Harvest of Rubies

Harvest of Rubies

by Tessa Afshar
4.7 61

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Harvest of Rubies 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Jonnothing More than 1 year ago
The only thing bad about this book is that we have to wait fot the next one! Well thouht out and written. The author is a word-smith, her style is intellegent & compelling. As a guy who typically leans toward the sci-fi, adventure, military novels, etc., I found this book (& her other book) just as fulfilling a read, actually moreso. You won't be disappointed.
LaurenYarger More than 1 year ago
Tessa Afshar transports us to an ancient time for a story that will touch any woman today who ever has struggled with defining herself through her work and accomplishments. The writing is a cut above for the genre and Afshar incorporates well developed characters, history, humor, mystery and biblical truths to weave an interesting and encouraging tale that will have you tapping your foot in impatience for her next book.
releight More than 1 year ago
What an incredible book! I tend to devour books; I can go through one or two a day. Rarely have I read a book that I immediately wanted to reread. This book was full of spiritual insight, had plenty of historical detail, and was also really excellent fiction. I don't find that combination often! It really helped change my perspective on a few things and has actually helped both my marriage and my relationship with God. Plus I thoroughly enjoyed the book!! The time period was fascinating; I haven't read many books set in this part of history, and the author described it with such detail (while somehow avoiding seeming tedious) I felt like I was actually there! I don't know if I have ever fallen in love with characters the way I did with Sarah and Darius. Sarah was just so beautifully normal, so incredibly relatable, so flawed and yet so likeable. Even now, I almost think of her as a fond friend. Darius was - sigh, such a hearthrob! I almost fell in love with him right along with Sarah! Their dialogue and chemistry was wonderfully written. And oh, the spiritual truths buried in this book! I feel like it has permanently changed my life! For one thing, the author illustrates so beautifully and poignantly how our true worth is not in what we look like or what we do, how smart or brilliant we are, or any of the other things we try to turn to to find our value, it's completely in how we are loved and treasured by God. She also pointed out something I had never heard before - that in Scripture, David's "why?" of God was different than our typical "why?" (I'll let you read it to find out the specifics) This was sooo convicting and has settled my relationship with God in a lot of ways - I was letting my questions make me doubt his goodness. Her depiction of us as the vine and God as the vinedresser was the best I've ever heard, probably because she told it from the point of view of an actual gardener - I feel like I grasp this illustration so much better now. And lastly, it might be a little shallow, but I have really struggled with the idea of beauty - what is our culture's idea of beauty, what is God's idea of beauty, and what the truth actually is. Through Sarah's experiences, I feel like I understand it so much better in a way I haven't before! I can't wait for Tessa's next book! Already pre-ordered!
Christianfictionaddiction More than 1 year ago
Set in 457 BC in the Kingdom of Persia, Harvest of Rubies follows the story of the prophet Nehemiah's cousin, Sarah. Seeking to win the attention and approval of her father, Sarah teaches herself to read and write, a normally unacceptable occupation for a woman in her society. When cousin Nehemiah learns of this, he encourages Sarah in her pursuits, and soon she has learned multiple languages and becomes a gifted scribe. Her gifts lead her to the Persian court, where she becomes the queen's favorite scribe. Just when Sarah has found a measure of worth in her achievements, she foils a plot to cause a rift between the Queen and the King's mother. The Queen seeks to reward her - with an unwanted marriage to a wealthy aristocrat, Darius. Their marriage begins in scandal and scorn, sending Sarah on a path to discover that her real worth lies in unexpected places. Harvest of Rubies is truly a stunning accomplishment, a carefully crafted historical novel featuring a fast moving plot and one of the best heroines I've come across this year. Sarah is completely compelling, a character who doesn't fit into proper society, finding herself in situations that made me laugh out loud and tugged on my heart-strings at the same time. Only pages into the story, I was completely absorbed both by Sarah as a character and by the plot unfolding at a swfit pace. The time period that the story is set in is simply fascinating, from the royal courts to the Persian culture that is so different than my own. I loved the little details the author throws into the story, such as the cook with the marble eye, or the fact that Persian noble woman (at least in that time period) were expected to be proficient in horseback riding and hunting. The story is filled with colourful descriptions, excitement