Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Book Review: The Peasant King by Tessa Afshar

About the Book:

Jemmah has always thought of herself as perfectly ordinary . . . until she faces extraordinary circumstances.

When her mother, the Persian king’s famous senior scribe, is kidnapped, Jemmah and her sister must sneak undetected into enemy territory to rescue her. But infiltrating their adversary’s lands proves easier than escaping them. Fleeing through dangerous mountain passes, their survival depends on the skills of a stranger they free from prison: a mysterious prince named Asher.

Asher is not who the world believes he is. Despite his royal blood, he has had to climb his way out of poverty to forge success from nothing. A manufacturer of some of the best weaponry in the East, Asher has only one goal: to destroy his father. But following his escape from prison, Asher is irresistibly drawn to Jemmah, unaware that she guards her own secret.

Jemmah must convince Asher to give up everything he has worked for, all for the sake of a higher purpose he’s not sure he believes in. The fate of the Persian empire—and possibly the Judean people—hang in the balance and in the persuasive power of one ordinary woman.

Bestselling author Tessa Afshar delivers another adventurous novel filled with romance and imagination, reminding readers of what Publishers Weekly calls her “amazing talent for packing action and intrigue into the biblical setting for modern readers.”

Purchase at: Amazon

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed The Peasant King by Tessa Afshar twice, back-to-back, before writing down these thoughts. During the first reading, I eagerly flipped pages to find out what would happen and how things would conclude. The second time around, I read slowly and picked up more of the humor, cleverness, wisdom, and themes. The wonderfully unpredictable plot held my attention both times around.

Tessa Afshar’s novels always contain spiritual truths to encourage the reader, and The Peasant King followed suit. The idea of “ordinary v. extraordinary” shaped Jemmah and emerged as a story theme. As the back cover copy tells us, “Jemmah has always thought of herself as perfectly ordinary . . . until she faces extraordinary circumstances.” When the ordinary is insufficient in the story (and in real life), then the extraordinary (miraculous) is possible if a Believer follows God. It’s a message of hope for those who feel insufficient or ordinary. In the words of Jemmah, a “lowly profession can hide an exalted ability.”

The well-rounded characters in The Peasant King felt like real people (some side characters were historical figures). Jemmah’s normalcy (sense of being ordinary) and journey to healing (from childhood trauma) made her relatable and provided room for growth. She was my favorite character in The Peasant King, but I loved seeing an older Karen from The Hidden Prince and wished for Zarina to get her own story.

Reading The Peasant King by Tessa Afshar made me want to reread Karen and Jared’s story in The Hidden Prince. Though the novels have strong connections, both read well as stand-alones. I thoroughly enjoyed The Peasant King and I recommend this book to Christian fiction readers who enjoy adventurous stories with dynamic characters, strong spiritual messages, and beautiful writing. Five stars!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment