Customer Reviews for

Garden of Madness

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

‘The Garden of Madness’ is a fantastical, mysterious

‘The Garden of Madness’ is a fantastical, mysterious and romantic retelling of the Biblical story in the Book of Daniels about the crazy King Nebuchadnezzar’s of Babylon. This story revolves around the crazy king’s daughter. There’s nothing...
‘The Garden of Madness’ is a fantastical, mysterious and romantic retelling of the Biblical story in the Book of Daniels about the crazy King Nebuchadnezzar’s of Babylon. This story revolves around the crazy king’s daughter. There’s nothing not to like about this book, and I probably enjoyed this fiction as much as the retelling of the Biblical Queen Esther or Persia.

Highly intriguing and vivid, and left almost nothing to the imagination. I absolutely love this story, and I have to say that I admired the strengh and the courage of the heroine in this story.

Kudos to the author for such a wonderful masterpiece. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommends this book to those who love Biblical retellings or stories that involves the characters in the Bible.

I rate this book 5 star.

posted by Ellinia on April 22, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

This book was just ho-hum for me. This story line has been done

This book was just ho-hum for me. This story line has been done so many times. The only thing that the author did was put it in Babylonian times. I found Tia to be extremely annoying. Also I found her to be a little bit too modern. The belief structure of that time peri...
This book was just ho-hum for me. This story line has been done so many times. The only thing that the author did was put it in Babylonian times. I found Tia to be extremely annoying. Also I found her to be a little bit too modern. The belief structure of that time period is so different than it is today. I think that all ancient kings believed that they were divinity on earth. Certain attitudes and mentalities would have been taught since birth. I just don't see how a princess would have been into things like exercise and keeping fit. It was just far too unrealistic.

posted by BluestockingBB on April 30, 2012

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    UNEVEN, BUT ENJOYABLE

    King Nebuchadnezzar's daughter Tiamat has patiently waited seven years for her father to recover from the mysterious madness that causes him to prowl about on all fours like an animal. Since the mysterious death of her husband and the murder of a nobleman in the palace, Tiamat realizes she must discover who is behind their deaths. As her mother plots to wed her to another to secure the kingdom, Tiamat seeks to help her father by accepting the help of Pedaiah, who takes her to her father's old friend, Daniel.

    "Garden of Madness" is a fictionalized novel of the daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar. While it is very interesting in its use of characters such as Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, at times it was uneven, especially in the first half of the novel. The pace really picked up in the second half. Although the novel couldn't seem to make up its mind whether it was a religious mystery or a religious romance or something in between, it was very enjoyable. I found it to definitely be a 3 star novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book was just ho-hum for me. This story line has been done

    This book was just ho-hum for me. This story line has been done so many times. The only thing that the author did was put it in Babylonian times. I found Tia to be extremely annoying. Also I found her to be a little bit too modern. The belief structure of that time period is so different than it is today. I think that all ancient kings believed that they were divinity on earth. Certain attitudes and mentalities would have been taught since birth. I just don't see how a princess would have been into things like exercise and keeping fit. It was just far too unrealistic.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2012

    ‘The Garden of Madness’ is a fantastical, mysterious

    ‘The Garden of Madness’ is a fantastical, mysterious and romantic retelling of the Biblical story in the Book of Daniels about the crazy King Nebuchadnezzar’s of Babylon. This story revolves around the crazy king’s daughter. There’s nothing not to like about this book, and I probably enjoyed this fiction as much as the retelling of the Biblical Queen Esther or Persia.

    Highly intriguing and vivid, and left almost nothing to the imagination. I absolutely love this story, and I have to say that I admired the strengh and the courage of the heroine in this story.

    Kudos to the author for such a wonderful masterpiece. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommends this book to those who love Biblical retellings or stories that involves the characters in the Bible.

    I rate this book 5 star.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Great Story

    Apparently I need to catch up on my biblical history, before reading this book I didn’t realize that the Bible actually tells the story of King Nebuchadnezzar suffering from a bout of insanity and living in the wild for 7 years. At first I thought the author had taken some insane amount of artistic creativity with that fact…..then I read the notes at the back of the book.

    The verses in Daniel that address King Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity skip right over the seven year period he was living in the wild and tells of how the king praised God when his sanity was restored. No one knows exactly what life was like for those in the palace during those seven years, but Tracy L. Higley has created an amazing tale of plots to overtake the thrown, forbidden love, and the revelation of deeply guarded secrets to give the reader an idea of the possibilities.

    At first I had a hard time really getting into the story, I think it was mainly due to my being unfamiliar with stories set in this time period and location. I might have also been a bit intimidated by the fact that there was a word list, like a dictionary, at the beginning of the book that one must understand to fully grasp the story. Once I was able to really get into the story and picture the setting, I really enjoyed the story. As I mentioned before, I originally the author had made up the part about the king being insane, but once I realized this was fact I was able to appreciate the whole thing a little bit more.

    The story was full of mystery and suspense, just when I thought I knew what was going on the plot thickened. Apparently plotting to take over the throne when the palace is filled with secrets can be a bit confusing. I also enjoyed the stories of love and redemption that this book held. As I found myself getting deeper into the stories, I found the book harder and harder to put down. Once I had finished it, I wished there was more.

    Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    Epic. T.L. Higley has done it again!

    Ever wondered what was happening to the kingdom of Babylon during the seven years King Nebuchadnezzar was stricken with madness? Who was in charge? Were outsiders trying to take the throne? How did one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world manage to stay on its feet while its king lived like a wild animal?
    In Garden of Madness, T.L. Higley spins a thrilling story as her own speculative answer to that question.
    In regards to the book itself, what can I say besides 'T.L. Higley has done it again'? I was certain she couldn't outdo herself after Shadow of Colossus, but now I strongly suspect that she's just getting better with every book she writes.
    The setting of ancient Babylon feels lifelike and vivid all throughout the book - another gift T.L. Higley seems to be blessed with. The descriptions are almost tangible, and you may find yourself squeamish, or sweating, or shivering along with the characters as the scene dictates. : )
    The story is riveting. I stayed up half the night last night, unable to put it down. And while much of it is based on speculation regarding a story we don't have much biblical detail on, it didn't leave me feeling like the author had taken too many liberties. Some liberties, sure. But it didn't feel stretched like so many works of historical fiction do.
    One thing I did kind of question in the book is the accuracy of a couple of scenes where a devout Jewish man kisses a woman he's not married to. I'm no expert in ancient Jewish custom, but I did wonder about the accuracy of that.
    The title 'Garden of Madness' doesn't really do the book justice, in my opinion. Maybe it's just me, but it seems a little melodramatic, which is not an accurate reflection of the book itself. So if you share my loathing for melodramatic book titles, don't let it turn you away from this book.
    From start to finish, this book had me by the throat, desperate to know what happens next. Yet another fantastic installment in the Seven Wonders series by T.L. Higley... and I'm waiting eagerly for the next one!

    I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my review. A favorable review was not required... I just have to rave about my favorite author! ; )

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Incredible!!

    This book is amazing. I read it in one day. It has a story line that pulls you right in and doesn't let go until the last page. Good action, good plot with twists that will keep you guessing. The ending brought me to tears. I can't wait to read more from Tracy Higley!!

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  • Posted October 17, 2013

    I have read in the book of Daniel about Nebuchadnezzer's time of

    I have read in the book of Daniel about Nebuchadnezzer's time of madness as a result of his pride, and I had often wondered how they took care of him during the seven years of his madness. I realize that Higley's story is speculation on her part and most of the characters were imagined, but I really enjoyed the book. It definately kept my attention. I would highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    4/10/13

    4/10/13 As always Tracy Higley delivers a strong, exciting read that also glorifies Almighty God. Yet, it's not "preachy."

    Read and enjoy!

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  • Posted February 25, 2013

    Oh, it was very good! I found it to be fast-paced and almost imp

    Oh, it was very good! I found it to be fast-paced and almost impossible to put down. Absolutely full of mystery, suspense, and excitement! There’s not a slow minute in it. A few of the fascinating people/places in this one include Daniel (the Biblical one), Nebuchadnezzar (likewise), the Hanging Gardens, and the captive Israelites. The main character is actually Nebuchadnezzar’s fictional daughter, Tiamat or Tia. This is a memorable story…I haven’t a doubt that you’ll find it intense and thrilling, a book that entwines Biblical, historical, and fictional facts to a T. It seemed very well-researched. As fellow author Tosca Lee says on the cover, it is “rich with all the flavors of ancient Babylon.” Delightful book and one I’m glad I bought.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    Garden of Madness is the story of the Babylonian princess Tiamat

    Garden of Madness is the story of the Babylonian princess Tiamat, daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar. The king has been struck with madness and for seven years has secretly roamed the Hanging Gardens like an animal. All seems secure for the royal family until the unthinkable happens. When a palace noble is found brutally murdered and the king’s safety is threatened, Tia begins a quest for answers and discovers truths she never could have imagined. With the help of two Jewish captives, the wise man Daniel and Pedaiah, the brother of her late husband, Tia enters a world of palace intrigues and closely guarded secrets to protect the king she loves.
    Right from the get-go I was drawn into this story. The mystery and secrets swirling around the palace kept me guessing throughout the entire book and once I thought I had it all figured out, the author would throw another twist. Tia was a wonderful character to read. She is flawed and I liked that about her. At times I wanted to shake some sense into her and then later I was smiling with her or cheering her on.
    I thought the romance in this story was very well written. It wasn’t overdone and the relationship builds, believably, over time. This book had darker elements than the previous books in the series but I thought the author did a good job of portraying the heaviness of these situations without overdoing it. So far this has been my favorite read from this author and I would absolutely recommend it!

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    Intriguing!

    Higley certainly kept my attention throughout each chapter and page! Twists and turns peaked my interest. Her imagination and the known facts mixed to create a great read!

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  • Posted May 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One day. That's all it took for me to finish this book. It's an

    One day. That's all it took for me to finish this book. It's an election year and I thought today's politicians were scheming and sometimes willing to do almost anything for power. The characters in this book show you how far the quest for power can corrupt man.

    One of Tracy Higley's gifts is to make a time and a place come alive. You can hear the sandals slapping, smell the fresh baked bread, and feel the fear as Tia is faced with the demons trying to control her and her kingdom. It all feels as if you are standing right next to her - living it with her.

    This was a complicated plot, but it never felt overdone or too difficult to follow. It wasn't easy to predict though - the author manages to surprise you even if you know the story.

    I loved Tia. She reminded me a bit of Jane Austen's Emma because she always went against the tide and wanted to remain single and control her own destiny. She also was naive, and didn't understand what was happening around her and why. She needed maturity - and God to shape her into the woman she was meant to be. It was glorious to see her make the journey.

    The three princes vying for her hand are all different and are like choosing turns down a hedge maze. Who truly offers the way out? She thinks she knows the answer many times - but only someone with a different perspective can truly know the right answer.

    This was a fabulous book. It makes my favorites list. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing it through the Book Sneeze program. It didn't influence my review in any way.

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Higley’s Seven Wonders series is written about the seven w

    Higley’s Seven Wonders series is written about the seven wonders of the ancient world. Garden of Madness is about the hanging gardens of Babylon, supposedly built by King Nebuchadnezzer for his homesick wife. According to the bible story, King Nebuchadnezzer went mad for seven years. (Interesting, but I never wondered what happened to the kingdom while the King was crawling around eating grass. Clearly, Higley has more imagination than I do.) I loved the court intrigue and treacher, the lies that treaten to destroy Tiamat, and her struggle to save herself from an arranged marriage, her kingdom from interlopers, and her father from his madness! Nebuchadnezzer is one of my favorite biblical characters and I was sad that he didn’t get more screentime.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    The Untold Story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s Daughter) The f

    The Untold Story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s Daughter)

    The first thing you notice about Tracy L. Higley’s Garden of Madness is the attempt at building up ancient Babylon in such a way that it seemed real and almost tangible. I never know of the story of the mad King Nebuchadnezzar, but this book sure has so fascinated me enough to take interest. It was exciting enough for me to know the fate of the kingdom of Babylon during those years that the king was suffering from madness. And his daughter, Tia was also a character that is both admirable and inspiring in his courage, faith, and love for her father. This story also has a touch of mystery that’s sure to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the night.

