Thursday, November 12, 2009

As the Eagle, Flies the King by Wendy McNeice

Forced to be queen to an absent and evil king, Chaim, with her friend and servant, dress as scribes and escape the loneliness of a confined life, to begin a journey to Jerusalem to fulfill her father’s dying wish. The words of the prophet Daniel grip her consciousness just prior to her escape. The two are followed by an elite Mede soldier, working undercover for Persian King Cyrus. Chaim initially detests Mohganees, thinking he is a Persian conqueror who may one day entrap her enslaved people. Mohganees the Mede throws a talisman into her boat as she escapes and she kicks it into the Euphrates, thinking it an evil spell. The mystery of the talisman will weave its way into the book. During the famous battle in Opis, the place the Euphrates will be diverted, Mohganees twice saves Chaim and her friend Ettu from captivity. Mohganees commandeers a boat they are traveling in as he follows the king’s orders to map the Euphrates to re-channel its flow. He is believed drowned when the Arab trader’s boat they were traveling in is overturned by thieves.

The girls are taken into the camp of some highwaymen intent on enslaving them and Mohganees also becomes a (disguised) captive of the highwaymen. Believing Mohganees to be dead, Chaim professes a new found love for him and Chaim and Ettu assist Mohganees’ escape, unaware who he is. When Mohganees returns to find the talisman, Chaim and Ettu attempt to rescue an orphaned temple slave, the one who tells them the news that will make their decision clear. Sheera has overheard that Cyrus is on the march to Babylon. In a remarkable twist, Chaim comes to realize she must return to Babylon, as she understands that to follow the call of God unconditionally, she must trust in the Lord, which means that “He will direct thy paths.” In so doing, Chaim discovers the purpose of her mission was quite different from her expectations.

In the mean time, Mohganees makes a bid for peace to the soldiers manning the bulwarks at Babylon and helps open the way for a peaceful takeover of the city by Cyrus, the ‘annointed one’ of Isaiah. The mystery of the ‘talisman’ is revealed and after the final climax, joining the Persian army to release the Jews from Babylon, Chaim and Mohganees have professed their desire to marry and now have one more hurdle to face. Mohganees is not a Jew, and another twist will leave the reader with a pent up sigh of relief. And Ettu, Chaim’s former servant and long-time companion, becomes one of the ‘singers of renown’ at the request of the new king.

1 comment:

ParaNovelGirl said...

Wow, your story sounds like a rollercoaster ride of emotions and mystery. I love the way you weave your words.

Great title too. I'll buy it for sure.

Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl