by Judith E. French

August 2004
ISBN: 0-84395-3799
Reviewer Graphic Button Dorchester Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

Take a trip back in time to the ancient days of Egypt. Ptolemy rules the beautiful city of Alexandria. The Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, is dead. The world has changed.

There is a young woman in the court of Ptolemy. She is beautiful and clearly born of a noble blood line. She is surrounded by jewels and riches beyond imagination. If she wants to take it, she has only to reach out a hand to have the throne of Egypt at her beck and call. Yet, she is uneasy about her life. She finds it hard to trust anyone, not even herself. For this young lady doesnít know who she is. Does she dare trust the king who woos her determinedly?

Then one night a stranger enters her bed chamber. In his shocking tale, she finds that maybe the truth isnít so far away. He tells her they once loved each other more deeply than the sea. This barbarian, Kayan, enthralls her with stories of a mountain kingdom where she once lived. Kayan tells her she is the Princess Roxanne and it is time to return home.

But to go home, they must defy a Pharaoh and escape over the desert. Roxanne must place her trust in Kayan, the man she has been forced to deny all her life. She must find her inner strength once more. The strength that lead her to love a conqueror once and could lead her to love a barbarian now.

It isnít often that a romance novel is set in the times of Ancient Egypt or Greece. Iím not sure why because the tales are ripe for romance and adventure. Ms. French does a great job making the reader feel the scorching desert heat. She brings the decadence of the Egyptian court to life with vivid words. Her characters are larger than life. Ptolemy is a great villain. Kayan shows the strength and courage that makes every hero likeable. Roxanne shines as the woman who can captivate kings. Even Alexanderís presence looms over every scene like a golden god. The pacing is fast. The characters hit the ground running almost from the first page and donít stop until the book closes. Yet, there is a hint of more to come at the end.

The Barbarian is an exhilarating ride through the deserts of Egypt as a woman and a man fight for all they believe in against the might of a king.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Jenni.

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