and intrigue, and I guarantee that readers who love historical fiction are absolutely going to love this book. Not only will they be entertained, but their faith will be stirred by the wisdom contained in this book, as Sarah encounters a living God who measures her worth simply by the fact he made her good, and not based on what she may or may not accomplish. I leave you with a quote from early on in the story, where Sarah is told "You may fail; I cannot deny it. But if you go through life making every decision based on what is safest, you will look back one day and discover that you have missed out on the best". These are indeed powerful words to live by. I highly recommend this story and award it 5 out of 5 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers you'll love "Harvest of Rubies".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Not many authors tackle this time period (ancient Persian empires and early kings) but this author did so Awesomely! It was like being right there. It was a beautiful story of love and how we often define ourselves by how we "think" others see us. Sarah, the main female character, finally found value in herself, by looking to God and finding her true worth. The love story was about several defining relationships in her life. Can't wait for the sequel.
Straitwoman More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and the author. Looking forward to reading more from her in the future. Her books always make me want to have a deeper walk with the Lord.
Janet-R More than 1 year ago
The author's opening line pulled me into the story and didn't let go of me until the end. I normally don't read first person novels because of their shallowness, but Tessa Afshar is a champion of writing deep, riveting point of view. I related to Sarah's feelings of low self worth and rejoiced at her growth and maturity as the story progressed. Buy Harvest of Rubies today!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the unusual perspective of Nehemiah (the cupbearer) from a relative's (cousin) point of view. I selected this book because of the author. I read "Pearl in the Sand" which was probably the most gripping rendition of Rahab that I have ever read. I was amazed and delighted buying this book strictly on the author's previous ability to tell a tale. I am tremendously disappointed with the ending and feel it is just a tool to lure one to the next in the series. Lure the reader by an intriguing plot and imaginative story-telling, not just to get money out of the audience. I for one do not like manipulation. I am willing to spend dollars for good material, not because public relations says that tricking the reader will induce the reader to buy. The B & N audience is not unintelligent. You have lost my support.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Powerful Biblical fiction! For the first time in my 20+ years of reading a book did what I thought was the impossible. I have gone through the gamut of emotions with the characters in literally hundreds of novels. Some of them tugged at the heartstrings and some were sad, but until Harvest Of Rubies not one book had brought me to tears. In those pages Nehemiah tells Sarah that her worth isn't defined by her abilities and that she has been hiding behind the gifts God gave her. Those words struck like one of Darius's arrows. I don't have a Nehemiah to tell me the truth and I don't yet have the hope of a Darius. But what I do have is that same God using the pages of a novel, penned by a woman who's life has been far removed from mine, to tell me that it is His opinion alone that matters and that His view of me is much different than how others, and even I, see myself. Honestly, it is how IT made me feel and even think, that makes Harvest Of Rubies such a good book in my opinion. Yes, the book is well-written; the research and rich detail that Tessa Afshar put into it are wonderful. But is the way she caught my attention and made me feel as if Nehemiah and the others were speaking directly to me, not preaching at me, but telling the honest-to-goodness truth. I started reading the book and thanks to the internet being down I had few distractions, I actually finished it over the course of the afternoon. Even now after I have finished it I still find my mind going back to what I read. A truly good book is one that long after you might forget the character's names you still remember what it contained. I am usually fairly skeptical of Biblical fiction, questioning how accurate to the Bible and history the book is, but Tessa Afshar has won me over as a new fan with Harvest Of Rubies. (I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers/River North in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable read! The author writes very well and the main character was different from most main characters. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Very good story. I love this author.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Very interesting and pleasurable.
debhgrty More than 1 year ago
Bible History Persian Era Brought to Life in a Harvest of Rubies
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Well written. Could not put it down.
