The Moon That Fell from Heaven

The Moon That Fell from Heaven…A Brief Synopsis

Ehli-nikkalu, eldest daughter of the Hittite emperor, is married to a mere vassal of her father. But despite her status, her “foreignness” and her inability to produce an heir drive a wedge between her and the court that surrounds her. Her secretary is mysteriously murdered while carrying the emperor a message that would indict the loyalty of his vassal, and she adopts the dead man’s orphaned children out of a guilty sense of responsibility.

When a young cousin she has never met becomes a pretender to the throne and mobilizes roving armies of the poor and dispossessed, the priority of her loyalties becomes even more suspect. Then she discovers a terrible secret that could destabilize the present regime if the pretender ever learns of it.

With the help of a kindly scribe, her brave young ward, and an embittered former soldier trapped in debt and self-doubt, she sets out to save the kingdom and prove herself to her father… and along the way, learn something about love.

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The Moon That Fell from Heaven

The Moon That Fell from Heaven by N.L. Holmes

Book Reviewed by Lily Andrews

In “The Moon That Fell from Heaven” by N. L. Holmes, an emperor’s daughter is caught up in traumatizing anguish and despair, as she uncovers incomprehensible secrets at the helm of mockery by loved ones, due to her childlessness.  Purchase Here.

An unfathomable sense of misery has been growing in Queen Ehli-nikkalu’s heart, out of the resonant contempt and scorn that she has constantly received from her husband who is also her father’s vassal, King Niqmaddu. He rarely graces their matrimonial bed, yet accuses her of not bearing him any children. It is believed that a queen who doesn’t bear an heir is a liability and sadly for her, the loathing that has been coming with that assertion has severely eaten into her poise for years.

A familiar tone relaying a ton of sardonic utterances fills the air, the day unbeknownst to Ehli-nikkalu, life takes a new turn. She notices a small clay tablet drop from Niqmaddu’s sash, and onto his cushioned seat. Its inscriptions are chilling to listen to, as her secretary later interprets them from Akkadian, the formal diplomatic language that unites every kingdom. From it, she learns that her father’s kingdom back in Hattusha is in imminent danger of being taken away forcefully by his son-in-law, King Niqmaddu. An immediate alert needs to get to Hattusha, but little does Ehli-nikkalu know that this venture will not only open up a can of woes for herself, but for her loyalties also.

A stab of pity will engulf a reader as sad realities get unveiled regarding adorable characters such as Amaya, who is mourning her father’s demise after witnessing his horrendous murder. Deceptive individuals send the protagonist tiptoeing, and readers will want to see her judgment turn out right, regarding the people she chooses to abide with, such as Teshamanu and Rab-ilu. Readers will also find themselves emotionally bound to the gripping tale of a twist of fate, that she has little control over.

N. L. Holmes spreads out every new chapter with new developments and tantalizing details, that ably push the reading experience to the utmost edge and tension. Ehli-nikkalu and other major characters in this book are real, and the author does a great job of taking a reader back in history to Syria in 1213 BCE. Her new book, “The Moon That Fell from Heaven” is without a doubt a masterpiece that showcases the proficiency of women in defending civilizations and cultures, when given a chance. Holmes will once again gain a victory in your heart, with her heart-stopping creativity, and ideation, which has once again seen a difficult-to-let-go historical thriller produced.

Bird in a Snare

Bird in a Snare by N.L. Holmes

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Bird in a Snare is the foundation stone of The Lord Hani Mysteries, a historical series that plays out in Ancient Egypt. N. L. Holmes masterfully resurrects from the sands of time a tale of a humble diplomat and a proud family man, who finds himself adrift in the whirlwind of changing times. Purchase Here.

This is a story about the life and adventures of Hani, a diplomat serving under the rule of Akhenaten. As a new horizon slowly creeps upon the land, Hani is sent to the distant realm of Syria to uncover a murder with grave political repercussions. During his mission to solve one murder, he encounters only more death, political corruption, and a fragile net of relationships between leaders. But before coming to any conclusions, he must return to his home, mid-investigation. The sun has set. And soon a new sun will shine over the kingdom. The successor who rose to the throne seems to depart from the comfort of the old ways, into a new territory; a new direction that does not seem to meet with Hani’s set life course. But, nevertheless one must adapt and above all, survive.

Bird in a Snare is well documented and offers a historically convincing depiction of what once was. N. L. Holmes world building skills melt together fiction and historical facts, in her reimagined set of events. She addresses Ancient Egypt from a macro level – mainly through state and religion – and the micro level of everyday life. But what is more, she unites these two spheres through the main character, Hani. Although the story revolves around a central figure, he is constantly surrounded by a colorful bouquet of characters, be that pharaohs, his scribe Maya, or members of his family. This psychological attention to character development is what truly animates the pages of the book.

Under the penname of N.L. Holmes, an archeologist and university professor by trade, brings her in-depth knowledge to the realm of historical fiction. The abundant knowledge of the author seeps into the text in a natural way and brings color to historical details. For all those who love to dive into historical fiction, keep an eye on Bird in a Snare and other writings by N.L. Holmes.