Book Review: The Dark Side of Glory by Raven Kamali

Book Summary
Abigail is a young girl growing up in Judea during the last turbulent years of the reign of Herod the Great. Orphaned at age ten, she is taken in by her uncle, a sophisticated man who contrasts sharply with her father’s dogmatic piety. Under his care, Abigail develops into a cultured young woman free from the shackles of religion. Meanwhile, the land becomes bathed in the tyranny of Herod’s successor. In reaction, Rome removes him and asserts direct rule over Judea. Extremists rise to throw off the Roman yoke, and the country teeters on the verge of another civil war. Caught in the storm of religious fanaticism, Abigail soon faces an expanding malevolence that engulfs not just her but all whom she loves. No matter where she goes, the tumultuous turns of history are always close. Yet her struggles in defeating her enemies must continue until she can uncover the source of the malice that seeks to grind her fate into nothing but dust.

What I Liked

This book is dead center in my wheelhouse. It’s historical fiction, covering an era I’m pretty familiar with. It succeeds quite well in weaving historical events around the narrative of Abi’s family. It doesn’t stay put in one place either, covering the complex politics of multiple cultures of the era.

What You Should Know
TW: sexual assault. Be patient with this one, as the first half is a slow burn that picks up speed as time moves forward — a little too slow for my tastes, although I did enjoy the narrative overall.


History nuts such as myself should give this one a shot. It’s a potentially overlooked perspective of the time period that weaves many different players together.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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