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Publisher's Summary

Ugarit, Syria, 1450 BCE. Eighteen-year-old Leah, the eldest daughter of a wealthy winemaker, is past the traditional age of betrothal. Vowed to wed the wealthy but cruel shipbuilder Jotham, Leah declines his offer of marriage after discovering that he and his family suffer from "the falling sickness." Enraged by her refusal and his ruined reputation, he blackmails Leah's father, a punishment forgiven only by offering Leah's hand in marriage.

With no more options for another suitor and no male heir for her family, Leah must seek out the cure for Jotham's sickness or her family will face permanent ruin. During her quest Leah begins to burn with desire for Daveed, the handsome household scribe whose culture forbids their union. Daveed has been called by the gods to restore the Brotherhood, an elite fraternity of guardians at the great Library of Ugarit, rumored to contain the secret symbol of immortality within its ancient archives. If his plan succeeds, it may also save Leah's family from disaster.

But even Daveed and Leah cannot fathom the extent of Jotham's sinister schemes to make Leah his bride once and for all.

©2013 Barbara Wood (P)2017 Cherry Hill Publishing, LLC

Critic Reviews

"The plot and pacing are masterful, and there is enough sex, betrayal, murder, and intrigue to keep the most skeptical readers breathlessly turning pages. Wood skillfully envisions a society set in biblical times, with people-trading, marrying and scheming in a thriving coastal town at the center of ancient trade routes, rendered in soft focus but with marvelous clarity and complexity." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Wood creates genuine, engaging characters whose stories are fascinating." ( Library Journal)

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as history novel goes this is a special one

I read more history novels that I could remember but I don't think I read a history novel in one gulp as I listened to do Audible the narrator was nice but it wasn't about it it was just amazing story I think the description is quite genius the float itself was incredible and very very interesting atoms up for this book

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pulls you back to life during Old Testament times.

What did you love best about The Serpent and the Staff?

I loved the detailed account of how life might have been like during Old Testament Biblical times. Even though it was so long ago, there was love, intrigue, murder, corrupt government, war, many of the same problems and blessings that we have today.

Have you listened to any of Jane Oppenheimer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first time to hear Jane Oppenheimer but her performance and the great storyline kept me intrigued and interested. I listen when I run and many times I would keep running so I could hear more of the story.

Who was the most memorable character of The Serpent and the Staff and why?

Leah, she was very smart and bold for a woman living in those times. She was able to take information she learned and use it to help her out of several predicaments that could have cost her and her family dearly.

Any additional comments?

I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review. If you want a great read without having to worry about language or adult situations you should listen to The Serpent and the Staff. I will be listening to Barbara Wood again in the near future.

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History Galore 💫

What a treat for Middle East history buffs. This story shows a family's journey through hardships, prejudices, and different religious beliefs along with family dedication and devotion. It is written with so much detail and narrated beautifully.

Note: The sound quality could use some improvement however. There are skips, cracks and pops throughout this download.

I received a copy of the audiobook at no cost and I'm voluntarily leaving this review. . 😊






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Beautifully woven story

I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of author Barbara Wood. She weaves a wonderful tale and truly transports the reader to the far east. Ms. Oppenheimer's narration is expertly paced. She offers a clear narration and performs the various main characters nicely. I think she kept true to the author's intent.

The references to the various Gods of the Canaanites, Egyptians and Hibiru were fascinating. This is the first time I have heard of God being referred to as El (for El Shaddai). It was also intriguing how the author played with the introduction of the early alphabet. Bravo Ms. Wood.

Unfortunately, the production of this audiobook by Cherry Hill Publishing had several problems including one or two chapters that harmed the audio in spots. In addition, there were spikes of too loud audio which resulted in cracking throughout the story. This took away from the overall enjoyment of this audiobook.