Nutz2read More than 1 year ago
Wonderful historical novel! Harvest of Rubies has quickly become a favorite of mine. I'm writing this review after reading it for the second time, and I believe I may have enjoyed it more this time than the previous, if that's even possible! This book is written in the first person, from the point of view of Sarah, the main character. I loved the voice Ms. Afshar gives her. She speaks occasionally as though remembering a past event, or as if she is telling this story to someone. She is sarcastic, sassy, and has a rather droll sense of humor, something with which I relate. I can just hear her saying certain things with that dry humor and it cracks me up! Sarah is awkward and speaks without thinking, which endeared her to me even more. She is so real. I loved that! She has spent most of her life finding her self worth in how well she performs a task. She doesn't see herself as worthy of attention and believes she must earn the love and approval of others. Seeing her learn and grow in faith was my favorite part of the book! While there are several conversations throughout the book that I enjoyed immensely - I liked the metaphors used and how Sarah links things to what she knows of God's character - I think my favorite was the discussion between her and Nehemiah, her cousin, when he tries to show her where she should find her worth - in God. That particular discourse sticks out in my mind. "But do you think the Lord counted them [Adam and Eve] worthy because of their abilities?" . . . "They hadn't even begun their work yet when He made His first pronouncement over them. He called them very good when they hadn't achieved a single thing." - Nehemiah, page 266 Her husband, Darius, is an interesting character. We see him through her eyes, which means we don't often know what he is thinking, but surprisingly, this didn't bother me like it normally would. Ms. Afshar does such a great job of letting us know what is going on with him and showing us who he is, that even without the story coming from his point of view, we come to know him quite well. He seems hard and arrogant at first, but as we get to know him, we see another side of him. I enjoyed his and Sarah's conversations, their sparring and comebacks making me laugh and smile. As much as I didn't want the book to end, I'm happy to know that it isn't the end of their story. We see them again in Harvest of Gold! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Biblical historical fiction!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Storyline? Perfectly excuted . Style of writing? Different, it was the kind i'm not paticularly used to reading ,but i read this... quite well. Story? Nice the christian background was realistic. But, it still needed work. Characters ... they didn't hit it off for me. There was some i liked, then there were some i didn't
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very realistic characters and scenes. I was transported to another life in this book. Highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is only 3 Chapters . It IS ONLY A SAMPLE. A good story that I will more than likely purchase. I give this three CHAPTER SAMPLE FIVE STARS, AS IT DOES SUCK YOU IN FROM THE START . BUT AGAIN ONLY 3 CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK YOU WILL NEED TO BUY.
em4642 More than 1 year ago
A riveting story, a relatable heroine, and a solid spiritual backing - this book quickly became a new favourite of mine. The story follows Sarah, newly occupied as the queen's scribe. The story quickly escalates to her arranged marriage to Persian aristocrat and all the excitement that follows. One thing about this book was that I could NOT put it down. Even from the beginning, I was intrigued by Sarah's character and rooted in the Persian culture. As the story progressed, it was painful to have to close it and wait for the chance to read again. This is the kind of book I looked forward to reading after coming home for the day (a testament to the story). I enjoyed the exciting story, but I also felt a very close bond with Sarah, the main character. Not only was I wholly engaged in the plot and the character development. Afshar surprised me with her threads of spirituality woven into the story. Sarah's walk with God was most important, and it contributed to who she was and how she behaved as a character. I think it's easy to come across as preachy or repetitive when incorporating a message of faith, but this book managed to convict me and have me praying as I was reading; I found Sarah's journey in faith to be incredibly illuminating to my own. I had read Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar previously, so I figured I would enjoy this book. What I didn't expect was my insatiable desire to continue reading this story after it was over - needless to say, I will be picking up her next book, Harvest of Gold, in a hurry. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Interesting time period and story. A most enjoyable read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amzing story!