LitStaff Pick: The Best Books We Read This Year

Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley

Choosing the best book from all the ones I’ve read this year is as difficult as trying to choose the best piece of chocolate from the box. Each may have a different flavor and texture, but they’re all delicious. In spite of the difficulty, though, I will choose one tasty morsel from the appetizing array and share it with you as a special holiday gift.

Tracy L. Higley’s Garden of Madness gets my vote for the best 2012 read because of its decadent setting, rich detail, complex characters, and intricate plot. Set in ancient Babylon during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, the story revolves around palace secrets and the evil maneuverings of those eager to usurp the power from a king whose madness has relegated him to grazing in the garden like a common beast. Desperate to protect the throne and preserve his legacy, Nebuchadnezzar’s wife mediates with the political players while his daughter Tiamat strives to unravel the tapestry of deception woven into the very fabric of palace life.

These two women, along with a handsome, but reluctant accomplice and an aging prophet, combine forces to make this story one of the most multi-faceted narratives I’ve read in a while. The power of this book doesn’t lie merely in the fact that it incorporates the elements of history, mystery, romance, and suspense. The power lies in the fact that Tracy Higley weaves them together so artfully that the reader is drawn into a story world both compelling and entertaining. I did not want to put this book down, nor did I want it to end.  And that, my friends, is the essence of a truly delectable read.

~ Vickie Price Taylor


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