The Queen's Dog
N. L. Holmes
Fiction, Historical, Political thriller, Drama, Psychological
The queen of Ugarit is young and bored and gets herself involved in a treasonous plot--and adultery--with her husband's brother. Her eunuch slave is persuaded to spy on her, and because she had spurned his love, he agrees. But more and more, he finds himself sucked into a place of more treachery than his conscience can bear. He is forced to confront the dark places in his own past in order to make a last heroic gesture.
1230 BC. In the Syrian kingdom of Ugarit, a eunuch slave desperate for affection lets himself believe his mistress, the queen, loves him. Forced to spy on her under threat of punishment, he ignores the command at first, but relents when she shows she cares nothing for him. Then his spying becomes an instrument of vengeance against her. Yet when her sentence of divorce turns into death, he is overcome by guilt and decides to avenge her against the royal family of Ugarit, which has brought about her execution. Faced with the multiple loyalties imposed upon him as a palace slave, his moral choices are complicated by a rebellion of the king’s brothers, the intervention of his countrymen the Assyrians, and the machinations of the dowager queen…but most of all by his own conflicted soul, damaged by the traumas of enslavement, castration, sexual abuse, and a failed career as a singer. He resolves to redeem his life of cowardice through one final courageous act: the assassination of the king.