The popularity of books featuring stalwart princes, charming princesses, and tales of derring-do never wanes, and D.A. Brittain has produced an admirable one in Judah’s Scepter and the Sacred Stone.
Taking her cue from fables of how a stone that served as a pillow for biblical great Jacob traveled from the Middle East to the British Isles and became an integral part of Great Britain’s coronation ceremonies, the author has concocted a plausible tale, although she makes no claim that her story is a true reflection of history.
The story begins with Princess Teia of Judah, soon after the Babylonian incursion of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Under the protection of the prophet Jeremiah, Teia encounters a handsome prince from the far off land of Erin (present day Ireland). Teia and the prince, Eochaid, must part ways— and thus begins the tale.
Eochaid returns home and takes up his royal duties, re-evaluating some of them, such as human sacrifice, after having met with the wise prophet. Teia, meanwhile, travels with her guardian. As she moves to Egypt, then sails across the ocean encountering pirates and predicaments along the way, she transforms from a frightened teenager to a resilient young woman. On the journey, Jeremiah protects not only the princess on the journey, but also the sacred coronation stone, which eventually figures in Eochaid’s reign of Erin.
Brittain easily portrays the sights, sounds, and smells of the era, and readers quickly slip into the story. Her careful research is evident, and, although the tale takes its cue from biblical incidents, she steers clear of the trap of proselytizing during the narrative of the bygone times.
Readers who enjoy a story filled with adventure, heroism and a dollop of romance will definitely find it here. All in all, this is a welcome first novel from an author to watch— one who promises more historical titles to come.
Judah's Scepter and the Sacred Stone by D.A. Brittain is a Christian historical romance novel that would appeal most to a diverse audience of young adults and adults who enjoy biblical fiction with elements of romance. Princess Teia is the daughter of Judah’s last king, who was rescued by Prophet Jeremiah from the burning city of Jerusalem, along with an ancient stone that sets the two on a journey to Egypt. Along the journey, Teia connects with Prince Eochaid on an emotional level. only to find her destiny to be separate from his. Each royal has their only destiny that will test their will, love, and soul. Is the love between Teia and Eochaid meant to be, or will it end in heartbreak and tragedy?
Judah's Scepter and the Sacred Stone by D.A. Brittain has an absolutely beautiful cover that captured my attention immediately with the image of a lion over a castle that held a couple entwined in each other’s arms because it hinted at both adventure and romance. I found this book to be the perfect blend of the Bible, historical fact, and romantic fiction. I loved how Prophet Jeremiah managed to save Teia, yet my favorite part of the book would have to be when Teia met Eochaid as that was when the romantic element entered the plot. I really felt for Teia when Eochaid’s path took him back home and away from her, yet I admired her strength of character as she stayed her course, no matter the temptations that beckoned her away from God. Overall, I really enjoyed reading about Teia and I would love to read more about her in the future!
TOP PICK - 4.5 Stars
Brittain brings together Irish and Jewish cultures in her captivating fictional debut. The story opens with a modern setting—preparations for a British coronation—before delving into the early 6th century B.C. time period during the siege of Jerusalem. Effortlessly weaving legends and modern, biblical, and ancient history with fictional storytelling, Brittain unveils an unforgettable tale that offers broad appeal to Christian and history aficionados.