by Judith French
Category: Fiction / Historical
368 pages; ISBN: 0843953799
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Leisure, Aug 2004, $6.99, 368 pp.
In 315 BC in Alexandria, suffering from amnesia and listening to her kind host the Pharaoh Ptolemy, who insists she is an Egyptian aristocrat, is easier to swallow than the emptiness of knowing nothing about herself though flashes make her wonder if he lies. Though having some doubts, she accepts the Pharaoh’s words as truth because Ptolemy also insists he loves her and will take care of her forever.
However, reality changes when Kayan the Barbarian arrives at Ptolemy’s palace and sneaks into her room. He insists that she is the Princess Roxanne, whom he has always loved even when Alexander the Great took her from him and married her. With the conqueror dead, Kayan wants his beloved to go home with him to share the love denied them even as his arrival prompts her to remember that she is Roxanne the great warrior princess. Together they might be able to escape her luxurious captivity, but Roxanne wonders whether she wants to be the pampered prisoner or warrior princess as she also questions whether she still loves this barbarian as he insists she once did?
This exciting sequel to the fabulous historical tale, THE CONQUEROR, is a wonderful look at the ancient world just after the death of Alexander. The story line will delight readers who appreciate a vividly picturesque look back at Egypt, Persia, and to a lesser degree Macedonia and Greece. The romantic triangle is unique hooking romance readers as few ancient historical tales have. Combining strong fully developed characters, a sense of place due to the colorful descriptive locals, and a beautiful haunting romance, THE BARBARIAN is a must read.
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