Review: Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar

The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband’s love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother’s people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

[Warning: May include some spoilers for the first book in the series, Harvest of Rubies.]

I have been eagerly awaiting this release since I finished Harvest of Rubies (link to my review) last year! The continuing saga of Sarah and Darius has drawn me back several times, despite my [quite large] stack of “new” to be read books. I’ve read at least part of Rubies four or five times in the last year.

Gold picks up quite soon after Rubies ended. The mystery and intrigue with a backdrop of rebuilding Jerusalem were all quite interesting, but at the heart of it Gold continues the love story begun in Rubies.

My heart still ached for Sarah as she loved Darius but he was unwilling or unable to allow himself to truly love her back. Through their trials as they want to start a family. As he tries to decide if he can really trust her after that trust was thoroughly destroyed on their wedding day. As Darius struggles with his new post while trying to understand the people of his mother and his wife.

I devoured the preview ecopy I received and did not even contemplate canceling my preorder of the paper version. I have not had a chance to reread it yet, but you can bet I will.

Most of characters are fictional, but a few are not, including the prophet [and the cousin to fictional Sarah] Nehemiah. Most of it is filled with supposition and “fill-in-the-blanks” but those things are based on Tessa’s meticulous research and are well-grounded.

I was both happy and sad to see the saga of Sarah and Darius come to an end, but I am very much looking forward to her next release based on the story of Ruth [I’ve been asking for SOMEONE to write this for several years now :D]. Sadly, it won’t come out for a while.

In the meantime, I’ll have to find time in my reading schedule to read Rubies and Gold again – back-to-back this time.

Overall rating: 9.25 out of 10 stars

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ecopy in exchange for my honest review.