Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pearl Maiden ~ H. Rider Haggard

This delightful tale written in 1903 follows the extraordinary journey of a young Christian maiden born in the time of persecution under the brutal reign of Nero.

Young Miriam is thrust into a world of brutality and hardship after both of her parents, persecuted for their faith and ultimately die for it; leave their only daughter with a trusted Libyan servant as her only protection. Miriam and the faithful Libyan Nehushta soon find a place of refuge among a religious group of men which call themselves Essenes, who swear their lives to the protection and education of the young girl.

But peace among the Christians lasts only for a little while, and Miriam's faith is soon put to the test when a Roman Tribune enters her solitude and challenges her beliefs by his passionate admiration and love for Miriam whom he deems a goddess.

Meanwhile, Miriam's childhood friend Caleb is prodded by jealousy and revenge and plots to ruin the lives of those who ruined his.
Will Miriam be able to hold fast to her hope in Christ? Or will she forsake Him for a pagan life and to save her own life?

This chronicle written with such power and truth gives a glimpse of what it would have been like to be a Christian in A.D. 60 and throughout Nero's short reign. The story flows well and is immediately captivating; all events and dates are accurate and educate the reader of what the Roman Empire truly was in that horrific age of the rule of Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus .

Violence: Lets just say if you can't bear reading about Blandina, then this isn't your book
Indecency: There is mention of a dress being scandalously low and against the wearer's will.
Language: Pagan romans occasionally say "By the gods!" or mention some other gods name
Age interest: 14-up
Rating: 5


NatCat said...

I just wanted to say that I read this book after reading your review and absolutely loved it! It is now one of my favorites. I had studied ancient history in depth this year so this book really brought to life some of the things I had been studying (I also found it very historically correct w/ all of the different emperors, etc..). Thanks for this recommendation!


Katy said...

I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it! I haven't read many books by this author, but this one and The Brethren are both really good!!