    The character of Pedaiah also appealed to me. I think it remarkable that he was able to block himself off form the influences of the culture surrounding him in his exile.

    The story itself is also riveting and always leavers me wanting to know more. Historical fictions always seemed boring to me in the past, but this one’s different. It definitely has enough thrills to keep the lull away.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    Princess Tiamat, called Tia by most, is the beloved daughter of

    Princess Tiamat, called Tia by most, is the beloved daughter of King Nebuchadnezzar but just after she turns fourteen that all changes, not only is she married to the oldest son of the imprisoned Judean king, but her father is suddenly taken over by a strange madness. The story picks back up seven years later, after Princess Tia's husband has died. Tia feels no sadness for his death, she could never bring herself to love the man, in fact she is actually a little relieved to find herself free. However her mother has told her that she must soon wed a Median prince, to ensure peace in their nation. But Tia is not going to take her fate lying down, not again. She is going to discover the truth about the strange things going on in the palace, including the murder of a nobleman. Before long she finds two allies in her quest; Pedaiah, the brother of her late husband, and Daniel, one of her father's most trusted advisers while he was whole. Can Tia work her way through the web of lies and sorcery filling the palace? Who is behind it all? Is it Shadir? The powerful mage, who dabbles with demons. Is it Amel Marduk? The young mage she finds herself drawn to. Or could it be her own mother? And will she continue to follow the gods of her people or will she accept the One God of Daniel and Pedaiah?
    I have read some about the story of Nebuchadnezzar, but most of what I have read skips over the time period of his madness. This story follows the power struggle that certainly must have gone on during this time. It also highlights dark arts practiced by many of the priests of Babylon. Including the many superstitions and demons. I really think the author did a good job of showing how dangerous it can be to put ourselves on the devil's territory. The characters were interesting and believable, it was especially interesting to see Tia's struggle between her past and her future, between being a spoiled princess and a strong woman for God. All in all I think this book is an exciting, intriguing, and sweet, and well worth reading.
    I received this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for my review

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  • Posted April 7, 2012

    Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley was intriguing. Based off o

    Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley was intriguing. Based off of the book of Daniel from the Bible, Higley, weaves historical facts into a fictional story quite beautifully.
    A couple of pointers I recommend before reading this book are to first read the Book of Daniel in the Bible before starting so that you have some background, especially if you have never read it before. And secondly, the author gives a note in the back of the book which does not give any of the book away. I read it after reading the entire book through and thought that it might have helped me have a better handle on things as I was reading if I had read it first, or simply referred to it from time to time.
    In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has different dreams, which Daniel interprets for him. Because Daniel interprets them, Daniel becomes the King’s chief advisor. Finally, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream in which a huge tree is cut down and stripped. When Daniel interprets this, it is a prophesy of King Nebuchadnezzar’s coming madness that causes him to live in the gardens for seven years, basically stripped of his title, until he can humble himself before God, the Most High. This is the background for Garden of Madness which takes place seven years after this dream and one year before King Nebuchadnezzar’s death.
    In the book, Tiamat, the King’s daughter has just lost her husband (whom she was forced to marry at the age of 14). She is an ambitious woman who does not like to be told what to do, including marrying again. She simply wants to be free and she wants to help her father, the King, from his madness. With a death in the palace, she begins to investigate who the killer is, which leads her to many findings she is not ready for.
    The first part of this book, for me, was quite long. Several times I did want to put it down, because it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. However, about half way through I was hooked and I wanted to know the end of the story. I also was very grateful for the author’s note at the end which helped to clarify some questions for me. I am ready to go back and reread the book of Daniel so that I can find some of the hidden messages in that book!
    I received this copy from Booksneeze for my thoughts.

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