Seed of Hope by Fiona Tarr is an exemplary tale of resurrection, sins, witchcraft, and goodness. King David is overburdened by his own sin of impregnating a married woman, Bathsheba, who was the wife of his loyal general. The seed of his betrayal is in the womb of Bathsheba, and to hide his infidelity, he gets the general killed. He marries Bathsheba, which everybody else sees as an act of honor, as they don’t know the truth behind king’s generosity. However, when the son of Bathsheba and David dies, he considers it a payback for his sin. His prophet announces that he must bring the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem’s place of worship as an act of atonement for his sin. He summons a retired general, Martinez, to help him with the task. This does not sound a very difficult task, but there is black magic on the play. An Egyptian witch, Jezebel, is weaving a revenge plan against Martinez.
Fiona Tarr has written a very gripping story of love, revenge, and black magic. The tone of the book remains quite dark. The flow of the events is smooth and the transition from one scene to another is flawless. The fear of the witch is maintained throughout the book and the anticipation of the confrontation of the good characters with her kept me flipping the pages relentlessly. The dialogues never seemed fake. The ability to draw the images of the characters by reading their dialogues is always a welcome thought for the readers, and the author has scored very high in this area. The prophet’s arrogance and his stubborn demand of keeping priestess Francesca out of the place of the worship are very close to the orthodox mindset of many. His dialogues bring the image of a pretentious prophet, flawlessly. The emotions of the characters and their reaction to the changing situations are on a check at all the times. The ruthlessness of the witch is a highlight of the book.
As a reader, I have enjoyed reading this book a lot. I have read the story of King David and Bathsheba earlier, but it was more of a quick mention than anything else. The plot reminded me of that story. I believe this is one of many stories of the Bible. Of course, this is a twist on that tale. I didn’t know if anybody could justify the act of such a king, but I applaud the author’s attempt to present things in a profound perspective. All the characters have a personality, but my favorite character is priestess Francesca. Her character has an incredible depth to it. She respects her work, honors her power, and grabs the opportunity at love with both her hands. She is fearless and stands tall against prejudice.
I craved to know more about the witch, though. The reason for her seeking the revenge against Martinez did not seem quite clear to me. Perhaps, I’ll need to read the first book of this series to shed some light in this context. I would have liked a gradual introduction to the characters because, in the beginning, I was quite confused with many names appearing very rapidly. However, this is my opinion and not everybody might feel the same way.
I would recommend this book to the readers who enjoy reading an author’s view on the famous fables involving black magic, suspense, Kingdom, and prophecies.
P.S. I have received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.