I just finished reading a wonderful novel by H.B. Moore titled Daughters of Jared. Let me give you a little background for the book.
In the Book of Mormon there is a story of Jared (the second) who gained his throne first by rebelling against his father, King Omer, and flattering the people. However, King Omer had two other sons who won the throne back for their father.
But did that end the revelry in the family? Not hardly. Jared had two daughters. One of his daughters thought of a way for her father to regain his throne. The plan used ancient conspiracies and secret combinations she learned from the history of her people, the Jaredites. Her scheme was to assassinate her own grandfather, King Omer.
And you thought the royal families during the middle ages or Roman times were devious. They had nothing over this daughter of Jared.
Moore takes this Book of Mormon story and adds wonderful fictional characters that help tell it in a way we can relate to. There's a romantic triangle, jealousy, conspiracy, and a devious villain. The two main characters are sisters and the daughters of Jared, which you probably deduced from the title.
Asherah (Ash) is the older sister, the schemer and manipulator who thought of the plan to kill her own grandfather and convinced her father to go along with it (though he didn't need much convincing). Naiva is the self-sacrificing, younger sister whose point of view the story is told through. I enjoyed watching these two characters grow throughout the novel.
Naiva is thrown into life and death situations and each time she has to make a choice between tolerating evil or fleeing from it. Many times she hesitates as she thinks of her family and what will happen to them if she were to leave. And many times she is stuck in intolerable circumstances because she chooses to do what she believes is right.
Is there hope for Naiva?
I don't want to give anything away. Just let me say, don't give up on her. Her story may not end as you think it will, but the ending satisfies and delivers. Naiva's story is something to reflect on, something to ponder and learn from. We may not find ourselves in such dire situations as she, but reading about a character who grows in courage and faith gives inspiration to us all. And who doesn't need more of that?
Here's part of the back cover blurb:
Naiva, daughter of the dethroned King Jared II, lives in the shadow of her privileged elder sister, Asherah. But when Asherah develops a secret plot to return their father to the throne, Naiva's resentment turns to fears. Thwarting the scheme becomes more complicated when Naiva discovers that Akish, the first man who has shown interest in her, is an integral part of the plan.
And here is the wonderful book trailer.
Daughters of Jared can be found at all Deseret Book and Seagull Book Stores. It is also available as an ebook.
You can read more about this wonderful novel and the author, H.B. Moore on her blog and website.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author to review, but I reviewed it because I liked it.