fictional little sister. While Moore has shown herself adept at weaving tales from the point of those who make wrong decisions in their lives. It was nice to read the story of someone who while not a saint or even a believer in the gosple, hadn't set out to live a life of wickedness. In fact, I found Naiva's integrity and strength of character refreshing. When Akish decides to marry her elder sister, though he admits he is really in love with Navia. I really love the fact that Navia refuses to look at him as a romantic interest any longer, and builds her own life.
Once Asherah and Akish are married the consequences of Asherah's foolishness become more and more apparent. As times wears on Akish becomes more cruel and power hungry. Navia must decide whether providing her sister and her children with protection is more important than escaping to make a new life as a believer with Akish's brother, Levi.
This is my favorite of H.B. Moore's books that I have read, and I really loved how she has improved at adding little historical details, which always added such a cultural ambiance and vivid details to her novels, in more nuanced and natural ways. I really felt like her skill in this arena has improved and made the reading of the novel more immsersive and smooth.
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