The Queen's Dog


Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
418 Pages
Reviewed on 08/06/2020
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Author Biography

N.L. Holmes is the pen name of a professional archaeologist who received her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College. She has excavated in Greece and in Israel, and taught ancient history and humanities at the university level for many years. She has always had a passion for books, and in childhood, she and her cousin (also a writer today) used to write stories for fun.

The inspiration for her Bronze Age novels came with an assignment she gave to her students one day: here are the only documents we have telling us about a certain royal divorce in Ugarit in the 13th century. How much can we say about what happened? It quickly became apparent that almost anything we might come up with was as much fiction as historiography!

Today, since their son is grown, she lives with her husband, three cats and a dog. They split their time between Florida and northern France, where she gardens, weaves, plays the violin, dances, and occasionally drives a jog-cart. And reads, of course.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Queen’s Dog is a work of fiction in the historical, personal drama and suspense sub-genres, and was penned by author N. L. Holmes. An Empire At Twilight Novel, this story is set in the ancient Syrian kingdom of Ugarit, and once again takes us into an amazing intrigue with plenty of conspiracies and drama, but no explicit graphic content. This emotive story focuses on Naheshi, slave to the queen, and under the impression that she has deeper feelings for him. When the opportunity to spy on her is raised by those who suspect her, Naheshi goes through terrible conflict, and his actions lead him to a darkness and guilt he must do everything to put right.

Once again, author N. L. Holmes has captivated me with her smooth prose and lively depiction of life and conflict during ancient times. Not knowing a lot about ancient Syria at all, I was immensely grateful for the glossary and brief history here, which helped with those odd moments where I didn’t get the customs or the religious ideas being referenced. But even without those extras, the story flows, educates and entertains as we get deep inside Naheshi’s head. He wasn’t a protagonist whom I immediately liked, and that made it all the more interesting to see him develop through dialogue and excellently penned action scenes, slowly coming to root for him as he finds himself in deep turmoil. Overall, I would highly recommend The Queen’s Dog to fans of ancient historical fiction which is both well penned and vividly portrayed.

Rabia Tanveer

The Queen's Dog: An Empire at Twilight Novel by N.L. Holmes is the story of Naheshi as he discovers that the life he knew was all a lie. Life as a eunuch was hard, but nothing could prepare him for what was yet to come. There were very few things that made him happy and one of those few things was Queen Taddu. He loved his mistress and he believed in his heart she loved him back. However, when King Ammishtamru asked him to find out if she was guilty of infidelity, he kept his head down and looked the other way. However, when he realized that she never loved him, he exposed her. However, the king was ready to execute her and take his revenge. Out of his mind with grief, Naheshi knew he had to do something to avenge her, even if just to make himself not feel that terrible pain.

Smart writing with well-rounded characters, The Queen’s Dog had me lost in its pages from the moment I started reading this novel. I felt terrible just reading Naheshi’s story. He was emotional, desperate to gain the approval of Taddu, and please her however he could. Taddu was a manipulating, terrible, and incredibly vicious person. I hated how she used Naheshi and capitalized on his emotions. I was amazed at the amount of research the author did to bring authenticity to the story and make it as accurate as possible. N.L. Holmes gave depth to the plot, gave the characters breathing room to grow, and provided essence to the story. The descriptions were vivid and the imagery was very imaginative. I could not have asked for more. This novel was beyond perfect.